Where does the time go?
I was fortunate enough to publish on this esteemed site two years ago, again last year, and now owing to the generosity of Gilda Evans, I’ve the opportunity to circle back a third time as this stage of my journey is completed.
And quite a journey it’s been. Hopefully still the nascent stages, and that’s been kind of my point: I’m no spring chicken. The previous posts—A Dream Deferred and A Dream Continued– acknowledged that writing has been a lifelong dream but that I’ve only mustered the discipline and effort to get serious about it after 40 was in the rearview mirror. And how, really, that was okay. For me, for you, no matter your age, your stage, your dream. Life happens, and we roll with it as best we can. With many bumps along the way, I learned that it didn’t have to be one or the other—everyday life or our dreams—but that it was possible for both to support the other. Not always easily. But possible.
So here we are. Two years ago I was stumbling through that necessary but intimidating world of platform-building—literary, not railway, though at times it can seem as heavy a lift. One year ago I’d found a publisher for my labor of love novel and now, after navigating the often-choppy waters of bringing a book to publication, I can finally say my book is being released.
But…now what? I always hoped I’d be able to visit this site again with that proverbial capstone piece—perhaps A Dream Realized—wherein I detail how—voilá!—I’d finally made it, gotten my book published and so there you go. Except, where you go? Where I go? What next? And so, naturally, I came back down to earth a bit, but it’s all good. Okay, yeah, I’d fantasized about catching lightning in a bottle with this first novel and being able to write full-time and be financially set due to the JK Rowling-esque sales. But even if I snared that thunderbolt of fortune, the same question would remain: what now? For the dream was never to write once, hit it big, and never write again. The dream is that any commercial success I might one day enjoy from pursuit of my dream might afford me the opportunity to flip the script, as it were, and keep on pursuing that dream for a living. And so if you have ever, or may one day arrive at a similar juncture in the pursuit of your dream, don’t let yourself get derailed at the crossroads. I’ve seen it happen, equating (even subconsciously) a key step in your journey with the finish line. It can overwhelm you, the feeling that hey, I published the book, or recorded the song, or ran a half-marathon or, hell, made it out of bed and went to work and took care of my kiddos today. That was the goal, maybe even the dream, and yet why isn’t everything different now?
It’s okay to feel that way for a bit, but do shake it off and stand tall. You’ve come too far. Life happens and will keep happening and it’ll always be something of a grind. Even if and when we get to do what we love for a living that doesn’t relieve us of our responsibilities or hard work or stress or conflict. Even achieving the dream of doing what we love is, at its core, changing up what constitutes that daily grind. Flipping the script a bit. The best writers will say that you absolutely must treat it like a job and write every day, make it your routine, be disciplined. It was so easy, all of those years, to get overwhelmed and never get started. And it would be all too easy now to succumb to that whole “now what” phenomenon. But I won’t. I’ve come too far. So have you. Frost poems play a part in my novel, and my friends, I’ve got promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.
Daryl Rothman’s YA/Fantasy novel, The Awakening of David Rose, published by Booktrope, launches April 25 and is available on Amazon, B&N, & iBooks. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and three children. Visit him also at Twitter, Linked In , Google + or his website.
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Guest posts are the opinion of that author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Gilda Evans or others posted here.