When I was seventeen, shortly before my eighteenth birthday, I wrote a novel. I had never taken a creative writing class. Nobody had ever explained plot, structure, and outlining to me. Yet, I had a dream of becoming a writer.
Looking back now, my protagonist had some character traits that may have caused readers to dislike her. However, the story had the right elements—background, situation, protagonist, antagonist.
Even though I knew nothing about writing and publishing, I knew my dream and had the courage to move forward.
That same year, I had an idea for a second novel and spent a good deal of the summer writing. I didn’t complete the second story, but came close. I kept both for a few years, and then threw them away. After all, a teenager wrote them about teenagers.
I had known I wanted to be a writer since the age of ten. My greatest desire was to write fiction. However, after high school, I allowed life to get in the way of writing.
At least, that’s what I told myself. In reality, I lacked courage. I made excuses. When I did write, I wouldn’t share it for fear of not being “good enough.” It took many years for me to allow someone else to read any of my writing. When I did share, the person was very kind, courteous and encouraging.
Several more years would pass before I had the courage to pursue fiction writing. I had ideas, thoughts, and the desire, but old fears kept me from pursuing my dream.
However, this year, I began writing more fiction. Next month I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo (a part of National Novel Writing Month.) Through the encouragement of several of my writing friends, I realize I can do it.
Fear can keep us from pursuing our dreams. Discouragement hinders us from achieving our goals. Having someone to come alongside us, to encourage us, makes a world of difference.
I asked myself, “What is the worst that can happen if when I complete this book? The answer? Even if it’s never published, I’ll have a completed manuscript.
Do you have goals and dreams? Has fear or discouragement kept you from achieving those goals? Please share in the comments.