We have a very special treat today. Author Christine Amsden, writer of Cassie Scot novels, is our guest author today. She is writing about living your dreams. Enjoy this treat, and be tuned in for tomorrow. That is our blog tour spot for her latest novel. Excellent conclusion to Cassie’s story.
Living Your Dreams
When I was asked to write a guest post about accomplishing your dreams, two things went through my mind at almost the exact same time: I haven’t accomplished my dreams yet! Yes I have, they just didn’t turn out the way I thought they would.
You’re hearing from me now at one of those turning points we all go through in life. Ask me this question again in six months and my answer might be dramatically different. But for now …
I have always dreamed of being an author. I dreamed of other careers because I knew I might not make it as an author, but writing is in my soul. That’s why, when my husband suggested I try to write full time, I jumped at the chance. (FTR I don’t regret this decision, but I don’t recommend it either.)
The thing about dreams are that they seldom reflect reality. For writers, the dream is J.K. Rowling, but no other writer in the history of writers has ever been as successful as she has. She might as well not exist. Most “bestselling” authors are lucky to make a comfortable middle-class income and they represent less than one-tenth of one percent of authors in the world. If you ask most of us what our dream is, it’s a seemingly simple one. We just want the bestseller list. We want to be able to support ourselves and our family doing what we love. (Okay, in our *wildest* dreams everyone wants to be the next J.K. Rowling but that fantasy is a bit like winning the lottery, only less likely.)
Of course, that’s not the *whole* dream. Here I am, the author of six published books (plus one more coming next year). I’ve sold thousands of books. I have fans. I have glowing reviews of my books. People are falling in love with a character I created out of my own blood, sweat, and tears. I’m making people happy. They want to know, “What’s next for you?” And they mean it. Whatever it is, they want to be a part of it. That’s heady stuff.
But I imagine you can see now why I’m stuck between two gut-level reactions. It may be that, “How do you accomplish your dreams?” is the wrong question. Maybe we should ask instead, “How do you measure success?” That’s where I am right now; that’s the turning point. I’m trying to decide how *I* measure success.
I have a guilty secret – that I love to watch talent shows like America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and Rising Star. I see the people put their heart and soul out on the stage and I know what that’s like. Oh, you don’t want to hear me sing, but I really do get it. And I know that most of the acts, most of the singers, even the ones talented enough to make it on the show, will never be superstars. The world doesn’t have room to give superstardom to everyone, not even everyone with amazing talent. But if I could say something to those people who walk off the stage, head hung low or defiantly high, it would be this: You’re a singer if you sing. You don’t have to do it in front of millions of people to be a success.
I’m a writer because I write. I’m an author because I put my work out there, risking public scrutiny in hopes of receiving public acclaim. Whether one person reads my book or a billion, I’m still an author.
And that, I think, is the key to living your dreams. Be happy with the now while always seeking, never giving up.