Advice From One Newbie To Another: Hang Onto Your Dream

Blossom I am just starting out in this wonderful world of writing. If you are reading my blog, then chances are so are you. I am an older writer, but what I would like to share with you is ageless. Have you ever been open and honest with someone about your dream? I am speaking of your love for writing. You want to write novels and hope that people buy them. You want to express yourself as nobody else can. You want to share that with them and hope that they support you. How did they react? Supportive or dismissive?

I’ll share a story with you to illustrate my point. I was an older student when I decided to go to college. I wasn’t sure then what I wanted to do. I went through several different courses to decide. One thing I did know. It had to challenge me and be interesting at the same time. Not an easy task. I honestly do not remember learning to read. I was the youngest in a very large family; 7 brothers and 2 sisters. It was a very convoluted family. A case of yours, mine and ours. My father was married once before, resulting in one sister. My mother was married twice, resulting in 7 brothers and one sister. We were so spread apart that there was only two brothers that I actually grew up with. My point here, yes I am getting to it.. 🙂 is that my brothers would read to me, and I suppose that is how I learned to read. The youngest next to me was my brother, Richard, and he was 9 years older than me. When I was 4 years old, my earliest memory, I was reading his textbooks, fluently. I have loved to read all my life. When I decided to take writing classes, that was it for me. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I loved it. Then I lost my funding and although I applied for scholarships I didn’t get them and had to quit college. I still wanted to write. Now you must realize, this was quite some time ago, in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s. This predates Facebook, Twitter, even the entire internet. Completely before digital. To be published you had to send your manuscript in, physically typed out, and it went to a slush pile. Getting an agent wasn’t encouraged until you were established. So–you sent it in and hoped that the first reader liked it enough to send it on. If not, it was tossed aside and rejected. So, can you guess what happened next?

When I told those that I’d hope would encourage me, they pretty much laughed at me! “Oh, come on, you have to be really lucky to get published and most writers are only successful after they are dead!” (Untrue then and now) “Get a real job that you can count on and don’t rely on a pipe dream!” They shook their heads and that was the end of the discussion. Then I made my biggest mistake and the point of this post–I listened to them!! I got a real job, in fact several of them. I was in customer service and sales and marketing for over 30 years. I still read, and wanted to write, but I didn’t think it was possible. It was too late. I didn’t know enough to write. I never finished my degree and felt inadequate. So I stayed away from what I really wanted to do–write!

Well, a couple of years ago, after being forced into an early retirement, I finally had a computer and time on my hands. I could get back into writing. I have a wonderful roommate. We are two 50-something ladies with a dog and we have been roommates since 2005. She said: “Go for it! Every since I’ve known you, you’ve always wanted to write!! I think you should, it is your time now!!” I finally got the encouragement I had been searching for for years! So I said, “Yes!! I’m going to do it!!” I started reading up on this new digital age and publishing. It is a whole new world! I can do it! The first thing I learned was it is important to have an author’s platform and it is never too early to start. I started this blog first. I will write more on platforms later. So–

My advice is this: No matter how old you are, very young or not so young or in between, NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!! Never let anyone tell you that you are too young to write. You have emotions, you study people and want to write about it. I say Go For It!! If you are an older adult like myself, don’t be intimitated by the digital world. Open yourself up for new experiences. You can do whatever you set your mind to. I am working on my debut novel, and I have the confidence that it is going to be good. I don’t expect miracles, because with everything you do, you have to start somewhere. Your first book will not be as good as your second and your third even better. We all improve with practice. You will never get to the second book until you write the first one! I know, that’s obvious, but needs to be said. Never, ever give up!! Keep writing! There is no one that can tell YOUR story, but you!!

Have you ever felt like this? Do you feel like this now? Please comment and tell me yours experience. This blog is for all of us “Newbies”. Have you read a good book that you would recommend to other readers? Please comment and leave a link. I welcome all comments and recommendations.

My next review will be the most awaited winner of my contest for the spotlight interview and review. I am still reading but hope to finish shortly, so stay tuned! I am going to try to be better about the frequency of the posts on here. I appreciate all who read. 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Advice From One Newbie To Another: Hang Onto Your Dream

  1. I too had to take early retirement and found myself with my first book on my hands at age 60. I’ve just published the fourth as an indie writer.It doesn’t matter what age you start as long as you start if writing is your dream. It doesn’t matter if people buy it, though it’s nice when they do. What is important is fulfilling that dream for yourself.
    If your aim is to sell books then make sure you write, edit and edit again so that no matter the subject, the reading is clean and easy.
    Don’t let your age be a factor and don’t let anyone else put you off. Have the confidence to go for it.

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  2. My experience is similiar yet different. I never had a chance to go to college till I was in my early 40’s. So I went for a year, then life once again got in the way and I quit. I’ve always wanted to write books. I also love to read. So now that I’m older I’ve decided now is my time! Now I write like I’ve always wanted to. I never got the acceptance from my home life. Never. Still don’t from my family. But now I’m writing and all ready have a couple of short stories published so I agree with you. Never give up your dreams no matter how old you are. They CAN come true, but only if you try.

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    • I am sorry to hear that you don’t have the support of your family, but very happy to hear that you are writing for YOU. That is the most important thing. If that is your dream, no one will stop you! 🙂 Thanks so much for writing, and I hope that you’ll visit often. 🙂

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  3. It took me years to admit I was a writer, and then years to come to terms with what that meant, and then years to even admit what kind of writer I was. This is very common amongst writers. I think it’s because it’s very personal to all of us, and we have some kind of vulnerability over telling people about it.

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    • Oh, I agree completely Katie! It is so hard when we don’t have at least one person in our corner that believes in us. That is really important. Depending on the story we tell, each story has a piece of the author’s soul in it. We dig deep to get to that part that will make the scene feel authentic. If you aren’t willing to go there, it won’t ring true. That may have been part of my problem. Truthfully, if you want to write, you will write. I can’t place the blame on others. They could have voiced their opinions, and I could have ignored it and wrote anyway. I think we each have our time to write. I have seen some wonderfully talented young, very young authors. That was their time. They had something to say. I believe for whatever reason, I didn’t write earlier because it wasn’t my time. Maybe I needed the life experiences I’ve gone through since my college days, or maybe just maybe, I wasn’t ready to dig deep enough for those emotions to come through. Sounds like another post idea.. 🙂 Thanks for your comments. You always seem to make me think!! (Miracke Worker, You) .. 🙂

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  4. Thanks for sharing this! So much of this article rang true for me! All I ever wanted was to write and as a child and young adult I did just that… fifteen or twenty years ago I was sending out manuscripts and awaiting those rejections! Then lack of support and life got in the way. I listened to the person telling me I was wasting my time, I gave up my dreams. I spent a lot of time feeling inadequate, and wishing I could write.
    Finally in the last couple years I started listening to the voice in my OWN heart, but as you said, publishing had changed dramatically over the years. I set out to learn and finally realized I no longer had to be an “aspiring writer” because I am and always have been, a “writer”. I’m new to all this and know I will make mistakes, but I am looking forward to the journey and the lessons I will learn. Good luck to you!!

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    • Thanks for writing, Kristi! I am so glad that you found the post useful. I completely agree with you, there is no such thing as an “aspiring writer.” If you write, you are a writer. Aspiring mean hoping for, but not acting on it. That is not you, and not me either! I will go as far as to say that there is no such thing as an “aspiring author” either. Ok, technically there is I suppose. But not for me. I haven’t had anything published yet, but I have begun a novel. So, I am out of the “aspiring” part of it and I am writing a longer work, which is the definition of an author. There is no law that says you must be published to be an author. I think it is what you consider yourself. On my Facebook page, I have an author page. I have never had anyone mention that I was being presumptuous. 🙂 Maybe I am, but if I call myself an author, I am. I will keep writing because it is what I do. I am so happy to hear that you didn’t completely give up on your dream. I would love to invite you to my Facebook page if you would like to visit. When I reach 1,000 likes on there, I will be running a second contest for a chance to jump my queue and have a spotlight interview and review here on my blog. If you are unpublished, don’t worry, because I intend to have more contests. Thanks again for sharing! 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/beckysbooknotes

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  5. I am sitting here, still not quite able to admit or voice that I am a writer. When people ask me what I am doing now, after having resigned from my job of 20 years, I tell them I am pursuing a career in writing. I am afraid if I tell them I AM a writer they will give me the disbelieving “crazy” look. People have been supportive. They know I am intelligent, competent, and productive, so maybe I could make it in writing. Or, maybe they just keep quiet and wonder when I will get over my mid-life crisis and get a “real” job, again. Your stories here are giving me hope. I have always done what I thought I was supposed to do, never what I truly WANTED to do. Now is my chance and my time. I don’t have anything published yet, but am learning the whole “promote yourself” technique on the internet. I am taking classes, and joining social writing sites that help me meet people, like you, who have experienced the chain of events that eventually gets you published. It is all so new and exciting, yet extremely overwhelming. I want to write novels. That is where I am headed. In the meantime, I WRITE. No, I AM a WRITER. Right? WRITE? I am glad I stumbled on your site, it is very encouraging!

    Rebecca Braun
    http://www.facebook.com/aeternalumen
    http://aeternalumen.tumblr.com
    https://twitter.com/aeternalumen

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    • Well, when you tell them that you are pursuing a career in writing, that isn’t a lie. We learn everyday. I read daily about the craft and make notes, just like I did when I was in college. I read a lot: books on the craft of writing and publishing; research for my novel; for my reviews on here; and for pleasure. Although, simply for pleasure seems to have taken a backseat. Don’t be afraid to claim the fact that you are as writer, or an author. If you are writing, you are a writer. I actually approached it a little differently. I’ve had problems in the past sticking to projects. I would start them all gung-ho, then give up. I had given up on my writing before due to what other people said, or thought. So, this time, I told everybody. I only started just short of telling strangers in the street that I was writing a book! I honestly expected the eye-rolls and the scoffing–but, I didn’t get that! Instead, I got encouragement! Not just from the writing community, but from everyone! They were interested and not one person acted like I couldn’t do it. Now, I mentioned the writing community. Wow! I was blown away at the support I got there. There are so many experienced writers that are willing to tell you about their experiences and are willing to help. I couldn’t believe how I was embraced by everyone. I hadn’t published anything, I was a nobody, or I was in my own mind anyway. But the writing community took me at my word, and they included me in this group, I was made to feel like one of them. Now, see I was too far gone. I had told everyone I was a writer, an author in the works–of course I had to follow through now! No quitting! You know the old saying: “Winners never quit and quitters never win!” So true. So, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by claiming that you are a writer. If you wrjite one word, or two or 1.000–it doesn’t matter. If you have words of your own creation, you ARE a writer! If there is anyone that tries to tell you different, they are the ignorant ones, because only you define who you are. I THINK THEREFORE I AM..the old philosopy axiom, fits here. I think I am a writer, so I write–therefore, I am a writer! 🙂

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