|Photo from http://www.lorianngarner.com/|
The biggest barrier to achieving our dream is not the lack of resources, skill or time. It’s the never ending excuses.
Since I was a little kid, I knew I wanted to become an author someday. When I would wake up in the middle of a nightmare, I would grab a pen and piece of paper, then I would write and write, until I doze off to sleep with a pen in my hand.
Using our old typewriter, I would copy phrases from the Bible, greeting cards and old newspapers, then glue the papers together and scribble a nicely written name on the cover. Then, I became the youngest author in town. I didn’t know, it was like piracy.
As I grew older, I realized that there were more urgent matters in life than writing. People told me that writers don’t have a career path and most of them are bound to suffer in vain and they die with bitter ashes in their mouth. So in college, I took Engineering.
Writing had to be put on hold because I got so busy with school. Maybe I’ll have time to write after college.
But after college, I became so busy with work. Then, there was Facebook. Plus I had Toastmasters. Maybe I’ll have time to write after my retirement.
I also learned that becoming a writer takes more than just the love of writing. It requires hard work, hard work and a lot of hard work, which means, writing is not always fun.
It also requires a lot of money, which means that I still can’t retire from my job.
It also requires skill. But looking back, my writing skill was never a favorite of my teachers.
When I was in Elementary, I wrote a reaction paper. "The air was crisp with coldness as I was awakened by the kids singing Jingle Bells in off key. I set forth to watch from the window, imagining myself beheading them and leaving their lifeless bodies bathed in cold blood."
After submitting that “reaction paper,” my teacher told me “I think you have a big problem!”
So perhaps, I was never meant to be a writer!
A year ago, while I was cleaning my room, I found the 5 chapters of the Harry Potter-inspired novel, which I wrote back in college. Because I was always so busy, I never finished writing it. While reading the manuscript, it brought back the thrill I had as a kid when I imagined myself as an author.
So, I decided to take another shot at writing. I bought books on how to write a book. I read books that are close to my writing style. I studied some videos on writing, editing and publishing. Then, I enrolled in a writing course where I met mentors and aspiring authors. One of my classmates had Parkinson’s Disease. She couldn’t write using a pen and she could barely type using a keyboard. But her desire to deliver a message was so strong that no disease could stop her.
As I reflected, I could say that the worst disease to stop me from achieving my dream is my excuses.
Slowly, with the support from my mentors, I managed to rekindle the burning desire to simply write one word at a time to finish a sentence, until it became a paragraph, then a chapter, until a few months later, my first book was finally available in online bookstores worldwide!
Now you may ask me, “Will it land in the best-seller list?” I don’t know. I hope so. That’s another story, but without that first book, there wouldn’t be any second or third or any future best-sellers!
We only have one shot at life. If you have a dream but you don’t do anything about it because you think you lack resources, skill, and you are always so busy, time will come when you say to yourself “I wish I did that before!”
Whatever it is that you dream of, big or small, the only way to find out if it’s even possible to achieve it is to try it. Work hard towards it. And most of all, stop making excuses.