Friday, August 28, 2015

Marie Lavender stops by Penny's Tales

Fighting the Naysayers

What is a dream? Is it what you woke from this morning? Or maybe it was interrupted by your alarm clock, blaring away. No, it’s not that kind of dream.

I’m talking about that crumb of inspiration in your head, the one that nags at you while you’re going on about your day. It’s that goal just out of reach. Unless you’ve already attained it. Then, by all means, I must applaud you for it’s a rare, yet beautiful thing to see. But, it’s never too late to find another dream…

Some people haven’t found that dream, or, if they have, they let it get away from them for a time. It sits there, festering in the corners of the mind, taunting them. I will say it again because I wholeheartedly believe it’s the truth. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, not just in my life but with others who have lived it.

It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. No matter what that dream is, there is no reason you can’t start pursuing it today.

Take writers, for example. The urge to write eats away at us every day. Heart pounding, eyes straining, the page awaits. The muse is there, taunting us with the crumb of a dream. Some will ignore it, let it fester inside them like a madness threatening to consume them. Wise writers won’t and can’t ignore the call. The words will inevitably find their way on the page, the pen scrawling wildly in an attempt to cease the chaos within. The story must be told.

There are two types of writers. One is a hobbyist. These writers enjoy constructing their stories or essays, and they keep a treasure trove of finished and unfinished works lying around somewhere. Most of us start out this way. Some are content to stay in that wonderful writing cocoon where nothing can hurt them. It is a pleasant place to be, and I greatly admire hobbyists because they’ve found something that they enjoy. And without passion, what is living?

Then there is the published writer, or at least what a lot of us aspire to be. This writer works day and night on the craft, learning everything he can so that he can finally see his name in print one day. Or in the modern age, ebooks and other electronic mediums work just as well. Some writers seek fame while others pursue less lofty goals. They write because they can’t stop, and putting their work out in the world just seems like a natural next step. It’s only later on that the published writer learns there is a lot more to this career than sitting pretty and seeing your name in print. It is a lot of work, and not for the faint of heart. But for those who seek the dream of being published, they’ll find it was well worth the wait and the effort involved.

But why do we bother? Why do we pursue these things called dreams? Is it because they eat away at us, and if we don’t tend to them, we’ll be sorry? Sure, that’s part of it. I’d like to think it’s about purpose. Haven’t you ever wondered if you were part of something bigger, that you were meant for more?

Well, who hasn’t? And I’m not speaking of spiritual beliefs. We’re all free to pursue whatever religion moves us.

No, this is different; it’s a personal purpose, a reason “you” exist. You were meant to do great things. I believe we all can change the world, even in our own little ways, in our own lives.
We all evolve. We grow from infancy to adulthood all the way until we no longer exist. But, our dreams will go on, inspiring others in their lives.

Dreams can change. You can have many dreams in your life. We’ve all had them. When you were a kid, what did you want to be? An astronaut? A fireman? A princess? What was that fun dream you had? Before all the responsibilities of life came crashing down on you, you once had carefree dreams. Do you remember that? Take a minute and think of the way you felt.

You were excited, right? The world was full of wonder and possibilities. There wasn’t anything you couldn’t do. And maybe your parents encouraged you. Did you dream of things you know now aren’t possible? Maybe you wanted to be a fairy or even a popsicle. That’s the lovely thing about a dream. It’s precious and should be unmarred by reality.

But, that’s not the way of the world, is it? Obligations come and suddenly our responsibilities tend to overshadow our dreams. Common sense tells us we can’t be those things. Or can we?
Isn’t there a dream – however small – isn’t there something you’ve always wanted to do? Write, paint, learn something new? Well, why not pursue it?

That’s easier said than done, Marie.”

Maybe you’re right. But, no matter what your dream is, if you can imagine it, it’s probably manageable. Obviously we can’t be fairies or princesses, but there’s no harm in getting into the mindset of thinking creatively now and then. Keeping your mind open can go a long way towards attaining your goals.
I bet you’ve had lots of dreams in your life. So let’s say one or more is possible. Why not do everything you can to achieve your dream? 
It’s silly to dream. I’m too old to start.”

It’s never too late to start dreaming, to put an effort into doing what makes you happy. If you want something, you have to go out and get it. I know writers who got a late start in writing, and they still got published. And they have no regrets. Just as it’s never too late to go to college or take a class in something that interests you, your dreams are more manageable than you believe. 
Even if that’s true, I don’t have the time.”

Don’t make excuses. Excuses will kill your dreams faster than anything. We all make excuses to avoid doing things we don’t want to do. If putting in the work to pursue your dream seems too daunting, then you obviously don’t want it bad enough. We’re all busy. We don’t have time. We have a million obligations. We have families, jobs, everything dragging us away. I get it. But, take five to ten minutes every day and dedicate it to figuring out how you will pursue your goal. Planning is half the battle. You may need more time than that, but a few minutes are a good start.
Do everything you can to build the tools necessary to reach your goals. Want to write? Write! But also learn the craft of writing. Research it. There are lots of self-help articles out there. Want to get into woodworking? Take a class. Learn your craft well.

What if I fail?”

Failure happens. So you fail. That’s okay. Just get up and keep trying. I guarantee that you’ll regret when you didn’t try more than when you did. How many attempts did it take for Edison to invent the lightbulb? A LOT. But he kept trying. And look how amazing that turned out to be. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid NOT to try. 
And then there are the naysayers. We all know them. We hear them every day. They often use words like “can’t” or they question you at every turn. “Why are you pursuing this crazy dream? What is the point?” Their lack of faith in your dream can kill a dream too. These naysayers can be people we are close to – family, friends, people we think should understand us. Strangers can discourage us too. A naysayer will say you “can’t” accomplish your goal. He or she will try to destroy your dreams with harsh doses of reality. They will try to teach you that what you’re doing is a bad idea. Naysayers will do everything they can to try to make you give up. Why? Because it’s convenient for them, in one way or another, if you fail.

Don’t listen to naysayers. Do everything you can to protect your dream. Cradle it. A dream is a precious thing. It’s like an infant. It has to be held a certain way, and he or she trusts you to protect them from then on. Preserve your dreams. Hold them close with an iron fist.

Naysayers are often people who never pursued their own dreams. Bitterness set in, and whether they realize it or not, they use a coping strategy of belittling your dreams to make themselves feel better about their own unrealized dreams. 
I have met and known these kinds of people for a long time. They often lament what could have been, but never pursue those beautiful dreams they had. Even if you tell them it’s never too late, they are too scared or too bitter to believe you. Don’t let their fear and bitterness destroy what you can have. Hold onto your dreams tight and when you’re ready, fly on the freedom of that journey. Go down the path less traveled.

Be brave. Courage is a big part of pursuing your dreams. Don’t be afraid to try new things, to take risks that you might never have imagined. Do everything you can to reach your goal – well, as long as it’s not illegal. LOL.

Dream. Live and fly. Do you want to be a pilot? Do it. A writer? Then write. Start today. At least try. Take those small steps towards that goal.

Be brave. Do things you didn’t think were possible before. Climb those steps…take that stage with the crowd staring at you. Even as you think you’ll fall or fail, just do it.

Take a chance. Fly on the precious wings of your dreams. Don’t be the embittered individual who discourages another from his ambitions down the road. Respect your dreams and respect the dreams of others. That’s quite a legacy to leave behind, isn’t it?

Be courageous, take a risk and pursue a dream that’s been floating around in your mind for some time. I know you won’t regret it.

Because trying is better than nothing. What is that Tennyson quote? “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” It’s the same with a dream. Hell, wouldn’t you rather live a full life, filled with the pursuit of your dreams, no matter how crazy people think they are, than to live an empty, bitter one? I know I would.

Remember: it’s never too late to find your dream and pursue it.
I’ll sign off now. Here’s to a multitude of beautiful dreams pursued and no regrets. And to those who may still be listening to me prattle on…live and fly, friends!

Author Bio
Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 20 other books. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 21 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender:
Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature

"Lovers Like Us" (from the book anthology, Poets & Writers in Action); A Little Magick;  

Second Chance Heart (coming soon) 

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things


  1. Bravo, Marie! I'm clapping and giving you a standing ovation!

  2. Yeah another ovation from me too. Well said. :D