Living the (Real) Dream

In this day and age, there’s a lot of talk about ‘going after your dreams’ and ‘achieving your dreams’. I highly recommend it. After all, I spent 10 years trying to sell my first novel-length story. I fought hard for my dream, and pushed through the barriers of fear, pride, and uncertainty in order to achieve it.

But there are a few things “they” don’t tell you about achieving your dreams:

1. The work doesn’t stop. Either another goal appears, or you have to continue working just to maintain your dreams. Mostly likely, its both. Dreams don’t lead to easy street.

2. Not everyone will support you. Some will see you as selfish for focusing on something you want. Some will want a piece of your pie without working for it. Some will want to tear you down because of jealousy or just plain meanness. And some people will simply be indifferent, because it isn’t their dream.

3. Some people will more than support you. They’ll actually put their belief in you into action, going out of their way to help you live your dreams. This selflessness on the part of others is an extremely humbling experience, which means…

4. Support from others doesn’t always feel good. Knowing that someone is giving of their time and energy to help you can lead to guilt, guilt, and more guilt, even though you are more than grateful. Especially for women.

5. Your other responsibilities don’t end. Most authors don’t sit around eating bonbons all day. The day I sold my first novel, I still had to finish out the day at my day job, pick the kids up from school, and cook dinner.

6. Achieving a momentous moment that’s part of your dream is as incredible as they say it is!

7. That incredible high doesn’t last forever. Because dreams aren’t really this finite thing we achieve, they are more like a journey. There are high ridges, and low valleys. Be prepared for both.

8. Did I mention the work doesn’t end?

9. Everything in life doesn’t fall into place, just because you’ve reached this tremendous milestone. Its not like winning the lottery. Most likely, you can’t just quit your day job and land in the lap of luxury.

10. “Living the dream” may not match your expectations, but trust me, you’ll still want it just as much as you did the day you started.

Living the Dream is not for sissies. 🙂


Takeaway: What’s the most important dream you’ve worked to achieve in your life?

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