Your dreams are your own. You should own them.
It’s been almost a year since I started blogging again.
When I started the first time it was about golf and I had no idea what I was doing—I just knew I wanted to write. At the time I was halfway through my first novel and felt stuck. There was little semblance of a plan, but it was filled with passion.
Within a few weeks of starting the golf blog a few friends and I started a sports blog. It was called “The Lazy Defense”. Again, we didn’t know what we were doing, but we wanted to do something fun. So we did.
Neither of those sites really amounted to much in and of themselves but without them I wouldn’t be here. So, for that alone, I am grateful.
Success comes in failures
Without those two adventures I don’t think I would have been able to finish my first book. And if I hadn’t of finished my first book then I wouldn’t have finished the second and the third.
Writing is about having the one of two things—either the confidence to keep going even when you think your writing is crap or having the ignorance to not care if it’s crap and keep writing anyway. I’m not sure which one took the lead, but I’d be willing to guess it was a Bonnie and Clyde combination of the two.
As I approach the one year mark I have been thinking about what’s happened in the world of writing for me. What positives I can carry forward. Because even though the catalyst for my writing has been tragedy over the last year, the product has been something I’d never have dreamed of.
Step one for me was starting this site. Really putting some time and effort into the structure and purpose of this blog so I could build a long lasting infrastructure for something that, hopefully, has helped someone along the way.
The salt of the Earth
Step two was getting people to read this blog. Because I can write all day long and claim that it’s just for me. And a big part of it is for me. But it’s no secret that writers want to be read.
I’m no different and I want as many people as possible to read what I write. It’s just how it is. So I started trying to follow the breadcrumbs and get readers.
This worked in a couple of ways. Facebook pages have been a huge source of readers for me, but you can only do so much with personal growth type stuff on Facebook.
So I also started trying to get articles published on other people’s sites. My first hit was Salt&Light, the blog written by Paul Sohn. A man who has worked incredibly hard and has seen some pretty good success, especially in the last year. To you, Paul, I want to say ‘Thank you’. Without your approval of my first guest post on the internet I don’t know where I’d be.
Shortly after that I got an article published on GenTwenty (Nicole Booz was also on my podcast last week). And by the end of November I had 8,000 twitter followers.
Now, I don’t say this to bring attention to my accomplishments, because they aren’t mine. They are yours. Without you all reading this site, none of this would have been possible.
A few good men
The things that happened after Thanksgiving of 2014 have been incredible. I had a long conversation with someone about what the next step would be. With his input I decided it was time to be a little bolder and start aiming high. So I submitted an article to The Goodmen Project. And a relationship was born. After that first article I was invited into the writers group on Facebook for GMP and since then I’ve written about six articles for the site. It’s amazing to me because that site gets about 2 million visitors per week!
I’ve also recorded and published seven episodes of The Old Soul Podcast, which is also mind blowing to me.
Just this morning I ordered four proof copies of my upcoming book, ‘The Tajiman’. Which is the story of an interpreter I met in Afghanistan who was 61 at the time I met him. He’d been a Pakistani immigrant who was a naturalized citizen of the United States and was the manager of a high end shoe store in New York City. After 9/11 and the recession that followed. Shafi found himself out of work in 2007.
With a sense of patriotism I can only imagine Shafi signed on to become a linguist during the war. What occurred over the next seven years of his life can only be described as legendary. Shafi was the interpreter for one CPT Will Swenson in 2009. CPT Swenson was the patrol leader for the patrol that produced Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer and eventually Swenson himself. This book is written as a novel, but many of the events are based on actual events, and the final transformation of Shafi from a shoe store manager into a Soldier in his own right, is 100% true.
This post is designed to show you that when you’re either willing to continue working on your dreams or too ignorant to quit, things will happen. They won’t always happen as you think they will, and, maybe more often, they go in an entirely different direction. But that’s what makes the journey so great.
If you have a dream that you put on the shelf for whatever reason. Pull it down, dust it off, and see what you can do today to make it happen. Maybe it’s writing. If it is, I’d love to hear from you. Maybe it’s qualifying for the U.S. Open in golf at Pebble Beach in 2019. (That’s another one of my dreams.) What ever it is, take a stab at it. You never know what might happen.
What dreams may come…
I don’t know what the next year will hold. But what I can tell you is that I have a plan for what I want to see happen. I have an idea of where I want things to go. And whether or not they follow that path I can’t be sure. But what I do know is that I’m ready to tackle whatever comes my way. And I think you should be too. After all, what are you going to do when the opportunity of a lifetime comes knocking at your door?
You better be ready to answer the call. It may be your only shot.
And it’s never too late.