A Novel Idea: How to Seize a Lifelong Dream

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Since the start of 2019, I’ve been telling you about all the ways I’m improving myself and my life. Those ways spanned topics like how I kept my house in good order to how I write a good thank you note. I’ve pretty much been running the gamut of self-improvement. However, there is one little thing that I start every year thinking I’m going to tackle: my lifelong dreams. Do you know what happens? I never even start on them. Then I ask myself why I haven’t at least tried accomplishing these things. My main answer is that I’m afraid. I’m afraid of failing, of being ridiculed and, oddly, of success itself.

Well, today I’m getting really vulnerable with you and telling you something I haven’t uttered to many people yet. Even starting this blog post, I’m terrified. I’m about to tackle one of my lifelong dreams. I know, though, that getting this out there will mean I have an added drive to actually get this thing done. And, hopefully ya’ll will hold me accountable. And yep…I just typed ya’ll.

Are you ready for this???

Okay. I am…

I am writing a novel.

There I said it. I am sitting down in front of my computer on a regular basis and typing out a fiction story for the consumption of the general public…I hope. I’m not going to be writing this story for my own enjoyment, I do hope that one day it’ll be out there for mass consumption.

So far, I have a general idea of where I’ll be going with the plot and I’m pretty excited about it. My husband even got pretty excited about my plot idea. Considering I see him as a literary genius, this was a huge boost of encouragement to start this. I do plan on sharing the journey with you all here on the blog and over on my Instagram. I’ll be releasing short stories from time to time as I try to hone my writing skills. In fact, my first short story will be coming out this week. So, if you want to be alerted of when it goes life, make sure to subscribe to this blog and follow me over on Instagram.

I’m revealing all of this to really say…DO IT! Whatever your dreams are…go for it! Here is how I finally came to the place of being ready to seize my dreams.

1. Ask “What’s Holding Me Back?”

I had a lot of “answers” to this question. In the end I realized none of my answers were legitimate. My first thought was, “Well, I just don’t have the time.” I looked at my schedule and what I was spending time on. At the beginning of the year I reorganized my life and my priorities. I was spending HOURS of my life crocheting. I love crocheting. It’s awesome. It brings me a little bit of money from time to time, too. However, what if I took a little break from crocheting and utilized the time to write the book? Oh…yeah…so time isn’t an excuse.

The next thing was, “It’s delayed gratification!” Yes, I know writing a novel takes time a A LOT of work. I’m one of those people that wants immediate gratification for everything I do. Well, this will definitely be an exercise in patience for me. At the same time I could have little spurts of gratification to keep me going, right? I could tell you. In the telling, I could keep updating you on my progress. That seems like some gratification. I could write some short stories to exercise my literary brain and that would be almost as good as immediate gratification. The money part will certainly have to wait, but maybe this time will be an awesome investment in the future.

At any rate (and after all that talking to myself), I couldn’t think of one GOOD reason not to go ahead and start writing this novel. Go ahead and think of all your reasons and THEN think about if they are actually logical. There’s always a way. ALWAYS. Find the way.

2. Put a Plan Together

Plans and goals seem to propel me towards progress. Once I had the thought that this could actually happen, I decided to plot it out. Literally. I wrote the plot on post-it notes and stuck them on my wall. I’ve literally got the whole plot of the story on my office wall in the form of post-its.

Having it all written down like this made the possibility even more real to me. The actual outline of the work I was about to start was physically in front of me to look at every day. I had a plan. Now that I had that plan, I could put it into action!

3. Share Your Dream with Trusted Friends.

The next thing I did was I told people. SOME people; people who I knew would be sincerely thrilled for my plan. I told my husband first and his reaction created a spark in me that made me feel like I could REALLY do it. I sat my best friend down over coffee to tell her and she thought it was a great idea! Telling people I trust first helped me to gauge if I was being ridiculous or if this was really a good idea. Thankfully, they thought it was a good idea.

4. Start.

Doesn’t matter where you start, just start. If you need funding for your dream, start selling stuff to earn the money you need. In my case, starting meant writing the first paragraph. Yep…you now know I’ve got one paragraph (you’ll have to wait to see if I have anymore). I was pleased with it too. I shared that with my trusted friends. These little milestones were the gratification that I was needing to keep going. Don’t just think about starting. Don’t just talk about starting. Start. Once you start, keep going.

5. Tell Everybody Else.

Yep. Even before you finish, tell everybody! Tell your dentist and your postal carrier. Tell your haters. Why? Because this is going to be a different kind of drive for you now. Not only have you told people you trust, but you’ve told even the ones you might not. They may ridicule you. Let them. They may act like they don’t care. That’s fine. They may smile and nod and not jump up and down like you’d hope. That’s cool too. You know why? Negative thoughts don’t matter. The positive thoughts only add to our confidence. Allow the questions and the general disinterest propel you to actually get the thing done.

This was step 5 for me. I have no idea what’s coming after this post gets published. It maybe all wonderful. It may fall flat. Either way, this step takes me that much closer to accomplishing the next goal and the next goal.

In 2019 I will write a novel. What will you do?


  • The most important thing to always do is JUST START! Get a couple of wins under your belt (or chapters in your case) and build off of that momentum. I’m happy you’re doing what you set out to do. I can’t wait to read your novel!

    • I’m learning that! Even in the process of writing, the main thing I’m hearing is, “Just write. Sit down and do it without overthinking. You can edit and adjust later.” It’s amazing the kind of progress you can make when you do that. Just start it. For now, it moves me closer and closer to the end goal!

    • Good for you!!! Congratulations on getting started! That’s the hardest part. Now that you have the momentum of disclosure on your side, stay true to your path. You can do this!

      • Thank you! Yes…I figured if I just put it out there, then I’d have to see it through! Thanks for the encouragements!!

  • Just saying your dream out loud makes it real. You can do this. I love the idea of the plot on sticky notes—a visible daily reminder of where you’re headed. Can’t wait to hear more about your progress on fulfilling this lifelong dream!

    • Thank you so much! It’s responses like these that make me feel so encouraged! The post-its are definitely a motivating, physical reminder. It’s also what keeps me believing I can do this…I mean, I’ve already got it all plotted out. Now, I just gotta write it! I’m so excited to bring everyone along for the journey!

  • This is so exciting! Using sticky notes is a great idea – I may have to use that tip myself! I get ideas, but if I don’t write them down, I quickly forget them!

    • It has seriously kept me on track! I basically plotted it all out in one day and now the writing part can come that much easier because I know where I’m going. I’m like that too…forgetting my ideas. This has definitely helped!

  • Yay!!! That is amazing! I cannot tell you (or, rather, I’m embarrassed to tell you) how many times I resolved to write a book and then never followed through.) I need some of your tenacity! I love how sure and confident you are! I cannot wait to read your bevel and check out your short stories!

    • Yes! I love that! The possibilities are much greater now that I’ve stepped out of the dreaming mode and into the action mode!

  • I have always wanted to write a novel as well but couldn’t quite grasp what’s really holding me back. I guess it’s failing. May your dream become a reality and you’re an inspiration!

  • Bravo! Go get it! I made a bucket list many years ago and when I’m in a rut, I decide what the next thing to tackle and check off is going to be and I make it happen. I’m torn on whether telling people my plans is a good idea or not. In one way, it gives pressure to hold myself accountable and in another, it gives me an ongoing fear of failure and daily stress. I have done it both ways. I’m in the zone now of keeping goal private until it looks like I am on my way to hitting it! Writing a novel though, wow! That is patience and dedication for sure!

    • Yes! I do that too! I feel like crossing things off that list feels like forward motion in really enjoying life. Sometimes the day-to-day makes time go by way too fast. Doing things out of the ordinary is both fun and fulfilling!

  • I love this idea of ‘tell every one else’, not only those who trust you but also those who don’t. I have done it several times in my life, shared with too early, just at the planning phase , with people I hardly know or with people those who are going to judge me if I fail..and that itself was my driving force that so many people already know that I am gonna do it..I just could not prove myself a lier!! So I just pushed myself to do it. Great insights shared. Thanks a lot!

    • Thanks so much! I really think (for me, anyway), other people’s negativity fuels me. It makes me work that much harder to succeed. So, special thanks to all the haters out there…they play an important role for people like me! lol!

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