Posts Tagged ‘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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Photo Credit: Publicdomain.com

Photo Credit: Publicdomain.com

Far too often we find ourselves cowering with only half a foot out of our comfort zone.  We want to reach for our dreams and search for bigger and better things.  We desire to create something totally unique to show the world what we are made of.  But we almost always fall short of our aspirations because we are constantly afraid of getting burned or rejected.

Instead of making timid steps that don’t lead us very far, we need to let fear fall off to the wayside.  We must step boldly out of our comfort zone and keep expanding it until we reach our goals.  There is no need for huge leaps of faith.  Running blind will only lead to disaster.  No, we must keep our eye on the prize and firmly plant one foot in front of the other–steadily moving forward with a brave and eager heart.

Change is never easy, especially when there is risk and the unknown involved.  Still, who wants to stay stuck in one place for an entire lifetime, changed in place by all that might happen?  I know I don’t!  Today, I vow to hold my head up high, turn a deaf ear to fear, and leave my comfort zone a little more each day.

I already started stretching my comfort zone for over a month now.  (1) I signed out for NaNoWriMo and seriously worked on a novel!  I only reach 15,000 words out of 50,000 because my laptop died and I was very sick.  I didn’t win, but I won something even great: I learned to be fearless with my stories again.  I don’t care if they are good.  I don’t care if people will ever read them.  I only care that they are written.  They are in my mind and are begging to be created.  That’s all the reason I need.

I also decided that the beginning of December would be a great opportunity to revamp my freelance writing.  I’m working on some refresher courses.  I’m reacquainting myself with sites I haven’t written for in months and even years.  I accepted a number of assignments.  And I’m exploring other self-employment opportunities.

Finally, I also have finally found the courage to  begin my life story–or as I like to call it, my beginning story.  I am nearing 30, and I can feel the pages growing thin.  An end is coming; I can feel it.  The me that lived for almost 30 years is dying, and a new me is ready to come back stronger than.  I’ve been far too afraid to face my past.  It held so much pain and darkness.  Many of the wounds are still excruciating.  But it’s time to purge my demons onto the page and bring that story to a permanent close.  I’ll always be me at the core, but it is time to start unloading the baggage and leave all the ugliness behind.  I choose only to allow bring with me the strength, kindness, compassion, and wisdom that bloomed from this darkness.  The rest of it can stay behind as I move on to better and happier years!

What are you doing to push yourself a little more out of your comfort zone?

© 2013 Amanda R. Dollak

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