What Do We Have to Lose By Pursuing a Dream?
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What Do We Have to Lose By Pursuing a Dream?

It's been a lifelong dream of mine to write novels. Ever since I watched my sister brainstorm story ideas when I was a young girl, I've wanted to write. Every year, I dabbled in story and novel writing, sometimes writing crummy but complete first drafts and more often than not writing incomplete manuscripts. Aside from them being incomplete, I had no idea where to begin editing them – they needed so much work.

But in late 2016, I started getting serious about studying and practicing the craft of writing. I’ve been writing since I was eleven years old, and I started writing and editing professionally in 2008. But it really wasn’t until I devoted time and effort to honing my novel writing skills that I started seeing drastic improvements in my abilities. That’s not to say my writing is perfect. It’s not. I need to keep developing my skills. But I’ve gotten to a point where I’m finally satisfied with my work.

I’m a perfectionist. And self-doubt kept me from striving toward my potential as a novelist. The stories that I wrote before and the writing was never good enough. And if I’m being honest with myself, it’s true. I should not have published them, so it’s a good thing I never did. If perfectionism hadn’t been an issue, I’d have published a novel a long time ago. And maybe, despite the vast amount of work the manuscript would have needed, I would have been better for it.

But none of that matters. It’s in the past. I can’t go back in time and publish a novel at the beautifully young age of twenty-one. I have to settle for the equally beautiful young age of thirty-five.

I’ve learned a lot in the last almost-fifteen years and I’m looking forward to the next fifteen because I know my writing skills will continue to improve the more I write and the more I study and practice the craft.

While the novel writing is a challenge and it’s hard to keep up with my target word count every day, I’m having a blast. I’m focusing on writing quality words and I’m editing as I go.

The main point I wanted to make is this: it doesn’t matter when we start. What matters is that we are pursuing the dreams that have been placed in our heart.

It’s worthwhile to pursue a dream. And if we never start, we’re missing out. Working toward a dream or a passion is what inspires us to keep pressing through the resistance. There will be resistance, guaranteed, but if we’re devoting time and effort to pursuing a goal or dream, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when we truly start to view life as meaningful and fulfilling. We’re no longer missing out because we’re pursuing something we’re passionate about.

So, today, whatever God has placed on your heart to do, whatever is good and true, whatever you’ve longed to do but never had the courage to start pursuing, work it into your schedule and get started. Don’t miss out. Go after your dreams one small step at a time.

Jody Calkins
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Jody Calkins

MG/YA Author & Book Editor at Emery Road Writing Services, LLC
Jody Calkins is a MG/YA Author & Book Editor, Writer's Coach, Content Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Pilot's Wife. Author of SHATTERED, a YA speculative thriller. Her editing services and training programs help novelists improve their writing skills, get motivated to write, improve productivity and time management, and battle self-doubt and other roadblocks. She works with middle-grade, young adult, and adult books in a variety of genres including Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, and Self-Help.
Jody Calkins
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