This week I’d like to talk about the cost of working for your dreams. I also want to highlight that this will be the last blogpost before I take eight weeks off the blog. To know why, continue reading.
To have gigantic goals and the drive to work for them is one thing, but what about when the going gets tough; when your savings are running short; when you struggle with how to split your time fairly between all that matters to you; when you don’t meet the expectations of others and their support weakens–what then?
Let me begin with telling you a short story. Let’s see if you can figure out who it’s about.
Once upon a time there was a young man. This man had a big dream of becoming an actor, but it just never seemed to happen for him. After struggling for some time, he moved to the city of angels and dreams–Los Angeles. Even though he was brave and did all he found necessary to succeed, there was still no luck. He was running out of money, twisting and turning every penny, finally forced to sell his best friend–his dog. It was either that, or his closest companion would have to starve. After finding inspiration in a boxing fight, he went home and wrote a movie script of ninety pages in three days. As he was leaving yet another failed audition, he told the producers about his own idea. He gained interest for the script, but since he wasn’t particularly successful himself, they wanted to give the lead role to someone else. He was offered $360,000 for the script on the condition that he wouldn’t do the main character. At this time, he had sold his dog to pay the bills and was left with $106 in his bank account. He believed in his script so much that he decided to take a leap of faith. He refused to accept the offer unless he got to play the main character himself. Eventually, he got a million dollars to make the movie, an extremely low budget for a movie even though this was some years ago. He made the movie. He played the main character. The movie was “Rocky” and it won three Oscar’s, grossing over $200 million. The man was Sylvester Stallone. The rest is history. (Forbes 2017)
My point is; no success comes easy. No success comes without putting in the work. Hard work. No success comes without dedication. No success comes from not doing what others won’t, but from DOING what others won’t. When you reach the end of the road, you have to find a way to go around the obstacle in front of you. You have to keep walking alone, on a road, path or track which you might be the first to walk. Maybe you’ll just have to walk a short distance alone, then you’ll meet someone else who’s walking alone too, and you can help carry and support each other. Eventually, you will get where you want to go. Don’t give up.
I haven’t yet been forced to sell my dog (I don’t have one), and not much else either for that matter. But I’ve had to struggle. I’ve had to make sacrifices. And I suspect more is to come before I reach my destination.
I’m a political scientist with a M.Sc. in Global Studies. I saved my money all last year to be able to take six months off and finish the manuscript of my first romance novel. Politics and romance, what a match, right? Six months have passed, and I’ve still got some money left, but I have to start thinking ahead. As I still want to use my brain for writing, I don’t want to work a job which exhausts my mind so I won’t have any energy left for my passion. Hence, I took a more practical job for a couple of months. During summer, I will work as Warehouse Co-worker at IKEA, driving orderpicker trucks.
Where is the sacrifice in this?
- Money. I use all my savings to enable my writing, working to reach my goal of publishing Kilonova Blues.
- Living. Since I use all savings for another purpose, I have to put aside what many others prioritize, such as travels, concerts, buying my own apartment, having a car, having pets etc.
- Pride. I’ve got five years of studies from the university but take jobs below my competence level so I can keep my mind fresh for planning, writing and editing to reach my dream of becoming a published romance writer. Many people are impressed by the bravery to follow my heart’s desire, but many also see it as a naive waste of time which will never result in anything worthwhile, that I should be working within my field of study. It’s easy to get caught up in that way of thinking, that there’s something else one really should be doing, that one is shaped/formed/educated/whatever to do something else and therefore one cannot do what is best in that moment. No one is above anyone and as long as you don’t hurt nobody, there’s no wrong path as you work toward your goal.
I will continue to push forward. The third draft of Kilonova Blues is done, and today I’m sending it to my much appreciated beta-readers, who will get to keep it during the coming eight weeks while I’m working. By mid-August, I’ll return to the manuscript to work through their feedback, and by that time I’ll also return to writing blogposts. The next step is then to begin reaching out to agents and work to find a great partnership to approach publishers.
I wish you all a wonderful summer and you can keep up with me through Instagram for the coming weeks.
Remember–what’s worth having doesn’t come easy.
That’s all for now,
hej så länge!