Monday, March 12, 2012

Dream On-Part Two

So I have spilled my big secret. (Read Dream On-Part One to catch up.) Though I suppose it was a shotty attempt at truth since you all already know my secret, you just didn’t know it was just that. A secret.

Perhaps I should explain. Let’s go back to the beginning. In the beginning there was a songbird. A tiny little blonde songbird belting out Sleeping Beauty’s “Once Upon A Dream” from her car seat. Growing up singing in church, on stage, in the theater, and eventually in a band in a recording studio, it was my dream to make it in music. To reach and effect my generation with the songs God gave me.

It turns out, this very public dream of mine had some definite flaws. Mainly, a lifestyle I had no desire to live. And as much as I wanted to sing for a living, I wanted to have a family more. Marriage. A home-life. And more than anything, I wanted to stay at home and raise my kids. What I learned when I walked away from the relentless pursuit of my dream was that maybe God lets some dreams die so that others can find roots and flourish.

Those dreams are a distant memory now. I honestly don’t think about it. There are no scars left behind to torture me. But the thing is…very few people I know have forgotten about it.

To everyone who knows me, and even those who really don’t, I am a singer. I probably always will be that girl trying to make it big. Every time I run into someone from the past, the probing questions about my career seem to dominate the airwaves.

I have no regrets, but there was always this mountain of pressure that came with such a public expression of my lifelong dream. Everyone had an opinion. A way in. Why don’t you try out for American Idol? Or if you just send that demo to so and so, or play some gigs here, or give this guy money to make a new album, or sing a different style, or change your image, ect, ibsofacto, and so on and so forth. These people had always meant well, but somehow they stole my joy. Dug up all my doubts and fears. Failures and insecurities.

Now, I am blessed with a new dream. Something that brings me more satisfaction that I could have imagined, and gives me such a personal sense of accomplishment everyday I labor lovingly at my laptop. I never dreamed I would repurpose the message of my heart from songs to novels. But God made a way. And birthed a beautiful new dream.

Beauty for Ashes.

At first, when I started writing, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish a whole book. So why tell anyone? And then the first book took form. And the second. And it was so freeing to have something so pure. Untouched by expectations and probing questions that I held it close to my heart a while longer.

But then something happened. My dream grew. God opened doors. And dreams of publication danced in my head. The dream of sharing the stories that have changed my life became so great that I even, despite my long standing rebellion, broke down and joined Facebook. Gasp! I know! I must be from the Stone Age or something.

My problem now is that this whole dream comes as a package deal that I am just getting my sea legs for. Social media. No I am not an imbecile, just a busy mom that’s not big into gossip. And for a long time, that’s all I saw social networking to be. Let’s just say, I, uh, had a negative experience early on in the game, and pretty diligently avoided the pitfalls of superficial friendships online.

But now I am forced to ask myself some tough questions about this secret I have treasured. And I am hoping for some Godly counsel from those of you trusted few who have shared in my excitement of building a new dream. In a day where social platform is key, am I going about this all wrong?

Am I really protecting my dream . . . or sabotaging it?

Also…How do you hold up under the pressure of expectations? And when did you know when the time was right to unleash your dream into the wild unknown?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dream On-Part One

How far would you go to protect your dream?

No, not reach your dream, protect it. Perhaps I should clarify by spilling my guts. A good soul deep purge can be quite cathartic and I fear it is high time I seek some counsel on my big, festering secret.

I am a writer.

Okay, so if you are indeed reading this blog you already know that. The secret is, other than you few, no one else knows this about me. Fellow writers from ACFW this is why I appear so unpopular and lame online. And those handful of my closest friends and relatives who have been entrusted with my closet writing, I know I am weird, but thank you for your continued discretion, and ban from befriending me on Facebook.

Whew! Man, that feels good to get off my chest. But I suppose that was just the warm up for the day I will really need to confess. Why would I hide this, you may ask? Perhaps I am not serious about it? Dabbling?

Let me just say that that is NOT it. Not at all. I am, in fact, one of those crazy go getters. Where my dreams are concerned I am driven to succeed. Nothing short of God’s hand can sway my course once I set my mind to something.

Though I may be misguided in my attempts to do so, I honestly feel like I am protecting my dream. But protecting it from what?

I’ll get to that in part two, but for now, I have a question.

Have you ever hidden a dream? What were your reasons? And as a writer, did you have to come out at some point? What was the deciding factor for your decision?

Stay tuned for part two of Dream On, for the nail-biting conclusion and a chance to school me severely. I fear I am gonna need it.