For the past five years, my dream has been pretty consistent — become a published novelist. And yet, as the years have passed other dreams have been tacked on — become a full-time writer and grow my blogazine (this blogazine) to a full-time gig. Each day, I read about inspirational women who have gone out, forged their path, achieved their goals, and have, in basic words, “made it.” Though these are inspiring reads, they can also be frustrating for someone who has the patience of a three-year-old. I don’t like waiting for my dreams to come true.
Granted, I’m not really “waiting.” I accomplished the goal of becoming a full-time writer, but I haven’t hit my dream of being a published novelist and I can’t run Fempotential as a full-time gig. Two out of three isn’t too bad, but I’m not satisfied. So, each day, I put in the work.
Much of my time goes to paid work for clients but during breaks and in the evenings, I’m solely focused on my personal goals. I research on Pinterest and surf the Internet for articles and guidance. I’m in contact with other bloggers and writers, picking their brain on how they incorporated different practices or tricks to get where they are. At the end of the day, I’m tired and exhausted, zoning out with a TV show because I’ve been working non-stop.
And still, I’m not satisfied. I want my dream now, two minutes ago, yesterday! But aren’t we all like that? Never satisfied with the time it takes for something to happen. But, I think that’s okay. It means I’m still hungry for my goal and I’m not giving up and it drives me to figure out what I’m doing wrong or right and the best way to achieve my dreams. Because if I’ve learned anything in this past year, it’s that sometimes the path to success isn’t always the one that’s been most traveled.
With the end of the year approaching, I have some decisions to make, specifically when it comes to my goal of becoming a novelist. I’ve been searching for a literary agent in one particular fashion and I’m starting to wonder if my publishing career might need to be reached in a way that’s different than what I imagined for myself. See, I’ve always wanted to find a literary agent, get a big publishing contract with a large publishing house, have my novel published, and then tour the country with readings. That’s my ideal novelist dream, but the thing is, I haven’t even accomplished step one — finding the literary agent. And I’ve been out of graduate school for two years now and I have this novel that I’m proud about but I just need someone to represent me.
I’ve had a few literary agents write me nice notes and one ask for the full manuscript, but I haven’t received anything definitive and it’s driving me insane. I want a literary agent, but what if I don’t get one? What then? Keep writing my new novel, and revise the old one again? Forget my novel and put it away for a rainy future day? Do I start at the top of the literary agent list again and look for new agents to submit to? Do I go the independent publishing house route without representation? It is a difficult decision to make, as it’s hard to find success the way that I’ve always visualized it.
Then again, I visualized myself getting into a MFA Creative Writing program and when I didn’t, I began an MA English program and switched to a MFA program a semester later. Is that what I have to do again? Take a different route to get my foot in the door? Perhaps. Perhaps, I’m not one to take the traditional route to success. I mean, I’m a writer, am I not? That’s not a very traditional job to begin with.
My re-evaluation of my novelist career has also had me re-evaluating how to make Fempotential a success — and that can only be a good thing. It’s making me approach my goals for Fempotential differently, allowing me to think outside of the box, and that’s exciting.
However I decide to go for my goals, I know I won’t make the wrong decision — they will all be the correct choice. I firmly believe that — I don’t make wrong choices, just choices that sometimes work and others that don’t. Having a mindset such as this allows me to remain flexible in my path to success which is a trait that I’m most proud of. You wouldn’t want to continue ramming your head into a path blocked by a brick wall, but rather would want the foreknowledge to look around for a different way to get where you want to go.
We have to understand that our dreams and our goals can be accomplished, but we might not get there exactly as we planned, exactly as others have, or exactly as we want. We might have to take a path less traveled to our success and that’s exciting, because it means that we can still get there.
We can get there.