We all know them, those people who think it’s their purpose on earth to direct the lives of others—to suck the life out of our “impractical” dreams with logic and statistics. They have the best intentions. But they can’t seem to stop themselves from painting the worst case scenario. And if we aren’t careful, their doomsday predictions will cause us to veer off the path we know in our hearts we are meant to take.
To understand my Dream Killer experience, let’s take a quick peek into the past…
Story telling is in my blood. Even as a little girl, the dramas I created for Barbie and Ken would take days to act out—and usually involve the evil Donny and Marie twins, a mischievous Holly Hobby and a gaggle of Smurf secondary characters.
But it wasn’t until I discovered reading fiction that my obsessive affair with words began. I would spend hours upon hours in my room with Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, L. Frank Baum, Laura Ingalls Wilder and more. I still remember the intense excitement of discovering a new book at the local library and running all the way home so I could devour it like a pint of triple chocolate ice cream.
So it was no surprise to anyone that, like my hero Lois Lane, I chose journalism as my major in college. It wasn’t fiction, but at that time writing my own novels hadn’t even entered my mind. I imagined myself as an investigative reporter, chasing the facts that would make a good story, great!
At the beginning of my junior year, I was well on my way to my dream job, when a “well-intentioned” professor sat me down and gave me the talk. You know the one: “You’ll never make any money writing for a newspaper. It’s pure grunt work, writing stories about old women who take in stray cats. It’s a waste of your talent.” “The hours are horrible – don’t you want to have a family some day?” And then the clincher: “What you really need to do is broadcast journalism. With your looks, you could get a job at a big network!”
Ah hello, introvert here. Just reading aloud in front of the class made me hyperventilate. Sure, I wanted adventure, but behind the scenes. Not in front of a camera where hundreds of thousands of people could scrutinize my every move! But I also didn’t want to write uninteresting stories for no money and work crazy hours. So, I went to my guidance counselor and changed my major to the uber-practical Sociology with an emphasis in Human Resources.
Since I’ve been pursuing writing as a career, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “That’s nice that you write books, but the chances of anything you write being in a bookstore is astronomically low.” Or something similar. Wrong, sir WRONG!
If you have a dream, no matter how impractical or unrealistic, you do everything within your power to pursue it. You work towards that goal every single day until you accomplish it. I’m not saying it will be easy or there won’t be times you want to give up, (or throw your computer through a window. Just sayin’) but don’t you dare listen to the Dream Killers out there who want you to fit their mold of success!
And yes, my debut novel, DOON, will be hitting *bookstore shelves everywhere* August 20th of this year. :-D
Take that, you Dream Killers!
How about you Honest Reader? Tell me about your Dream Killer experiences...
Lorie Langdon is the author of DOON, Brigadoon reimagined, co-written w/Carey Corp. Book 1 coming 8/20/13 from the new YA imprint BLINK (a division of Zondervan/HarperCollins)
P.S. Stop back this Thursday for the official DOON cover reveal and giveaway!