It’s my honest opinion that we all want to leave our mark on this world. Some of us may not recognize this urge, but we all want to change something, to alter things, to create something that will last longer than us. Even if it is a scar. Yes, there are plenty out there who just want to inflict pain, because that’s the only thing they can do. Or the only thing they think they can do.
You know that saying, “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king?” Well, in this world, we’re all blind. We want what we want and we fight as fiercely as we can to get it, in the process hurting those around us. People we love, people we care about. Sometimes we feel that life isn’t fair. Guess what. It never is.
You have to realize that there are forces that you can’t control, objects that collide, outcomes you can’t predict. And this might seem overwhelming, and the instinct is to give up. Give up on your dreams, on your expectations, on your crazy, crazy plans.
Yes, you can take small steps, always making sure you’re not stepping on something, always trying to avoid everything that gets in the way. But what happens when you’re afraid to take even a single step? When you freeze, when the sun rising marks a new day you’ve already given up on? Then you have to take a leap. You have to jump, hoping there’s someone to catch you. If there’s no one, then you’re going to fall.
When I self-published my first book, it didn’t sell. I gave up on writing for a few months. I said to myself that I’m not good enough. I didn’t know what to do. Honestly, I didn’t. I thought blogging was too difficult, and I didn’t have money to pay for ads. Lastly, I wasn’t sure my writing was good enough. I knew I had something to say, I’ve always known that, but I wasn’t sure if I had the tools that were required.
So I gave up. And I didn’t pursue another career. I just stopped. I spent those few months dreaming about a day when I’ll become the writer that I’ve always wanted to be. I didn’t write. I barely read. I watched soccer on TV and funny videos on Youtube.
And then I began writing again. All of a sudden. I woke up one night, a good idea scratching its way out of my skull, and wrote. Just like that.
The more I wrote, the better writer I became.
But everything changed when I discovered Wattpad. I found a bunch of people who enjoyed my writing. Fans. And I felt like the best writer on this side of the planet. Every time I wrote, I tried to write at the best of my capability, simply because I knew I had an audience. I knew people were reading.
To an artist, an audience is extremely important.
And then I decided to self-publish again. I chose one of my short stories, Remember. I edited, I made a cover, I did the interior formatting. I made a blog. This blog. I thought, this time it’s going to work. Even if the entire world tries to stop me, this time it’s going to work.
I decided to be relentless. No matter what, I would wake up in the morning, stare out the window for a few minutes, and then write. Even if all I got were one star reviews, I would write. Even if no one read my blog posts, I would write.
My first month, I sold 3 copies of Remember. I earned $1.05. And I kept on writing, just like I promised.
I’m not going to lie. At times I would feel angry and resentful, because there were all these writers earning thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars each month, and here I was, working my ass off for less than the price of a bus ticket.
But I didn’t give up. And I’m not going to, no matter what.
Changing the world. Big words. And they seem so far away, a vague concept we can’t grasp simply because we forget that we all change the world. For better or worse, forever or just for a few years, we all leave something behind.
That’s the thing with dreams. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re all equally important. We often choose to discard our dreams because we’re fearful to travel on uncharted roads just because others say it’s impossible.
I thought about giving up so many times. But then something would happen: someone would either comment on this blog or send me and e-mail telling me how they were so close to giving up, but my words changed their mind.
I gave them that something they needed to keep going. To pursue their dream, against all odds.
And I’d think, “It wouldn’t be fair to give up now.”
I spent a couple of years in a dark place. You know, when you really don’t have enough: food, sleep, money. When you simply survive, because you simply can’ t wait for the day to end. There’s not much in it; the struggle is the only thing left.
But I’d write, and, I’m honest, I’d tell myself, “One more story. Just one more story, and that’s it.”
I never dared think about what “that’s it” actually meant, what giving up would imply. I knew what it meant, I just didn’t want to imagine the words inside my head.
I’d finish the story, and then I’d start another one. Like avid smokers do when they don’t really want to quit: one last cigarette after another.
That was me. One more time, one more try.
“The test of a book lies in its power to map and transform a life.”
This post was sponsored by Joanne Reed.
Joanne is the author of “This Is Your Quest,” a self-help book that defies the genre, an enlightening delight of a book that is well-written, insightful and sincere. The book itself is a journey; it guides and coaches the reader to adopt an explorer mind-set on their own quest towards happiness through the trifecta of money, love and health. The book provides valuable lessons from history, philosophy and economics and between each chapter, Joanne includes letters to the readers recapping what’s has been learned and continually encourages growth. Joanne also writes a regular blog at https://authorjoannereed.net/ on a broad range of subjects that will resonate with the public at large.
Words have tremendous energy and power. They have the ability to educate, to help, to heal, to illuminate the minds. Joanne believes that the words she has written in her book and the words that she is writing regularly in her blog have the power to map and transform a life!
“The future belongs to the curious, those who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke it, question it and turn it inside out.” If you are curious by nature, check out Joanne Reed’s book “This Is Your Quest” and her website at https://authorjoannereed.net/.
Word of caution – be prepared to think and be challenged. Not for the faint-hearted.