How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Is It Too Late To Follow The Dream?

48 Comments


I am pleased and honoured to share with you the following guest post.

Angela Ackermanis one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.  Listing the body language, visceral reactions and thoughts associated with seventy-five different emotions, this brainstorming guide is a valuable tool for showing, not telling, emotion. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, in the shadow of the Rockies, with her family, dog and one slightly zombie-like fish.

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How many times have you run into someone, and when it comes out that you’re a writer, they say, “You’re so lucky. I would love to write a book someday.” Or maybe a spark lights up in their eyes as they tell you this great idea they have for a story, or their hands get all animated as they describe a novel they read, falling right back into that world.

What you’re seeing is Passion. It might be only a glimmer, or a full-out flame, but either way, there’s something big going on inside them, if they only knew how to set it free.

I’ve run into a lot of writers-in-waiting:  people who love books and to read, who have big imaginations and who enjoy the lyrical nature of how words fit together. Maybe they journal, or fiddle with poems or haikus, or create jingles in their mind as they watch cheesy TV commercials. The point is, they are writers in all but name. Oh, if only they knew!

Sometimes when they tell me I’m lucky to be a writer, I’ll ask them, “Well, why don’t you become one too?”

Often than glow that lit them up only a second before clouds over. They say things like, “Oh but I couldn’t. That’s just a dream. I don’t know a thing about writing.” Or, “I don’t have time between work and the kids and the gardening and the house. In fact, did you see the peeling paint on the fence? I have to get on that soon or the whole thing will rot away…” and the conversation becomes a list of chores needing to be done, work waiting to fill the hours.

It makes me sad, because that writer-in-waiting is still inside, wanting to be let free. It wants to be more than a dream. It wants to make the journey.

Being a writer (or following any dream for that matter), takes courage. We come into it knowing little, but passion sustains us and then bit by bit, we learn and grow. Sometimes it’s about waiting for the right time, but mostly it’s about MAKING TIME.

Our world is so busy and frantic. There are bills to pay yes, and housework and meetings and kids circling like piranhas asking about dinner, but there is also passion. Make time for it. If you want to write, pick up a pen. Apply to paper. Let the words flow. No matter where you are in life, how old or young you are, it’s never too late to turn a dream into a reality.

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

48 thoughts on “Is It Too Late To Follow The Dream?

  1. Great advice, as always. I love that term “writers-in-waiting”–perfect for those would-be writers who haven’t made the jump yet. Thanks for sharing, Angela. And thanks, Tess, for hosting her!

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    • I love hosting: dinner parties, bookclubs, guest bloggers. Today has been an immense pleasure. Allow me to thank you both for this wonderful opportunity. Lucky me.

      By the way, I’m ordering The Emotion Thesaurus; I hope everyone does. Making this purchase has been on my ‘to do’ list for a while. Now is the time for action.

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      • You are too kind, Tess. There’s nothing better than finding other passionate people to share the road with. No matter how that creativity manifests itself, we need to nurture it and let it grow. Thanks for inviting me here–I’m honored!

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  2. This is excellent and really inspiring. It’s taken a long time for me to call myself a writer and even so I can’t say it everyday.

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    • I feel the same way. Not long ago someone asked a question and part of my answer was, “I am a writer.” I don’t know where the words came from but I said them and began to believe I was

      If you aspire to paint with passion, would you not say you are a painter? So NICE to exchange ideas and opinions with you, Gilly. I enjoy your blog. Keep up the great work.

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      • It took me a long time to say it without hesitation or rushing through the word. I felt like if I wasn’t published, I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. A person becomes a writer the second they dedicate themselves to writing and learning. :)

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  3. I am a Grandma living a dream come true with my photography. Always, always do what you love! Kathy

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  4. Sounds advice. I think the enormity of the task of writing a book/novel puts many people off. But as you have said it’s just about writing a little every day..even if it is only half an hour.

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    • It really is just a bit at a time. :) The idea of writing a full novel was so daunting at first, but I wrote short stories and sort of worked my way into it. Now I know a ton of novelists who achieved ‘the end’ by writing twenty minutes or so at a time. :)

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  5. So, and just to be clear, is it okay if we choose jamming thumb to bruised keyboard, over pen to paper?

    Cause you know, I’m very much a 21st century sort of guy… =]

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  6. This is exactly how it happened for me. I had a story I wanted to tell, but didn’t know how…
    I signed up for a ‘Write Your Life Stories’ and a ‘Free the Writer Within’ course… And no one could have been more surprised than me when my memoir was published in April!
    Dreams really do come true, they just take a lot of hard work :)

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  7. An excellent and inspiring post Tess. Thank you. I have been writing all of my life, since I learned how to spell. It has taken me almost as long to be comfortable calling myself writer. This blogging thing has lent to great credibility about unpublished writers and I am not giving up, nor am I going back to calling myself a writer in waiting.

    Thanks again so much for this~ BB

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  8. Angela, your post reminded me of one of Ze Frank’s talks, where he says:

    “If I ever get a case of the too-toos — too old, too fat, too late — let me shake it off like a donkey shakes off something he doesn’t like.”

    There are at least two Nobel prize winners who started writing only in their late thirties. Were they worried about age, time, the cult of youth and the fanaticism of Now? I don’t think they were.

    Each one of us has a unique gearbox and we don’t shift into high gear until we’ve hit the right number of rotations.

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  9. Yes, maybe I should stop thinking about it and just try and do it, even if only for my own benefit.

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    • Optie, I know many writers who write just for themselves. I think on some level, we all do this and them some choose to take the next step. Others are content just to let the words flow. Either way, letting creativity out is a wonderful thing. :) Happy writing!

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  10. Thank you for this one Tess, wonderful hosting. I don’t ever say I am a writer though there is that little secret passion in me clawing to get out.

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  11. Just reading other people’s comments here, this came up on another blog a while ago, the issue of not wanting to call ourselves a writer, so when asked what we do we list the other things we do, like our day job, being a mother etc and then perhaps add something like “And I do a bit of writing on the side, just for fun”.

    The ‘no time’ excuse is one that we all use, but if something is important to us then we can, and should make time for it. I always ask myself whether I want to be lying on my death bed thinking “Well, I might not have ever written that book that was burning inside me for all those years, but boy, were my floors and windows clean!”.

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    • So true, Vanessa. Why is it so difficult to say who we believe we are? Oh, maybe because we have such a high regard for the calling? Yep, this must be the answer.

      I enjoy the process. Writing or editing keep me happy but I don’t use the ‘term’ lightly.

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    • I so agree. I think this is one of the big reasons why i took the leap–I didn’t want to look back and see the giant hole of regret staring back at me.

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  12. Wow! Emotional Thesaurus! That one is amazingly unique. Thanks! =)

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  13. Kids circling like piranas — hey! What is she doing looking in my window ?

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  14. Of course it’s never too late! Thanks for sharing. But, please explain the whole “zombie fish” situation. Thanks!

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  15. I love this post!! And I agree – life is short, re prioritize, put the fear away and just do it. Your message speaks loud and clear and is reaching individuals of all ages.

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  16. Thanks. I certainly hope not!

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  17. This is very inspirational and encouraging, thank you for sharing! I can fully relate to the feeling of having a passion but lacking the confidence and self-belief to follow the dream. I wonder if the insecurity always remains in some quantity, no matter the success you achieve? High regard for the calling is right on the money I think!

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