When Your Dream Leads You Into the Dark

Leigh recently made one of those breathtaking decisions you rarely hear about – she quit her job to go after her dream. Check out how that is currently working out for her here, then go over to her blog to find out more (link at the bottom of the page):

I didn’t quite believe authors when they mentioned their characters changing the direction of their story. If you’re the one writing, then how can a figment of your imagination change the plot without your permission.

Yet, here I am, just a couple of chapters into my own work in progress. My character’s family was going to be warm and loving but little miss Olivia wasn’t having it. She’s allowed a few relatives to make the grade but the rest belong in the type A, controlling camp. Definitely not what I expected.

But it works.

I sit here in my living room, mug of Irish Breakfast tea to my side. I consider heading to a coffee shop to write for awhile but my current perch seems to be a good fit. I will stay and write at home today.

I’m figuring out this new routine since recently quitting my job.  In the coming weeks, I’ll take on other work to pay the bills but for now I have unadulterated time to write. I need only choose where to sit and what to work on: blog, WIP, or guest posts.

In the back of my mind, “use your time wisely” refrains endlessly. Time to get off Twitter and clear my Reader. Put the book away and stop working on the household projects that piled up.  Sometimes I listen, sometimes I don’t.  August 1 is my unofficial Buckle Down date but in the meantime, this laissez-faire approach seems to be paying off.

No deadlines. Only distractions of my own making. The time and energy to write whenever and whatever I want.

This is what I envisioned for myself.

I don’t know many people who would quit their day job without being published.  I’m just a girl with a dream and a blog, after all.

It’s bigger than that though. I quit because work as I knew it was no longer enough. I quit because I wanted to pour into this dream for a specified time and see what would grow as a result.  I quit because I’m crazy enough to think I can pull it off.

Even if I fail, I refuse to live life wondering “what if?”

Apparently my character Olivia feels the same way. What if her family wasn’t supportive? What if she’s not following hard after her dream? What if she’s about to lose the one person on her side?

I’d already asked some of these questions as I plotted out the novel. As to the rest, I can’t say where Olivia will lead me. Nor do I know what the next year holds.

Taking risks.  Being willing to fail.  Acting on dreams.

Our imagination takes us in unexpected directions and I rarely regret when I pay attention.

There are no guarantees.  But I’ve always said: I’ll try anything once.

Please take a moment to explore Leigh’s blog HERE.

17 Replies to “When Your Dream Leads You Into the Dark”

  1. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Leigh has inspired me to change things in my own life. I’m so incredibly proud that I can call her a friend. And also… not completely surprised that your character in your book might be resembling you a little. :)

  2. “Even if I fail, I refuse to live life wondering “what if?” Love this! I think it is so great that you are sharing your thoughts and inspiring so many people.

  3. It’s funny how characters do seem to animate and come to life on their own. Madeleine L’Engle said sometimes characters in her books would appear, introduce themselves and change her story line all up…and that those characters who did so seemed to be the ones the HS most obviously used to change her life and even the lives of her readers.

    Go with it, might just be God writing through you.

    Love that I have an official writer as my friend. Trying to live through you and not be jealous.

    1. Um, you’re an official writer too! Don’t forget that I wouldn’t even call myself a writer until January, never mind that I’ve been writing my whole life.

  4. Good for you! Seriously, I imagine it took quite a bit of courage to do that. Courage is an underrated trait we all need to chase our dreams. I think the key is what you said — being willing to fail. Too often we do not chase after dreams because we focus on what will happen if we fail.

    1. There have been definite freak out moments but they pass and I’m filled with confidence that all will work out in the end. Plus, it helps to have people be so encouraging about this crazy move of mine!

  5. The bigger the risk, the greater the unknown, the bigger the reward. I see great risk as essential to great success. And with the possibility of great success comes the possibility of failure. And failure is a learning opportunity. If failure results, then pick yourself up and start over. I’ve heard it said that Hershey failed multiple times before succeeding to become the recognizable name in chocolate.

    So I look forward to reading the stories that comes from your imagination. And I fully expect to be able to say that I was a reader of Leigh Kramer when Leigh Kramer made her leap of faith, after Leigh Kramer is Leigh Kramer, published author. Publication will come. Keep at it. Never surrender. Never give up.

    1. I take comfort in remembering the risk-takers that didn’t succeed at first but did in the end. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Doug! I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve such great blog friends.

  6. When I read Leigh’s blog, I often learn something – by way of example, inspiration or information. This post is no exception. I LOVE how you shaped the article within the framework of your character, Leigh. Inspiring & fun example. Thanks again.

    1. Wow, Kaye! That is so sweet of you. I’m glad you feel you learn something from my posts. When I sat down to write this post, I was struck that Olivia and I have lots to learn from each other:)

  7. You are a brave soul. One of the bravest I know. “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that isn’t what ships are made for.” You are a writer—with a following already. We will all want autographed copies, you know!

  8. I’m so excited for you, for taking this leap!! and excited to watch the process through your blog.

    It is awesome to think that you have experienced that writer-y moment where your characters set their own path. I have always heard writers say that and wondered how that would be.

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