A dream is like a fire: feed it, it gets bigger, ignore it, it dies.
If you’re lucky, you’ll remember it’s there before it’s gone, feed it and it might revive. If you’re not, you’ll see the ashes of what it was and wish you had given it a chance before letting the cool air of laziness put it out.
In the fall of 2012 I prayed, fervently, that if God wanted me to make a difference with my writing, if he would help me make a living at my writing, then to help my book, A Winter Storm, get published before I was 25 years old. On March 12, 2013, the 2-year anniversary of the day I was baptized into God’s family, and 10 days before my 24th birthday, A Winter Storm was available for purchase on the shelves of stores like Barnes and Noble, and on online stores like Amazon, Tate Publishing and others.
God swung open the door and said, Yes.
Here’s the truth: when God opens a door, you still have to do the work of walking through it. You are still responsible for the work it takes to see that dream come to fruition. I wrote a second book, A Mother’s Gift of Truth, and did the work to get it self-published.
But there’s more work to be done.
What is your definition of success? Mine was to become a famous writer – think Nora Roberts, Fern Michaels and Lisa Jackson. I was honestly somewhat surprised and disappointed to see my writing wasn’t an overnight sensation. I mean, a good 40 people loved what I wrote. The more research I did, however, I realized most people aren’t an overnight sensation. It only seems that way, but in reality it’s the result of years of honing skills and writing and writing and writing some more.
My definition of success has changed. Now, success is whether or not I’m making a difference in the lives of even one individual. Eventually I’d like to make a living off of what I’m writing and I’m working toward that goal, but for now I just want what I write to impact people. To challenge their views and make them do more to help themselves. To change. To see God for who He is and inspire people to follow Him.
My dream had reduced to coals in the last six months. So much change had happened, so many things had taken place and the demands of life became so loud and urgent I neglected the one passion I love more than almost anything else. I turned around and saw my dream glowing like embers in a fire that hasn’t seen fuel or oxygen in hours. I threw a little kindling on it and watched it come to life inside of me. In the last few weeks, about 15-20 people read my book, loved it, said so, and then… I woke up.
Keeping a dream alive is really difficult if you feel like you’re the only one who really believes in it. But here’s the hard truth – you’re the only one who is responsible for keeping it alive, and you’re the only one responsible for making it thrive.
I’m taking responsibility again. Grabbing hold of the reigns, my second book is now available for purchase. And I’m working on my third novel. My goal is to have it completed by Spring.
What dream are you neglecting? What dream have you let fall to the wayside because you don’t believe it really matters anymore? Or perhaps you haven’t seen it reach the level of success you think it should have by now – are you putting everything into it or are you just “kind of” trying? If you don’t throw all you have into it, it will fail. If you throw everything you have into it, it might still fail, but it’ll fail knowing you did everything you could. Not because you didn’t try, or because you let laziness determine what was going to happen to it.
I’m taking another crack at my dream. Now, what are you going to do about yours?