Friday, April 1, 2011

Do You Believe?

When I first decided I was going to be a published author, I got a real earful from friends, family and everyone who loved me and wanted the best for me. Was it love and support, a fist-pump and a "you go girl! You'll kick butt! Make those dreams come true!" Nope, not so much. It was more in the nature of, "I love you so much that I don't want you to be disappointed. It will never happen. It's only because I love you that I'm now going to show you copious amounts of evidence to prove it."

You know what? All those naysayers for some reason didn't make me tremble. They didn't make me retreat. Maybe it was because I was so fed up with my life that I was so desperate to have dreams. Maybe it was my soul knew that it was destined for this direction. Maybe it was simply that I was feeling stubborn. But for whatever reason, when people told me that, it didn't cow me. It made me mad. What right did anyone have to tell me I couldn't attain my dreams? But at the same time, I have to admit, it did plant insidious, whispering seeds of doubt deep, deep in my heart. Were they right? Was I wasting my time? Were my dreams nothing but fluff?

But I refused to listen to their criticisms and their doubts. I shouted for my dreams more loudly than the seeds of doubt could yell. I focused on what I wanted and what I knew I was capable of doing, even after I'd written 18 manuscripts and had 150 rejections. No one believed I was could do it. Except me.

I stopped telling people how many books I'd written. I stopped telling people how many rejections I'd gotten. Because I knew that they would use that as evidence that I didn't have what it takes. And if they did that to me, I might start to doubt myself. I might start to think they were right. So I hunkered down, stayed focussed and refused to give anyone the tools to amplify the doubt devils stirring deep in my soul.

And then it happened. I finally sold a book! And I've sold more than twenty since then, in an assortmetn of genres and to several different publishers. Why did I sell? Because I believed in myself and refused to let anyone take my dreams away. Oh, I had doubt (18 unsold manuscripts will do that to you!). I had fear. But I kept my dreams and my faith burning so that they were always just a little bit stronger than the fear and the doubt. And it worked. Oh, it worked!

What about you? Have you had anyone tell you that your dreams are stupid, or that you'll never succeed? How do you stop yourself from listening to them? How do you make yourself believe in yourself when things look grim?


Sharon S. said...

wow, you should give a talk for those writers out there who are afraid to take that first step or have tried and started listening to those nay-sayers.

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