I used to think when people talked about taking risks in order to follow your dreams, they mainly meant the financial aspect of risk. I think that might be largely true, but as I’ve recently been following my dreams, I’ve discovered the risks aren’t always financial.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for literally longer than I can remember. Writing is that thing that gives me the most fulfillment. When I wake up in the morning, I think about being a writer. Likewise, when I go to sleep at night, I usually drift off dreaming about it. Even though it seems like I’m being melodramatic, I’m actually being completely serious!
Many of you know that I’ve recently been published in a magazine. It’s really quite awesome, and I think the relationship with Linux Journal might grow into something more. (I can’t really discuss details, but it’s pretty exciting stuff) I’m also trying to write at least a first draft of a fiction novel this winter. Needless to say, I’ve started down that scary road of dream fulfillment.
Here’s the part that threw me for a loop: The failure I’m worried about has nothing to do with finances. I’m not quitting my day job, and if I never make another penny writing, it won’t matter a whole lot to my family financially. We’re fine. However, if I write a book, and it sucks — then what?!?! The risk is that my dreams will crumble. I never realized just how significant that would be to me. See, a dream is exciting, but a reality is, well, pretty real. If I never try, the dream stays intact, but if I go for it, the dream might just fall apart.
The encouraging thing is that it turns out I’m actually a decent word-putter-togetherer. There is still the risk of failure, but I finally see that following any dream takes courage — because the risk of failure is always there! In my case, it’s not financial failure, but a crushed dream is almost harder to stomach than losing a job.
What a scary and exciting time in my life. Thanks for sharing it with me.