When I started blogging in 2009, I was on a journey toward my dream of being published as a novelist. At the time, I had one non-fiction book in print, a dozen articles published, and had submitted my fiction manuscript to a writing contest for the very first time. (Not to mention, I’d already been writing, taking classes, and attending conferences for a few years before that.)
My early blog posts were all about the difficult journey of pursuing a dream, living with a chronic illness, and raising a child with special needs all at the same time. My pep talks to encourage others to keep on keeping on were often aimed directly back at me! In fact, the lessons I learned during the journey truly mattered more than eventually reaching the destination.
But now that I’ve reached double-digit numbers of published books, I’m reminded once again that this adventure is a never-ending meandering path from one book launch to the next with twists, turns, detours, roadblocks, and more along the way.
And as the years have gone by, I’ve become more intentional about fueling the dream for the long haul. That means regular pit stops to fill up the creativity tank. Regular maintenance and tune-ups for my craft and marketing knowledge. And even towing this virtual vehicle into the shop for major repairs to adjust my business plan.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m writing this blog post while sitting at Starbucks sipping on a skinny Peppermint Mocha. With Spotify playing Big Band oldies Christmas music in the background. And typing on my iPad using a foldable Bluetooth keyboard. The portable mobile office lets me maximize small windows of time while giving me a change of scenery. (And to be honest, most of my first-draft words this year have been generated on that small keyboard in locations other than my home office.)
But in addition to coffee shops, my writing business is also fueled by dedicated time to write (i.e. My Turtle Power hour in the mornings), a business budget that covers monthly promotional expenses plus professional editing and advertising, and organizational tools to keep all the juggling balls in the air without losing my sanity or wasting brain power on the mundane. I have a file filled with future ideas that are percolating on the back burner so I know the forward momentum will continue. And the previous journey has given me the internal grit to keep on when the going gets tough.
I’ve been blessed to be able to pursue my dream full-time now, but I’m not taking that gift for granted. That’s why I’m fueling the dream for the long haul.
What about you? Is there a dream you’ve been pursuing for several years? How do you keep going when the way gets steep? How are you fueling the dream and maintaining momentum?