Believe It – Claiming Your Dreams
Cross-posted at Damsels in Success.
Despite the fact that I was in my mid-twenties by the time I started writing regularly, and despite the fact that I was almost thirty by the time I had my first official writing job, I think I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. I loved writing anything and everything. And I loved reading—always thinking about how the story was formed, what the writer was imagining as she created a new world or learning as she reported on a recent event.
Unfortunately, despite my interest and aptitude for writing, I never believed that I was cut out to be a writer. When I started writing regularly, even publishing a few pieces in non-paying publications, I still rarely called myself a writer. I was a behavior therapist, a special education coordinator, a student, but never a writer. Eventually, I was hired to write professionally, but I continued to hesitate every time someone asked me, “What do you do?”
Over the last year or so, something has changed. During a recent walk in the park I met a woman that lives in my neighborhood and we walked together for several minutes, talking along the way. Only after the conversation was long over and I was home by myself did I realize that when she asked the Big Question, I answered, “I’m a writer.” There was no hesitation, no qualification, no embarrassment whatsoever. A simple answer: I am a writer. When, I wondered, had I begun to believe those words so completely?
Though I can’t prove it scientifically, I’d bet that the moment I began claiming that title as my own, the moment I began believing in my dream of becoming a full-time freelance writer and a novelist, was the moment I started seeing those dreams come true. When I recognized myself as a writer, I started looking for opportunities to write, and those opportunities always showed themselves. I’m not a full-time freelancer yet, and I’m still working on that manuscript, but I’m well on my way. That moment of bold proclamation in the park was just another step along the path I can now clearly see for myself. As soon as I started believing I was a writer, I became a writer. Even before I got my first freelance paycheck.
What is it that you’re hesitating to believe for yourself? What goals are you striving for? Whatever it is you want to be or do, start talking about it like it is already yours and see what a difference that belief makes in your ability get there. Try that new title on for size. Practice giving that acceptance speech. Take that freelance job. Believe in your dreams and begin to live them—even if it’s just in your imagination for now—and watch where they take you. The adventure is just beginning.
Posted in writing in general