Happy Wodin’s Day Everybody! I’m Marcia, and I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks for the wonderful welcome I received yesterday from the gang here at Story Empire and from many of their friends and followers! You’ve all made me feel right at home, and I’m looking forward to being a part of this blog for a long time! I don’t have any smiling doggie pics or fireworks today, but I’m very happy to be part of this team, as you can see.
I’d like to start my first post with a wee bit about me, for those I’ve not met on social media yet. I believe I’m the senior citizen of this super group, turning 76 on St. Patrick’s Day, though maybe we can keep that a little secret just between us. 😊 I’m also that rarest of things, a Florida native. (I’ve heard it rumored there’s some guy up in the panhandle claiming to be one, too, but I think that’s most likely crazy talk and completely unfounded.)
At any rate, you’ll probably be able to recognize my posts right off. I’ll be the one writing with a southern accent, complaining in every season about the sweltering heat down here, and always on the alert for excuses to head out on the beautiful St. Johns River, where I can enjoy the birds and wildlife Florida is famous for. Or at least post about them now and then!
I’ve spent the past week or two dreaming up writing-related topics for future posts here on Story Empire. So far, my list includes everything from the current trend of foregoing chapter titles, to a few lines about the ever-powerful pilcrow, to a series called “Why Write Wrong?” For today, however, I’d like to dive headfirst into a subject that’s truly near and dear to my heart, and one of the most important life lessons I’ve learned over the decades.
Like many of you, I’m pretty sure I arrived on this planet already in love with words and books. Also like many of you, I dreamed of living a beautiful, creative life, involving a cottage on the beach where I’d spend endless hours writing and painting, all the while surrounded by lots and lots of cats. (Umm … that was what most of you were dreaming, right?)
But dreams or no dreams, my life went careening off in another direction, aided and abetted by well-meaning (but misguided) parents, and it took me decades to get back on track. Seriously. I’m talking more than fifty years before—at the ripe old age of 69—I wrote my first book! It was a bucket list thing, but it did well enough that I decided to write another one. And another. And a couple more. And I can honestly say, hands down, it’s been the happiest work of my life, so here’s the message I’d like to share today.
It’s never too late to follow your dream.
Let me repeat that, only in normal-sized print and some fancy Italics. It’s never too late to follow your dream! In the (almost) seven years since I wrote my first book, I’ve written six more novels, two novellas, and a book of poetry. Honest! And believe me, if I can do it, you can too, no matter what your own dream might be.
- Don’t think you can’t. You can.
- Don’t wait for permission. You don’t need it.
- Don’t wait for the time to be perfect. It never will be.
- Don’t let age or lack of experience slow you down. The first is irrelevant, and the second will disappear as you make progress.
- Do get up every day with the knowledge that your dream is worth the effort.
- Do work hard. There are no shortcuts.
- Do keep an open mind. There may be a better way to accomplish your goal.
- Do remind yourself of your dream daily. Post-It notes, memes, whatever it takes.
- Do love what you’re doing. A labor of love is always the most rewarding work.
- Do your very best work, and never settle for less.
And that’s all there is to it!
I say, go for it. What have you got to lose? There’s not much sadder than not even trying, you know. Heck, even trying and failing is better than making no effort at all! And just think how wonderful you’ll feel if you succeed. If you climb that mountain! Or master the art of French cooking! Or, like me, write that first book!
The important thing is to stop wishing for things to be different and take that first step. You can make it happen! I know, because I did!
I’ll leave you to ponder possibilities, but I’ll be back. And when it’s my turn again, I’ll be sharing my first Why Write Wrong? post, a quick lesson on how to avoid some very common mistakes.
In the meantime, don’t forget!
And now, it’s your turn. Have you made a long-held dream come true? Or is something still holding you back? Tell us about it. Inquiring minds wanna know!