Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve 2013, I sat cross-legged on my bed as I slipped one piece of paper after another into an old coffee jar.
I ceremoniously tied a delicate blue ribbon around it and hid it away in a drawer in my bedside table.
In the jar were my intentions for the coming year. At the time, there was a buzz around setting intentions, rather than new year’s resolutions.
Somehow it’s meant to make you more serious about achieving your dreams. You write it down and direct your thoughts toward an outcome.
At the end of 2014, I opened the jar and read through the intentions I’d placed in it a year earlier. I’d fulfilled most of them, but two of them closest to my heart, I had done nothing about.
If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you will know that I’ve previously written about my dreams. The dreams that I hold close to my heart and which dance in my head well into the night.
What I haven’t done, is share with you what my dreams actually are. I’m not sure why. They seem so personal to me. Perhaps it’s because if I say them out loud, write them down, or tell the world, it makes them real. It makes me accountable, vulnerable and more scared of failure than ever.
The two intentions that I slipped into the jar at the end of 2013 and which I hadn’t seen through a year later, were to write a children’s picture book and to become a freelance writer.
So, at the end of 2014, I placed those intentions back into the jar determined to see them through in 2015.
In the first few weeks of this year, I enrolled in a Children’s Picture Book Writing class with the Australian Writers’ Centre. I threw myself into the course, battled with doubts of not being good enough, and struggled with the need to be creative under pressure for my assessments.
Once the course was done, I had the makings of a book that my tutor said with a little re-work could turn into something publishers may be interested in.
I put my book aside for a few weeks with the intention to go back to it with fresh eyes. Before I knew it, the year was in full swing and I became caught up in life.
As the months flew past, I became more and more unhappy that I wasn’t chasing my dreams and that they sat crumpled up in a notebook in the laundry cupboard.
Worse still, negativity and self-doubt overcame me and I questioned my ability as a writer. I told myself that just because I WANT to write a children’s book and just because I WANT to be a freelance writer doesn’t mean that I have the talent or skills to make it happen, so I might as well quit while I’m ahead – or something.
It wasn’t until reading Kelly Exeter’s Your Best Year Yet, that I was able to shake myself out of this downward spiral and realise that I do have what it takes to see my intentions through or to at least try to see them through.
If I want these things badly enough, then I need to shift my thinking and find the time. A good friend told me recently that I’m not getting any younger. It’s time I stopped talking about these dreams and actually do something about them.
So … I have decided to set my alarm that little bit earlier one morning a week to work on my children’s writing. As for my freelance writing, I have big plans for that too.
Carolyn from Freelance Writers Cartel has invited me to jump on board with her new eight week Career Kickstarter Course. The course will equip me with everything I need to know to take my writing to the next level from writing great pitches to turning myself into a business.
Carolyn and I met through the blogging scene a couple of years ago and we catch up every now and then over nachos.
She is ridiculously intelligent, uber cool and best of all generous with her knowledge. So generous, in fact, she’s offering Mummy, Wife, Me readers 20 % off her course. If you want to join me in the course from 7 September, key in the code FWC20 at checkout.
Will I become a professional writer after all of this? I’m not sure, but at least I can tell myself I’ve given it a red hot go rather than staring at intentions in a jar.
Are you afraid to chase your dreams? What’s holding your back? Are you living your dream?