I leave today for the RWA National Conference in Florida. After weeks of planning, shopping, and packing, and after spending way too much money on airfare and a new wardrobe (my usual Arizona t-shirt and shorts wouldn’t cut it at a professional conference), I find myself wondering if it’s all worth it.
The answer is yes.
Turning Dreams into Goals
Too many people have dreams and never do what it takes to even turn them into goals, much less put in the work to make them reality. I didn’t want to be that kind of person. It doesn’t matter what your dreams are, whether it’s to be writer like me, or to be a dancer, singer, or the best parent in the world, at some point you have to figure out how to get from Point A to Point B. This is when your Dream becomes a Goal.
What’s the difference? Well, I can dream about winning the lottery, but since I have no idea how to make that happen, it will forever remain just a dream. But to turn my writing into a goal, I knew I had to a) actually write down the stories in my head, b) learn the craft of writing, and c) learn the business of publishing. But that’s just Step One.
Turning Your Dreams into Reality
Now comes the hard part. To turn your Dream into Reality, you have to actually do those goals you’ve set for yourself. And more importantly, you have to risk failure. Until you start working toward those goals, you haven’t risked anything. You’re never going to fail, but you’re never going to win either.
Some people are comfortable in that situation. It’s been said that only 5% of people who say they want to write and have story ideas actually finish writing the book. Five percent. That’s a lot of people not following through. Why?
Well, for one, to finish the book it takes time. A lot of time. It took me about 3 months of full days to finish my first draft. Then it took me months more to learn all those pesky grammar rules so I could write well. And then it took many, many more months to edit my story to be good enough.
What does all that mean? I was obviously willing to risk “wasting” a lot of time if nothing pans out from all that work. I was willing to risk “wasting” all that money to attend this conference. But more than that, I was willing to risk putting myself, my stories, my dreams out there for others to judge, critique, and rip apart.
Why would I risk all that? Because I believe in my dreams enough to do the work necessary to make them reality. Without the work, they would forever remain just a dream. I wanted to be a five-percent-er.
What about you? What are you willing to risk for your dreams? What kind of person do you want to be?