It’s not always easy to share your hopes, dreams, and goals. Sometimes you can’t admit them to yourself, let alone to other people. It’s like opening your heart to the fire. What if you get burned?
Telling people you want to be a writer could expose you to ridicule or doubt. To say you’re a novelist is even harder. Will people think I’m crazy? Do they expect me to fail?
Approximately two years ago, I told Syd I wanted to write a novel. Before that, I may have joked about it with a couple family members … but telling Syd was the first time I was serious. Meeting Syd and sharing my dreams with her changed my life. She taught me Marketing 101 and forced encouraged me to write during NaNoWriMo. I know I would not be where I am today—a website and two (incomplete) novels under my belt—without Syd.
Taking that first step—admitting I wanted to be a novelist—was hard. The later steps got progressively easier. At this point, I’ve met so many amazing writers and received so much support, now I can tell a perfect stranger that I’m a writer. It’s still not the easiest thing in the world, but I stomp on my hesitation and just say it. I never know if the stranger might also be a writer, or someone connected to the writing world. I could be talking to a future critique partner, mentor, ally, or friend.
Of all the times I’ve said “I’m a writer,” no one has ever scoffed or laughed at me. Most people seem curious, or maybe even impressed. Perhaps they’re silently laughing at me … but I’m not a mind-reader, so what I don’t know fails to hurt me. Even if I did know, I would just turn and walk away. That type of person isn’t worth talking to.
With this new mindset, I’m happier now than I was two years ago. I feel like I’m finally being honest with myself and others. Like I’ve stepped into the most comfortable, well-fitted shoes in the world, and now I’m ready to run a marathon.
Think about your life. Think about every nook and cranny of your heart, mind, and soul. Any secrets lurking in there? Are you honest with yourself and others? Are you living your life to its full potential?
Don’t let fear chase away hope. Having a dream is more admirable than having a regret.