Posts Tagged ‘childhood dreams’

Stop Copyrighted

I take a vow right now that I will not check my email for the hundredth time today! I promise that my email will remain closed until tomorrow morning. And I solemnly swear I will only check my email 2-3 times a day from now on.

I know, you are probably wondering what the heck is going on with me. I’ve been quiet for about a week, and then I come back with this craziness? Sometimes even I wonder about what goes on inside this head!

To clarify this situation, no, I didn’t suddenly become an email addict. Quite frankly, there’s not much that comes through my email addresses that is that alluring. It’s mostly spam, ads, and bills these days. Sounds real exciting, huh?

Actually, I’m turning into an email worrier. I recently decided I need to take my content writing seriously again, so I’m doing what I can to accept paid assignments once more. I’ve spent so much time this year doing my own thing (blogging, poetry, creative writing, etc.) that I’m worried I might be a little rusty. I used up over 12 hours a few weekends ago refamiliarizing myself with the sites I used to submit writing to. I even took some time out to research possible new opportunities.

The desire to challenge myself and be more than I currently am is strong. I want to see what my true potential is. However, I had forgotten how difficult it can be waiting for days to hear back from editors…IF I let the nervousness get out of control, that is.

I have a few submission under review, and it’s eating at me. I’m more nervous than a new father waiting for his baby to arrive. But then again, all my creations ARE my children. I put so much heart, soul, and time into molding my work. They are a reflection of me and everything I do, so (like I do with my actual children) I want to see them shine and soar. The thought of them failing to reach an important mark isn’t a pleasant one.

But the truth is no one should live constantly worried and anxious. It isn’t healthy. It isn’t productive at all. In fact, worrying too much wastes time and undermines confidence and talent. Worrying only leaves you with sleepless nights and stomach ulcers. It makes day-to-day life bitter and empty. And it makes you second guess your every move.

It’s time for me to move on beyond this worrying. I did my best with the assignments. If the editors don’t like what I submitted, it is there loss. It may not be what they are looking for, but that doesn’t mean my writing stinks. And even if I made some mistakes, I’m going to embrace that. Owning up to my mistakes is an important part of me evolving into the writer I’ve always want to be. I’d rather make a million mistakes and learn from them than to hide my writing away. Truly, the greater the risk the greater the prize–and I won’t ever be satisfied with only cereal-box prizes in life!

 

© 2013 Amanda R. Dollak
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My poor poetry journal!

 

I’m giving myself a mental slap across the face tonight. Just because no one else believes in my dreams or thinks they are worthwhile, it doesn’t mean I should give up and mope for the rest of my life. This is MY life. These are MY dreams. I know deep inside that I was meant to be a writer. It doesn’t matter whether or not the masses read my work. It doesn’t matter whether or not those close to me ever read what I write. It doesn’t matter whether or not I ever make any decent money for what I do. Staying true to my heart’s deepest desires is all that matters!

I am not me without writing. I can’t sleep right. I can’t think right. I can’t function if I stop for too long. You can argue all you want that I’m not cut out to be a famous writer. Well, maybe I’m not. But I assure you, I’m meant to be writer–plain and simple.

I am a writer…a writer is me. I MUST write to thrive. It has been that way since I first learned to read and write. Call it foolishness. Call it a waste of time. Call it whatever you want. However, it’s what I am…it’s what I do…and it’s what I’ll do until the day I die!

 

© 2013 Amanda R. Dollak

NaNoWriMo

I’m in deep NaNo trouble here, people!  My laptop died not even a week into the challenge, so I wasn’t able to work much on my novel since.  I have my new laptop now, so I’m eager to get my hands flying and my head wrapped around my story again.  The problem is I am FAR behind and I have a head cold from H – E – Double Hockey Sticks.  So, here I am writing about not writing my NaNo novel.  Yep, I am in perfect form tonight!

Ok, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining too much.  I am 8,229 words (and counting) into my novel.  I was able to get a new laptop fairly quickly by a bit of a miracle (even though I was sure I wouldn’t be able to replace it for months).  And I still have the strong urge inside of me to get this story written out finally for the whole world (or at least my whole world) to see.

It isn’t going to be easy.  NaNo is nearly halfway over.  (I think I just had a mini heart attack with that realization!)  NaNo claims I need to write a minimum of 2,458 words per day now to finish on time.  (Again, eek and double eek!!!)  Still, I’m never one to give up too easily.  I WANT this–no I NEED this–more than I could ever express.  I NEED to know I haven’t given up on my lifelong dreams.  I NEED to prove to myself that I won’t ever sell myself short.  I NEED to convince myself that my life’s work will never be in vain.

Consequently, I am refusing to give up–now and always.  Life is messy.  It loves to throw us for a loop and send us off course.  However, it is what we do with those messes and how we continue on once we move beyond them that truly matters.  I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as that girl who gave up on NaNo long before she ever gave herself the chance to soar.  This is a battle worth fighting for, and I won’t allow anything to stop me from pursuing my dreams!

© Amanda R. Dollak 2013
Photo: © Amanda R. Dollak 2013

Photo: © Amanda R. Dollak 2013

My family thinks I am crazy . . . NaNoWriMo crazy!  Besides my loving husband, who is very supportive of my dream to be novelist, my family doesn’t get the whole NaNo thing.  All I hear are vague comments like “Oh, that’s nice!” or “Ok, good for you!”  That is until I explain more about NaNo.  And then it goes something like this:

Me: “Yeah, I’m really excited to finally finish a novel!!  I hope I finish by the end of the month so I can win the challenge.”

Other Person: “So, what do you win if you finish?  Are there prizes?  Will they publish your book?”

Me:  “There are no prizes, and they don’t publish your novel.  It’s the experience and knowing that you can do it that are the prizes.”

Other Person: “What a ripoff!”

Well, ok, they don’t exactly say “What a ripoff!” exactly.  But they might as well.  They all get that same look on their faces and/or that same tone in their voices.  They look like I’m nuts–that I’ve finally gone over the deep end.  In their minds, what is the point of working so hard for no prize?  What is the point of practically killing yourself to finish a novel, only to have it still unfinished?

To me, the point is oh, so clear: because competition and necessity breed amazing things!  This competition is just what I needed to make me want to take my novelist dreams seriously.  I’ve had the desire to see my stories published for as long as I can remember.  But here I am, nearing 30, and I still haven’t even finished a single novel?  In fact, I haven’t taken my fiction writing seriously for about 10 years.  Yes, NaNo was exactly what I needed to get out of a rut I’ve been stuck in for FAR too long.  What could be more rewarding or priceless than that?

© Amanda R. Dollak 2013

I Am Afraid

 NaNoWriMo is only a little over a day away.  Although I am still super excited and poised on my seat, the intensity is mounting…and so are my jitters and doubts.  To try to purge myself of all the negativity, I thought I should write them all out and address each and every one of them:

I am afraid

I am afraid that I don’t have what it takes.

I am afraid that I won’t know what to write.

I am afraid that what I have to offer won’t matter.

I am afraid that all my work will be in vain.

I am more afraid

I am more afraid that I will die before I fulfill my dreams.

I am more afraid that the world will never hear my soul.

I am more afraid that I will disappoint myself.

I am more afraid that my life will be in vain.

This is new territory for me.  I have always dreamed big, but I’ve never set a goal this high before.  Can I stay focused, calm, and dedicated through the whole challenge?  Can I write at least 50,000 words in a month?  Can I finally finish a novel?  Only time will see.  However, may my fears, doubts, and any other roadblock vanish right now, and may I approach NaNo on November 1st with a clear mind and a strong heart.

Good luck to all my fellow NaNo participants.  May we cross the finish line together–happy, empowered, content, and confident–no matter our final word count!

© Amanda R. Dollak 2013