Every now and then, I get in a bit of a funk about my writing. I look at my circumstances, lack of education, and a few other issues and start pulling out the decorations for the pity party. Inevitably, it seems that God steps in and shows me something that will inspire me to continue fighting for my dream.
Yesterday, it was a documentary on the talented singer, Katy Perry. This young, gifted, beautiful woman has gone from pursuing a dream down the wrong avenue (as I have done) to finally achieving said dream. She has gone from being broke, released from at least 2 record companies after being signed, having her car repossessed twice, to being a top Pop/Rock star, with two great albums (I love her songs California Girls, Teenage Dream, Fireworks & E.T.), married to a great guy, and living her dream full out. By the way, Katy did all of this without a college degree and with a G.E.D.
Today, I read a short piece in the July/August Writer’s Digest magazine on author Julia Cameron. Julia is author of over 30 books (Faith and Will, The Writing Diet, The Right to Write) in various genres. She was an alcoholic, married to and divorced Martin Scorsese and was told by several people during her initial foray into writing that she should just be a stay at home wife or a secretary. Now, she is also living her dream, happy with herself, successful and might I add simply brilliant.
What do I have in common with these two women? Simply the same thing you do. We have dreams and there are roadblocks and pot holes from hell that try to keep us from achieving those dreams. The question is, how hard are we willing to fight to achieve our place in the sun? Do you find yourself giving up way too easy, or do you sit down, cry and scream, then get up and put the gloves back on?
If you give up, it means that you either don’t want that dream bad enough, or it really isn’t your dream to begin with. Take Katy Perry for instance. In the beginning of her career, she was a Christian/Gospel signer and only sold about 200 units of her first album. I watched the videos of her early performances and could see that while she loved God and singing, being a Christian artist wasn’t the right avenue for her. She persisted, though and found the right path. Now she’s shooting for the moon and walking amongst the stars.
I did something similar. I knew I was to be a writer and chose to go down the Christian path because I thought it was what I was supposed to do. Other Christians were pleased with my choice, so that’s what I thought I HAD to do. But, one day, I realized, that wasn’t who I am. I am a Sci-fi writer and a Poet. I don’t really like to read Christian Inspirational books all that much (but have read some really good ones.) I can, however, devour a really good Sci-fi story or book in less time than it takes for most people to read a magazine. I dream in Sci-Fi and poetry is the fillet mignon of my life.
So, like Katy, I realized that I have to write what is actually in me. I can’t fulfill the dreams or expectations of others. And so what if I don’t have a college degree, haven’t yet published a novel, and can’t say that I have met the likes of Orson Scott Card or James Patterson. I will achieve my goals. I will become a published writer of Sci-Fi and even be good enough to make a living at it. It will just take time perseverance and a kick butt attitude.
I am personally beginning to think that the more we have to overcome and the harder we fight for something, the better it will be when we achieve it. The gloves are on, the bell has rung. Time for the next round and I’m coming out swinging.
*All photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.