I just want to clarify here, regarding my previous sort of rant, that I think there’s nothing wrong with deciding on a whim to do something, whether it’s writing a book or learning a completely different trade or skydiving (but you wouldn’t catch me doing the latter). It’s all in how you approach that whim that decides whether you’ll succeed or give it up after a few weeks. Something that started out as a whim doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a trivial pursuit. But, as I said in the last paragraph in my post, these goals need to be approached realistically in order to have chance of success. You can’t go on American Idol with no singing talent whatsoever and expect to be the next singing sensation. (And how many times has the show seen that kind of contestant?) You need to learn everything you can about the dream you’ve chosen to pursue, educate yourself in the best ways possible, build contacts, and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
If I sounded a bit uppity in my previous post (and I realize I do that sometimes without intending to), it was because I’ve had personal reasons to feel I need to defend myself against some hurtful things that have been said about me and my goals–although my mom is right that I shouldn’t let these comments upset me, that they mean nothing. The fact that I discovered my writing ambitions early in life, when others might have realized they love writing after spending a few decades doing something entirely different, doesn’t really matter. A great many writers started writing later in life than I have, and have had the talent and perseverance to be successful. And success doesn’t always mean published. To me, it means completing a personal goal, such as that last chapter, or a short story I never intended on getting published but have written for the practice of it.
You are all successes just by deciding on a passion and following it through.
And now I’m going to take my mom’s advice and let the hurt go. I felt like I just needed to get the rant over with, and it did help me to feel better about myself. 🙂