Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dare to Share: When I Grow Up

*Post inspired by the the Lightning and the Lightning-bug Dare to Share prompt, "When I grow up."
This week for the Dare to Share Link Up I'd like you to link to a post about your dream job, what you wanted to be when you grew up as a child...what you want to be now. Tell us about your dreams and how you're going to make them come true. This post can be old or new, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose.

The lights are blinding, but I know what's before me. So many voices, all screaming my name; a sea of adoring, shouting fans. All chanting. For me.

I try not to squint into the spotlight and instead smile, widely. I even take a little bow; not too overdone, but tasteful. Elegant.

As I bring the microphone to my mouth and a hush washes over the crowd, I feel my quickened heartbeat. I raise my hands in anticipation for the first note of the song I just wrote and recorded last month.

And I sing my heart out, the feel of the microphone in my hand and the stage beneath my feet the best sensations I ever experienced. My voice carries, to everyone and everything, and it frees me. And I hope it frees them, too.

And that microphone is the best gift the universe has ever given me.

That used to be my dream. As a child, a teenager, and even as a young adult. I loved the rush that singing on a stage provided and whenever I was presented with the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" a singer/songwriter was all I could fathom. Nothing else fit. It was unrealistic, I knew. And so did everyone else, telling me it was impossible to make it in that industry. And they were right. But it was all I wanted.

And then I got married, had kids. I realized that my new responsibilities could never allow for that, not with the amount of attention I wanted to devote to my family. Besides, I wasn't that good anyway.

So I took my love for words, prose, literature, and reading, and turned it into a hobby. I decided to start writing, just for fun. I was a SAHM and drowning in a lack of hobbies. And writing was a perfect solution.

But then I became hooked. I realized just how much I actually loved it. Who knew I could write?

I couldn't stop, even though I did it all in secret. I told no one of my new passion, not even my husband. And I'd quickly hide my work whenever he'd enter the room, in a oh-no-I'm-looking-at-porn sorta way. I was too much of a rookie and had way too much to learn. Really, I was a joke. And people would laugh at me if they knew I was writing.

Or worse, they'd ask to see my work.

But then my husband got suspicious I was looking at gorgeous hunks on the internet it came out. And surprisingly (though it shouldn't have been surprising), my family was more supportive than ever. My husband even allowed me time away from the kid to feed my passion, because he wanted to be married to a famous author who'd rake in the dough so he could quit his job cared about my interests and wanted me to feel like me again.

And I did feel like me. More me than I'd ever felt, actually. Finally, I had found MY passion. THE thing that made me me and allowed me to express myself. I'd thought it was in singing (don't get me wrong, singing and music is still a huge love of mine), but I was wrong. And it only took me until I was twenty-four to find it.

Eventually, I finished my first novel. Then I wrote another. And another. And though the road from start to now (I don't say "finish" because I know I'm still at the beginning of this journey) has been eye-opening, painful, and a huge learning experience, it has been so rewarding.

Because with writing, I've found out who I really am and what I'm capable of. Because of writing, I feel I have purpose, aside from being the mom of three boys and the wife to another boy.

I fell in love, and even though we argue and have cold spells, I continue to fall in love every moment I spend with it.

So, instead of doing the career that's nearly impossible to make a living in, I chose a career dream that's even more impossible to make a living in: novel writing. This is a difficult time to be heard as a fiction writer, more difficult than it ever has been. Renowned editor and author, Pat Walsh, said that out of everyone trying to publish with a traditional publisher, only 2% will succeed. Yes, that's right. TWO PERCENT.

And that was a few years ago. It's even harder now.

So, though the odds may not be in my favor, I will continue to write, revise, submit, revise, and revise (did I say revise?). Because if I don't, I'm not so sure I'd survive.

Okay, I would. It just wouldn't be pretty.

And who knows, maybe I'll even go the new and more recently accepted route of self-publishing. Or even self-epublishing (seems to be the new trend). We'll see where the road takes me.

So until then, I go back to revising.

So that, just maybe, one day my dream of seeing my novel on a Borders Barnes & Noble shelf can come true.


~Becky~ said...

Thank you for sharing. <3

Slidecutter said...

"I fell in love, and even though we argue and have cold spells, I continue to fall in love every moment I spend with it."...this totally sums up what pushes us to write.

Good for you in having finished novels; I'm slowly revising my first book and working towards the whole self-publish thing at some point. I just want to see my work all dolled-up in an eye-catching cover and feel relieved that I finally finished this project.

Totally enjoyed your post!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

I wish you success with getting published but are sad to say our Borders stores around here are closing. I went the self-publishing route, simply because I wrote a book in memory of my dad when he died and was anxious for it to get done. I never thought I'd write a book and never dreamed I'd be a writer. It's online at Amazon and BN.

Mel said...

This is inspiring. It really takes courage to find something you love and pursue through thick and thin. Keep going!

GeminiWriter said...

One of my very good friends wanted to be a rock star once. But she too has discovered writing and is taking a stab at it. Good luck with yours!

Jackie said...

I think author is far more interesting then rock star!
It's obvious the passion you feel in writing. I hope to find your book someday in my hands.

Jen said...

I will be the first person to buy your book :)

May said...

Good for you! I found myself wrapped up in the excitement of your post and I am cheering for you all the way!

Anonymous said...

I liek reading someone who throws down passion.

Well done.

wow you have lots of blond boys. I have three girls, two are blond. Keep your boys away from them! just kinda sorta kidding.

from trdc


kisatrtle said...

Writers trump rock stars

Stacy said...

Thanks for sharing this post. As someone who hid my writing from my family for quite a while, it's very inspiring to read your story.

Visiting from RDC:)