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Friday, November 13, 2009
Just Believe. Or Not. Whatever Works.
So, this industry. It's all about dreams, right? Dreams to be published, dreams to write a great book, dreams to get an agent, dreams to get *insert writing dream here*. They're our dreams. Ours. No one else nurtures these dreams and strives towards them. No one else takes care of them when they wake up at 2AM with a really, really great plot idea. Yes, there are people who encourage the snot out of us. But they didn't MAKE these dreams, and they won't be the ones to decide whether or not these dreams come true. We are. It is, ultimately, up to us. Right?
Wait -- what? Sara, you're wrong. It is up to me! It's MY dream! If I can dream it, I can do it!
Well, you're both right and wrong there. Because while it is GREAT to have a dream you are chug-chug-chugging towards, what happens when that dream gets a bit -- dull? What happens when you're up at 2AM, again, taking care of your dream, again, and start wondering why you're doing it? And what if, instead of a resounding chorus of "Because it's the greatest thing EVER!!", you get this odd, depressing cricket silence in response? What if you still WANT that dream, but when you look down at it in the wee hours of the night, you find you don't have that same spark you did when you first thought of it? Does that mean your dream won't come true, now that you find yourself less passionate about it?
While the whole Believe In Yourself motion can be amazingly inspirational and is the fuel for many a dream, it has one downfall: we have been somewhat conditioned to believe that we HAVE to believe in something in order for it to happen. For instance, we HAVE to believe that our book will get published. If we stop believing that, who else will? The book publishing forces will sense our lack of belief and refuse our request. We have to WANT it all the time. 24/7. We can never stop believing in ourselves.
But it's exhausting. And sometimes, quite honestly, I don't believe in myself. Sometimes I look at published authors and wonder how I ever thought I could be in their ranks. Sometimes I look at my dreams and think I should start over. But does that brief moment of disbelief mean things WON'T happen for me? If I went through months of disbelief, does that mean my dreams would fizzle out and kind of fade to nothing?
See, we don't HAVE to believe in things for them to happen. Some things just -- happen. Yes, it's a great motivation for us to believe in ourselves. But those moments of disbelief don't set us back. And even in the midst of our lowest moments of doubt, our dreams don't just decide not to come true. Because our dreams don't really need us to believe in them. They're magical enough on their own.