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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Finishing

In approximately 4 weeks I will do something I’ve never done before. I will complete a dream. I will finish (sans editing) my first original novel.

I’ve had many dreams in my life. Many lofty goals. I’ve never finished, or accomplished, any of them, outside of being a wife and mother. That dream is important in its own right, but this isn’t about that.

I have wanted to be a dance teacher since I was three. The closest I came was when I was at a dance school at the age of 10. The owners picked me and two other advanced students to be TA’s. We helped teach the youngest students on Saturday morning’s. We were left alone with the classes to teach basics, but we never choreographed their recital numbers, and we were always in a group.

Another goal I’ve had since that young age was to perform onstage. When I was three, I wanted to be Ginger Rogers. As I grew up, it became a dream of Broadway. But, in high school I let an idiot choir teacher wreck my confidence and let him influence my faith in my voice. 4 years ago I came the closest to this dream I ever will, I performed in local theatres in 4 musicals, doing both dancing and (*gasp*) vocal leads! It was close, but still not my dream.

I wanted to finish college. My first attempt was a very sad failure. My own fault. In one semester I was kicked out with a 0.0 GPA. I never went to class. My second attempt was more successful. I went for a Dance Education major. Halfway through the first semester my ballet teacher bumped me to the 200 class. I ended the semester on a 3.8 GPA. I was so proud. But, then I became pregnant, and would have been 8 months pregnant at finals. With a dance major, it was a no-go…so I let that dream go (though not permanently, I still carry it.).

I have viewed my life as a series of failures. A disappointment to my parents, especially since I was the ‘smart’ one of their kids. The one they were sure would finish college. Turns out, my brother did that before me thanks to 10 years of military service. Every time I’ve had a ‘great idea’ it’s fizzled, and they know it.

When I set out to write this novel, it was with great fear. I’ve never finished anything I’ve said I would. Even small things get lost in the mix. My friends convinced me that the story was too good not to make into something better.

A year ago my husband and I went to dinner, and during the salad course I decided to tell him what I was going to try. With a nervous knot in my stomach I told him that I wanted to take this thing that I’d been writing and make it…real. I wanted to try to write it and finish it, and sell it.

I waited for his answer in fear. I heard my mother’s voice in my head telling me I was being a fool. I was being just like my aunt who went through, and still goes through ‘phases’ in her life. Something is her dream, her passion, and then it’s gone in the wind. That’s what I was doing…again.

But he didn’t say anything like that. From that day forward he’s been so supportive. He hasn’t read it yet (Historical Fic/Romance isn’t his cup of tea), but he’s promised to. He asks me how it’s going. He doesn’t push me when it’s not going at all. He’s excited for me, and scared for me. His support, along with the support of my best friend, have been what have gotten me through. I never knew having someone believe in you made all the difference. Now I do…

And so I face the coming weeks with trepidation. Will I truly succeed where I’ve always failed? Will I finish something I set out to do? In a years time, no less? I believe, for the first time, that I will. This year has been plagued with self-doubt. Now I’m filled with hope, and fear. Because beyond the success of my first completed dream comes the obstacle that I have little control over…the selling of my dream. But I now know that completing it was the true goal. Selling it is just the gravy. And it feels good to know it will happen. Once it does, I’ll have faith that anything can, and will, happen.

5 comments:

Jean said...

Sadie,

I know you can do it too:-) In fact, the whole first week of June we will celebrate with you. I'm making a list of all the things we need for celebration by the moat:-)

I'll even schedule a moat cleaning just for the occasion. Party in clean muck!

Speck

crazybasenji said...

Way to go, Sadie. That is truly an acomplishment. A lot of us leave dreams behind as we go through life, or put them on hold for years. My "early retirement" to take care of my dad has given me the time to try and realize my dream of being a writer and a painter, and I'm finding out how much I still have to learn, and how much work is involved. Just because it's fun doesn't mean it's not a job!

Every day I pass a sign -- in front of a building supply store of all places -- that says "Goals are dreams with deadlines." That has become my mantra.

And Speck, make sure there's plenty of chocolate for the fountain!

crazy

Cheryl said...

I have confidence in you too, Sadie. I feel fortunate that you have included me in this project, allowing me to read it and provide feedback. It's been a wonderful opportunity to see you progress as a writer and enhance my own skills too.

I too say that my life is full of regrets, paths not taken or ones abandoned for one reason or another, but I cannot dwell on the past. I look ahead to the future and all that I can accomplish with my writing.

And I know you will succeed too. Best of luck and lots of hugs.

Cheryl

Sadie said...

And I thank you, Cheryl. Even when I didn't want to hear some of the comments you made, they all stayed with me and my writing has improved because of them. Most important, I'm no longer an adverb-monger *G* But beyond that, you're notes have made me realize some important things in how I write. I admit openly that right now what I'm writing this minute is not my best, but I am confident that when I go through and edit it will become that :D But, that's a whole other blog post *LOL*

Thanks, everyone! Speck, I'm holding you to that party in the moat. I'll make a cake in celebration...I've been studying new techniques. Finishing my book gives me the perfect excuse to practice them! *G*

Sadie

Snow said...

Sadie,
I'm so proud of you.
It took a lot of courage to share this with us and for that I stand in ovation for you.

I also have started goals and have failed at them. Becoming a writer is one dream of mine that I've seen myself accomplishing, as I reach the end of my assignments with Long Ridge.

Congratulations!

snow