If Not Now, Then When

Me, my dad and mom 1980

A conversation with my mom, an inspirational quote and a memory on Facebook had me thinking of a new blog post I wanted to write.

How many of us have a dream we are afraid to pursue? I know I did. If not for the push of my best friend and my husband, I would not have made the first steps to being a writer. My writer friends, mentor and Beta readers have given me the tools, confidence and encouragement that have helped me become a published author. For years, fear of failure, of not believing I was good enough, kept me from even trying. It was only after my best friend read some of my work and liked it that I felt confident enough to start thinking seriously about pursuing the dream I’ve had since I was a young girl.

Pamlico Writers’ Conference with Jim Keen, author Katherine Ashe, myself and my friend Robina Norman

I believe fear cripples many dreamers. Fear and an unkind word or thoughtless criticism can shackle a budding creative. I was reading a Guide Post my mother gave me and the section on positive outlooks called “The Up Side” inspired me. One of the quote really struck home. “Stop telling yourself you need to be fearless. You don’t, You simply need to be courageous,” by author and motivational speaker, Valorie Burton in the May 2021 Guideposts.  

How many of us feel we’ve waited too long to make our dreams come true? My mom had a box of stuff she was going to use “someday.” She talked about traveling, visiting friends and relatives, going to interesting places… someday. It was always someday. When she lost her home to flooding during Hurricane Irene, her box of special things was destroyed. Later that same year, Mom fell and broke her hip. Now with the onset of severe arthritis, she has difficulty walking and her hopes of traveling and visiting interesting places has become limited. Someday never comes. If you want to do something, then you have to make a plan and as Nike says, “Just Do It!”

Ann Peach award winner, thanks to my friend Robina pushing me to submit an entry.

“If Not Now, Then When?” is a slogan I’ve heard recently, it’s very à propos. Putting off our dreams until we have more money, we have more time, the kids are grown, whatever your excuse, the truth is, it is fear that binds us and keeps us from reaching for our dreams. But, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. If you are waiting for everything to be just right you will never even get started. If you truly want this dream to come true, you need to make it a goal. Make a plan. Set things into motion. Save up for that special trip. Start working on that novel. If you need a push, find a group that will support your plans. My best friend and local librarian talked me into sending a story to a writer’s competition in Carteret County. I attended their awards ceremony and met an author from a writer’s group closer to home. Afterwards I joined the Pamlico Writer’s Group.

I have been a member of the Pamlico Writer’s Group off and on for about twenty years. My son Jason even attended a meeting or two with me when he was a teenager. It took me a long time to find confidence in my talent. I’m not sure if I’ve yet discovered my true voice. Each book helps me to discover more about myself and my writing. I’m still learning. I waited a long time to get published and still feel I have a long way to go to reach those who have influenced my stories but I’m working towards my dream, my goal of being an award-winning author. What are you doing to make your dreams come true?

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