Note from Katie: Hey everyone! While I’ve been a bit quiet around here, I’m working diligently behind the scenes (more to come soon!), but I didn’t want to leave you entirely high and dry so I’m so excited to bring you this treat from my blogging friend, Meg! 🙂 I’ll let her take it from here…
The Importance of Dreaming Big – Meg D. Gonzalez
“I want to be a doctor, a ballerina, and a house-builder.” At my kindergarten graduation, this was my answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
As kids, we know how to dream big, don’t we? But it seems like somewhere along the way between high school and college and needing a job that will pay the rent, we seem to forget those big dream. Instead of setting our eyes on the horizon, we set our eyes on the weekend to the time when we can binge-watch our current Netflix obsession.
Don’t get me wrong, we need time to relax and unwind. But we need to find a better balance between downtime and pursuing our dreams.
I’ve been writing novels since I was 14 years old. Between theater practice and homework, I would find time to pound out a few hundred words because I had a dream of becoming a published author one day.
Fast forward to college, I fiddle with short stories (which I hated) for creative writing class, but other than that I was too busy to fit writing into my schedule. I had class and sleep and friends to worry about.
After college, I had a weird transition year in which I moved to Mexico. I couldn’t get a job because I didn’t have the right visa—and my Spanish was awful. After a month of binge-watching TV, I sat my butt down to write 5,000 words a week.
I had no clue what I was doing. I had no idea other than “Teenage girl travels to Mexico. Funny things happen.” But I had a dream, a goal in mind.
I finished that first, horrible draft and then I picked it to pieces. Whole chapters landed on the cutting room floor. I read books and articles on the craft of writing. I studied and worked, and by the time I was done. I was pretty darn proud of myself.
I hired an editor to help me refine the story. I thought she’d come back telling me how great the story was. Nope. Not even close.
Back to the cutting room. Back to the books on craft. Back to the hours of hard work, but I was now back in the States, balancing a full time job. It was tiring and at times I hated the work, but I had a passion for it and I could not stop.
Once again, I was proud of myself. I was ready for an agent, I thought. So I sought out a conference. Instead of an agent, I got an ego check and a whole lot of knowledge. I allowed myself about four hours to feel crushed. I crawled back to my room and cried to my husband. Then I picked myself up, soaked in everything I could, and went back to the drawing board.
I started the novel again from scratch. It was painful and painstaking. I left my job and found more flexible work. It didn’t pay as much, but it allowed me to pursue my goal.
I hired yet another editor. And finally, I had moved past the story-wide problems. More conferences, more heartbreak, but I made some amazing connections. Those connections led me to my first break—an agent.
Months of refinement and proposals later, I was offered a book deal. Now, three and a half years after I began the first draft, my YA travel novel, Sketchy Tacos, is for sale on Amazon.
When you dare to dream big and throw all your effort into making those dreams come true, you can move mountains.
One month or one year goals are great, but you’ll see true change in those three-, five-, and ten-year goals. For those college entrance essays, they ask us what we want to do with our life. Too often, that’s the last time we ask ourselves this crucial question. Well, no more!
For me, I want to be a career author. I want to make a full-time living from writing and teaching other how to write so they can skip all the painful mistakes I made.
What about you? What do you want to accomplish in your life? How will your contributions make the world a better place?
These are the questions we need to asking to live all out and accomplish our dreams.
Who knew that one night of salsa dancing could change the course of a life?
When Meg D. Gonzalez accepted Alan’s offer of a dance, she began on a journey that pulled her out of her sheltered life and into a big and beautiful world. Living in Mexico for a year showed her a rich culture and varied landscape that captured her imagination, and she just knew she had to share.
Check out Meg D. Gonzalez’s new teen travel novel, Sketchy Tacos. Explore a new and vibrant culture through teenage artist Mila Gulick’s eyes while she struggles to find herself and her faith in fun-filled Mexico.
Meg would love to connect! You can email her at meg (at) megdgonzalez.com or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. To get the Rock Your 2017 Goals workbook, the first two chapters of Sketchy Tacos, and other awesome resources for FREE, click here now!