Follow Your Dreams

Follow Your Dreams

Today’s guest post is by Kath Unsworth! Her website can be found at the bottom.

We all have dreams. How do we make them real?
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DREAM BUSTING

For many years I daydreamed about writing stories. I took an online novel writing class and read every book I could find on the craft of writing.
I began writing a novel with no real idea of what would be a long, drawn out learning experience. This was many years ago. I then put that half story away and started a new idea. To say that I have about four stories in different stages of completion would be an understatement.

I have enjoyed the journey and its many lessons thus far. Through my ignorance, it is safe to say I am still learning and still writing. I might not have attempted this passion if I knew back then the nature of a writer and all that is involved.

Yet I realized something: I could never go a day without writing. It has changed my world, my thoughts on who I want to write for, and it has enriched my life.

PUSHING THROUGH the FOG
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I guess there comes a turning point that you must accept you are a writer. I must write no matter what. Accepting that is not easy. the work is challenging and a lonely obsession at times.

I wrote a manifesto about being fabulously flawed as a writer (download it free on my site), and it helped me see through the haze of self-doubt, fear of rejection, and the strange looks of doubt people throw your way when you tell them you are writing novels.

My full evolution as a writer only took place recently. After discovering this brilliant community in the blogging world, my hopes and dreams turned into actual goals, solid as a mountain. Imagine if I worked hard enough I could produce something that someone out there may wish to read.

KEEPING it REAL
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Things became even clearer when I joined the Jeff Goins Tribe/writers community. I have not looked back. At the start of the year I was struggling to finish my tween novel. I took a step sideways and realized that everyone loved my picture book ideas. The feed back was astounding.

My goals are now heading in a new direction. I am hard at work on Sugar, my picture book. Being a graphic artist and illustrator has assisted me in designing, writing, and now illustrating this book about a calf who is a little different. I have no doubt that I will finish it. Besides having my cheerleading squad at home, I now enjoy the support of my blogging community to use as my test crash dummies (not so dumb, mostly brilliant) for my story ideas. Not forgetting the vast and talented members of the tribe/writers who keep me focused and grounded to my writing chair. (Sadly, my kitchen table).

I know it’s a slow process, but I am not in a race, and if I keep going I will eventually get there. My other novels will also see the light of day.

DREAM BIG and WORK HARD
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If you have a dream, make it your reality by simply taking the first step and JUST start. You learn through the process by doing.

I would like to thank Amber for giving me this opportunity in sharing her writing space and hope you enjoyed my rant today. You can find me over at
http://kathunsworth.wordpress.com/

Come over and say hello.

Inspirational Speaker: On Mistakes and Confidence and Ballet

Inspirational Speaker: On Mistakes and Confidence and Ballet

Neil gaiman

First, I want to thank Mary Gilmartin for giving me inspiration for this particular post. She is the one who posted this inspirational quote that in turn inspired me.

I probably make mistakes a lot. All the time. I know I make mistakes when I’m drafting my novel, and I frankly don’t care. I probably make mistakes at work, but I let myself learn from them instead of chastising myself for forgetting to ask for spouse’s name or if that city is in range (plus, the phone room can have fun with that one). I don’t fear mistakes, not like I used to. I have tried a lot of new things this year, more than I thought I did. I started painting with acrylics, testing blending and shading and highlighting. I started creating bows, which didn’t turn out half bad. I danced in a recital, where mistakes were numerous in the beginning and I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to catch up. Then I took a chance on When Stars Die, instead of fearing the potential mistake that it could have been. And I have been pleased with all the chances I took this year.

I am no longer afraid of mistakes. Why should I be? Mistakes mean I’m living, taking chances, growing, learning, and changing. I want to live a life of no regrets, and to do that, I have to make mistakes.

George Balanchine, famous for The Nutcracker, once said that to fall means you are pushing yourself beyond your limits and are therefore growing and improving. He meant this toward dancers, of course, but it can apply to anyone in general. But I know during ballet class, especially pointe class, I fall more than anyone because while everyone approaches an exercise with hesitancy, I approach it with vigor, and so when the exercise starts, I give it everything I have. I’m not afraid to fall en pointe. What’s the worse than can happen? A bruise? My ankles are strong enough not to sprain easily, so I take my chances with everything.

My bipolar disorder did give me the confidence to start taking chances simply because I know a depressive episode can kill my confidence in a heartbeat. A manic episode can make me overly confident, but depression is the killer of all things good. More than anything though, I think ballet in general has given me the confidence to do what I never thought possible. Just look at ballet. Look at this:

From Tumblr, Obsessive Dancing Disorder
From Tumblr, Obsessive Dancing Disorder

I can barely do this on flat, but I know I’m going to get there because I can do everything else in ballet, so why not this? And if I can do ballet, why can’t I have a published novel? And if I can have a published novel, why shouldn’t I become a bestseller through hard work and determination? Why should I be afraid of making mistakes?

Good things never happen through perfection. Good thing happen through mistakes, trial and error, learning and tweaking. Don’t ever let hesitancy hold you book because, really, what is the worst that can happen by taking that chance, whatever it may be? This isn’t to say you should go out gambling and blow your life’s savings. Use discretion here. But if there’s nothing to lose, do it. Why not? I didn’t get my contract by holding my book back and waiting for some magical sign that it was ready. I didn’t get en pointe by fearing that I’d break something. I wrote a book, made mistakes with it and bettered those mistakes. I took private lessons, made plenty of mistakes, and worked hard to correct them. I practice, practice, practice with whatever I do because I want it for myself. You have to want it too because no one else can want it for you.