A Personal Take On Daring To Dream
by Writing Workshops Org Admin
8 months ago
I've said this more than once: My life changed last year (2019) because I decided to take myself seriously as a writer. I want to share with you why I started to take myself seriously.
I made a decision in December of 2018 that in 2019 I was going to take some classes and/or go to writing conventions. I didn't make it to a convention last year (I WILL this year, I promise), but I did sign up for the Dare to Dream 2019 seminar at Writing Workshops Dallas with Whitney Davis.
I met Whitney at this seminar and immediately knew I'd like her. She went into this detailed lecture on time management, shedding fear, and setting realistic goals. She did all of this with massive heart, killer humor, and an ability to see through bullshit. Whitney teaches screenwriting and has worked on shows such as Breaking Bad. I KNOW, RIGHT?!
I devoured the information she had to give and set about setting those goals.
Fun update: I crushed those goals.
The novel that took me seven-effing-years to complete suddenly got finished by spring, I was sending queries by summer. I got 22 no's, but I got one "Let me see the whole thing" and that is a big fucking deal.
(Also, I got almost 38,000 words done on Dark Ember since November and that's awesome.)
Well, I wanted to go back to that seminar, especially since I started to lose steam with Dark Ember toward the holidays. At least, I thought I had. Turns out, I'd written a ton more than I thought. My husband got me a seat and I was SO pumped to get down to business this year.
I went back to see Whitney for another kick in the pants this January. I felt like an entirely different person sitting in that seat again. I've taken more classes with WWD, but last year I was this scared person who had a crippling case of imposter syndrome. I hated the thought of rejection, I paled at the thought of trying to sell a book. Trying to get a meeting with someone might have actually killed me.
This time, I no longer felt like the panicky newbie, I felt so much more confident. I have gained confidence as a writer and as a person. I know I am capable, I know I am talented, and I know I have something to say. All of this comes down to what Whitney helped me see in myself.
Whitney had more to teach me. I feel more capable than I did last year, more likely to push myself. I want to set loftier goals, I want to push myself harder. My dream is within my reach and I know it.
I'll share with you my "Keystone" goal, which I set in Whitney’s seminar this year. My ultimate goal with my writing is very simple:
I want to make a living from my writing.
That's it. I don't have to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. I just want to make a living doing the thing that I love.
For this year, my Dare to Dream 2020 goal is to finish Dark Ember and be in the query process while still (maybe) searching for an agent for The Guardian. I know this is a lofty goal, but I need to push myself more this year.
I must say a huge thank you to Whitney. She, literally, changed my life. Going back was even more affirming. I left that seminar knowing I am doing exactly what I should be doing.
I will never again call myself an 'aspiring' writer. I am a writer. Full stop.
Don’t give up. Set those goals. Make a plan. Crush the goals.
C.A. Lightfoot earned a degree in Criminal Justice and worked alongside police officers in Texas for several years as a Humane Law Enforcement Officer. She has been writing all of her life, usually in the urban fantasy/paranormal genre. Currently, C.A. lives in North Texas with her husband, children, and fur-babies. Visit her online at https://www.calightfoot.com/.