Follow your dreams...

...but don't quit your day job. Not until you're ready.

I believe in living on the edge. To follow your dreams is to abandon the world of security, but that doesn't mean you have to be foolish about it.

In the last 3 years, I have written 4 novels and countless short stories, edited novels for friends, published an anthology, and marketed myself as a writer. While working to become a writer, I have also been a wife and mother, an employee, a friend, and helped my husband homeschool the kids. This has been an insane amount of hours of work, and I have often forgotten I am human. Sitting at my desk, writing and editing, I sometimes forget I have legs, that I am something more than a brain full of words and fingers propelling those words onto the screen permanently attached to my body.

Someday, I will be more than a writer. And that day is just around the corner; I can taste it. The smell of a fresh breeze and the tingle of life flutters in the air. I will make money with my stories, and I will have time to run and play and live like most people.

I want that day so much I am willing to sacrifice. Yesterday, we signed the papers to move our large family into a small apartment, and tomorrow we pick up the keys. That's about $600 savings a month and one step closer to being less dependent on my income.

To make this move possible, we've given up more stuff than I ever knew we had. We have spent long hours over the last few weeks to organize, make piles to go to Goodwill, and throw things out. For Pete's sake, I don't need an egg separator! I'm allergic to eggs, and we haven't had any in the house for over a year! It's not like I'll ever make Angel Food Cake again.

You don't have to be foolish to follow a dream, but you have to want it with all your heart. If you throw your money on 50-inch screen TV's and motorboats and large houses and fast cars, you're not likely to get there.

Step One. Keep working while I write in the evenings.
Step Two. Learn to live on less.
Step Three. Find an agent/publisher. Start making money at writing.  ** This is where I am at now. **
Step Four. My husband, the wonderful stay-at-home dad, gets a job.
Step Five. Buy a discounted house with cash. There's a lot of foreclosures / short sales in our area right now. Without a mortgage or rent payment, we won't need much to live on.
Step Six. I quit and take a nice month-long vacation.

What will I do that month? Play in my garden. Take long walks. Run with my kids in the park. Clean my house from top to bottom. Bake something yummy. Learn how to dance again.

What about you? What are your dreams? What is your plan to get there?

Every adventure has a battle...

...and every battle has a way to win. You just have to find it.

We're preparing to move, and that leaves the house in chaos. My daughters are full of questions. "Will I have enough room? Can I take all my toys? Where will my bed go? Can we have a dog now? Can we have a rabbit? Can I have a desk in my room now?"

"It's very scary and exciting. It's a new adventure," I said as I tucked the last one in tonight.

"It's not an adventure. It's a new house," Makani said.

"Remember the story of The Little House on the Prairie? Leaving their home and finding a new place to live was an adventure, and there was a battle as they tried to make it in their new place."

"No, there wasn't a battle."

"Yes, there was. Remember when Ma got hurt and couldn't help Pa build the house, and Pa couldn't do it by himself? Remember the fire and how they had to fight to save their land and their home and their lives? There were lots of battles, and there was always a way to win."

That is something I've learned by reading, and it applies to real life. The last three and a half years have been a battle for me. I've written four novels and many short stories; I've studied my craft; I've practiced until my guts are strewn across the page. I have often thought of giving up, but to do so would be to give up on everything I believe in.

I believe that there comes a point in a person's life where they need to stretch their wings and fly. My story Symbiote (download for free at http://www.unlockedproject.com/) is about a cyborg slave girl who dreams of being free. Against protocol, she sneaks to the tower roof to stare at the stars, praying that someone will snatch her away from the emptiness.

Finding a good paying job with good benefits is wise.

But eventually you need to abandon safety and find out what dreams are made of.

The girl in that story is me, but like her, I have learned that freedom is an adventure with a battle. But there is a way for me to win. I just need to find the key.

Be a Ninja with Me



Last November, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and didn't make it to my 50K word goal. I got to 40K and felt absolutely proud of that small accomplishment. Now I have a manuscript that needs flushed out and polished.

February and March, I'll be editing my manuscript. I have a lot on my plate right now--some editing for friends, a book I'm co-authoring, a full-time job that takes up 9 to 10 hours of my day, parenting and schooling the kids--

--and to top it off, we're moving at the end of February. And we'll be losing a bedroom, a basement, and a large family room at the new place. That means cleaning, de-cluttering, and packing this month. But we'll be saving at least $600 a month on rent.

If I can do it, you can do it. If you want help and advice, come check out some goodreads groups: On Fiction Writing and Unlocking Books.

And check out the NiNoReMo Blog Hop: