It’s easy to get discouraged in today’s world. It’s easy to beat yourself up and think that you are the only fish being shot at in the barrel. This year has not been easy for a majority of us. Some of us have been pushed to our breaking point and still refuse to give in to the demands of the poorly scripted world of politics, computer algorithms, and global disconnection of human souls.
One of the biggest shortages that I have observed so far this year, besides toilet paper and Lysol disinfectant spray, is loving oneself and not letting dreams wither away when faced with rejection and the passing of time. The world is going to try ten ways from Sunday to beat us into the ground. In response, we are going to have to adjust our fighting stance and throw one reason back just as soon as a negative thought or emotion enters our body. You are your limit, and the only thing that stands in your way, beside the necessary evil we call money, is you and your mind set.
The feelings of confusion, hate, lies, and deceit are not looking to uppercut us in the first round and knock us onto the mat. That’s too easy. Ten years ago, that may have been the case, but the rules on the battlefield have changed. The forces of the world are looking to hinder our minds and personal growth. The world is finding and has found ways to drag out the fight and jab us day after day, week after week, month after month, and eat away at our spirit until we finally exhaust ourself, cave in, and throw in the towel.
If you have a dream and are convinced that you have unique abilities, do you give up the first year when things do not go your way? Do you let someone telling you ‘no’ deter you from manifesting your inner destiny? Do you let one ‘yes’ get to your head so that you raise your nose above everyone else, an everyone else that you used to be before you received the validating nod? Do you let the word ‘wait’ make you impatiently question the things that you already know are going to come to pass if you simply let it?
I am here to tell you from personal experience, and please believe me when I uncover this secret – if one year or one ‘no’ breaks you or makes you give up on your gifts and dreams, it wasn’t meant for you to begin with!
Whenever my family gathers on birthdays, holidays, or special occasions, or if my handful of close friends that I confide in call or message me, they always ask if I have heard any news when it comes to me receiving the validation that I currently seek. They are not doing this to prod a hot poker into my rib cage like others out there would seek to do. They are doing this because they genuinely care. Everyone deserves having these types of people in their life. You deserve to have people like this in your life. Their hope feeds my hope in times when I may need encouragement, and I hope I reciprocate that feeling back to them.
I am inspired when I listen to people’s success stories, especially those that came from nothing or immigrated from another country to chase the American dream. For some selfish reason, it’s hard for me to take a riches to riches story seriously even though there is merit and underlying truths in them. Anybody, who has access to do so, can shake their parent’s or grandparents’ wallet and use their connections to get them to the front of the line. Anybody can take money and make money. The valid truth of what makes dreams addictive lies in the veins of those people who can take very little and, with struggle, strength, and perseverance, make the impossible possible.
My journey has been filled with more downs than ups, but I do not regret a single second of it. There was a point in time when I turned my back on writing and dabbled in creating original music in a three-piece band. During the two years of my rock star era, I reconnected with an adolescent female friend. She later became my wife.
In the dating era of our personal timeline, I remember her walking over to my personal bookshelf. She slid out a three ring binder that held one of my stories, A Story About Her. I had already electronically published them as an “Amazon author”, and she helped me convert them over to paperbacks. Deep inside my soul, that wasn’t good enough for me. I needed to grow, perfect my method, and seek out a mentor, so I deactivated my listings from their electronic service.
When she thumbed through the pages of my hard copy, she made a simple statement and asked an inevitable question that deserves to be tattooed somewhere on my body.
“You need to do something with this!”
She then asks the permanent ink question.
“What are you waiting for?”
*insert sounds of crickets chirping or a continuous echo*
“Seriously! What are you waiting for?”
I wiped the dust from my keyboard and got back to doing what I do best. Since then, I have written seven solid novels in the past five years, each one a different genre. My mom referred me to a guy she graduated high school with. He currently owns and runs a theatrical company in California. After talking with him and listening to his advice, he referred me to my editor slash agent. This veteran of the entertainment industry helped me red ink my earlier manuscripts, improved my writing style, and pushed me to write my first screenplay.
From time to time, doubt pokes its head in the door. I’ll call or text him.
“Are there any classes I need to take so I can be more appealing to whoever you’re pitching, considering I have a B.S. in Criminal Justice and nothing pertaining to liberal arts?”
“Don’t waste your time or money. Just keep writing. You will see.”
I rap my fingers on the countertop. I act surprised even though we’ve already had this conversation numerous times.
“Should we work on one of my shorter titles or my political piece or my Southern Gothic novel? It might have more curb appeal to your constituents as compared to the sixteen hundred paged beast that awaits them and the rest of the world?”
“Vernon, just keep writing! You will see.”
I stare at the hummingbirds fighting at the feeder outside my kitchen window.
“Do I need to abandon ship and look for some other dream to chase? I’d rather have an honest and hurtful yes to that question than a half hearted and deceitful no.”
“I would tell you if you were wasting your time! Trust me!
I go to ask another question but am answered before I can even speak it.
“Vernon! Listen! Just keep writing!”
I confess that I would not be blogging these tidbits to all of you if it were not for him. I would not know him if it were not for my mother and her old friend from high school. My keyboard would still be dusty if one special girl did not push me back behind my home keys and tell me to captain my ship. The ten unpublished books that I currently possess would not exist if I had let the rejection letters determine my destiny’s outcome. I would not have typed my books if my parents did not buy me my first time machine in 2002, my coveted Apple iBook G4.
Before long, if the path is right, everything starts connecting.
You are a beautiful creature and can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Whether you come from a trailer park, the projects, the suburbs, or a gated community – whether you are a single parent family, divorced, or happily married – whether everything is going against you, everything is on your side, or things are slowly falling into place, you can overcome the obstacles of this world and succeed if you do not let the no’s outweigh the yes’s and wait’s. You are capable of incredible things as long as you do not let fear decide your fate.
Your house, neighborhood, political status, race, or gender does not predict the entirety of your life. Your bank statement does not determine your worth because you are already priceless and one of a kind. If there is something you want to accomplish, a dream that you think could be turned into a reality, pursue it while you still have time and put your whole heart into it. If you are fine with you being you and simply living life to its fullest, I say do it. I pray the sun greets you every morning with warm delight and you live your days in happiness.
Discover your gift, whatever it may be, and share it with the world. If you feel like you do not have any gifts, first, get rid of that thought. Go to whichever door of your house, open it, and, as us Southerners would say, tell that negativity to, “git goin now”. Fall in love with yourself, spread that love, then accept it when it boomerangs back to you. Help someone in need. Lift someone up. Volunteer. Inspire. You can touch the lives of all ages and ethnicities by being yourself.
Keep that chin up, beautiful. Hold that head up, handsome. Things are tough right now, I know. Now is the time when we plan our curtain call and strategize on how to get there. If you can’t find a way, make a way. Be patient. Surround yourself with the right group of people. Breathtaking cities aren’t built in days, weeks, or months. Sometimes it takes years. Dreams are not reserved for the rich and elite only. They are reserved for people like me and you.
Most people will forget or have already forgotten.
Now is the time that we make them remember!
Dreams are for those who are brave enough to have them while relentlessly merging them with the world of today!
I typed it before and I’ll type it again. It’s a quote I wrote and dedicated to the crew of the D.S Deja, the beloved people in part two of my time traveling trilogy – “Which boat knows the way the wind blows? The boat that never drops her sails!”
HERE ARE PAST BLOG POSTS CONCERNING MY FIRST and SECOND NOVELS I RUSHED TO INDEPENDENTLY PUBLISH – A Story About Her and Drowning Skylight.
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, BUT THE JOURNEY IS WORTH IT.
CLICK, READ, AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!
I would like to thank those that read my last post, Introductions First, and all the others that signed up for my future posts. I am eternally grateful for each one of you. I promise to make sure that our short time together is not wasted. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, a Happy … Continue reading College – Copy and Paste
With my first two posts out of the way, Introductions First and College – Copy and Paste, it’s now time to dive into the lettered, paged abyss that I call my first completed fictional novel – A Story About Her. In my query letter that I have toted around like a fifty pound backpack for … Continue reading A Story About Her
The other day I caught Vernon laughing at himself. He has a slow leak in his rear passenger tire, and every second day he has to fill it back up to thirty-eight PSI because the thick piece of rubber is that demanding of his patience, smooth demeanor, and personal time. No matter which point of … Continue reading Rejection To Reflection
Have you ever heard or read a story about a band breaking up after their first gig? Well, believe it or not, I was part of a situation that turned out like that. Some would think it was funny. Others would think it was quite sad. Through it all, I maintained my focus on the … Continue reading Silver Linings
When I was a senior in high school, the time came to hold class elections for the offices of President, Vice President, and Secretary slash Treasurer. There were no secret ballot boxes or us having to deliver open ended promises through platform preaching. The ones interested in running for office did not have to go … Continue reading I Rigged the Election
In my previous blog post, I Rigged the Election, I told the reader that I was going to briefly discuss the second fictional novel I completed back in 2008. It also happens to be part one of a time traveling trilogy if a future publisher decides for it to be. The Drowning Skylight query goes … Continue reading Drowning Skylight
Life as a writer starts with a blank page. I let my fingers rattle the top of the computer keys without actually hitting them. I close my eyes and disappear for a minute or two. I have to ask myself the following questions before me and you embark on our journey together: Where do we … Continue reading This Is Where It Began