Following Your Dreams

Have you ever been told to follow your dreams?

It’s a nice sentiment, but what if following your dreams leads you off-track and straight off a cliff?

I’m not saying that having dreams and wanting to pursue them is a bad idea—in fact, I’d say it’s quite the opposite. We all have things that God placed inside our hearts that we really want to do and accomplish. The trouble starts when we have this thing—this great idea—but no clue how to make that idea a reality.

Crashing Craft Stores

Let’s say that one day you decided that you just had to be a painter. So you go out and visit your nearest craft store, buying all the paints, paintbrushes, and canvases that your wallet can afford—and possibly a little more than that.

You go home and dump all your purchases out on the kitchen table then start painting. You paint picture after picture, letting creativity flow from your brain, to your paintbrush, and onto the canvas.

Next thing you know, you’ve got sixty paintings (or if you’re a writer like me, then you probably have about a hundred and thirty-two WIPs).

So, now what?

Your paintings are pretty, but they aren’t making you any money just by cluttering up your house.

But you’re a painter now, right? After all, you’ve painted a bunch of pictures. Isn’t that enough?

Next Steps VS No Steps

It’s easy to jump right into something that interests you, but what are the next steps?

It’s possible that there aren’t any. Maybe you just like to paint, or write, or sew. I mean, it’s perfectly okay to have hobbies.

But what if you actually want to make a living by doing the things you love?

Research Your Craft

Research everything even remotely related to the thing you want to do.

When I first realized I wanted to write stories, I immediately hit the books—both literally and figuratively.

I looked for anything that would help me improve my writing. Books like the emotion and rural setting thesauruses. I also read articles from writing websites like helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com or Story Embers.

Research Leads To New Opportunities

The more you research your craft, the more resources and opportunities you’ll find. As I was reading through articles on Story Embers’ website, I learned about their writing summits. I attended their first summit and it completely changed my thoughts on storytelling and how to go about it.

Just a few months after attending the summit, I finished my first ever novel draft and created an Instagram account specifically for my writing (find it here).

Since the first Story Embers summit was so helpful, I decided to attend the second one as well, which is how I learned about the School of Kingdom Writers. SOKW was sponsoring that year’s summit, and one of its founders, Brad Pauquette spoke about the school and their mission.

The Spark

The School of Kingdom Writers’ mission is to train writers to write great stories and content that will actually make an impact on society instead of collecting dust in a bargain bin.

People are always reading and consuming media, but who is writing the things people read?

That question lit a spark in me.

I realized that writing wasn’t just a hobby to me anymore. I wanted to change the world through my writing, and I’d be willing to do whatever it took to get there.

But what does it take to make your dreams a reality?

Practice, Practice, Practice!

I’ll be going over that subject in more detail, so stay tuned for next week’s blog, but here’s a hint:

Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make experience.

The more you practice your craft, the more experienced you’ll become. Mistakes become fewer and your confidence will grow. You’ll surprise yourself with the things you can accomplish when you refuse to give up.

And speaking of practice, if you’re a writer, then writing flash fiction is a great way to hone your skills…

News Flash! (Fiction) 

The SOKW Summer Flash Fiction contest is here!

And once again, I’ll be one of the judges!

This contest is free to enter, and the prizes are better than ever!

The theme of this summer’s flash fiction contest is mirror image. There are so many options for a theme like this, so I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

This is a flash fiction contest, so each story must be 1,500 words or less!

As Usual, the first-place winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and be featured on the School of Kingdom Writers website.

And this time, SOKW is partnering with the Cleveland, Ohio radio station 95.5 The Fish, so you’ll also have an opportunity to join Len and Sara on The Fish morning show to talk about your winning story!

Not only that, but we’re launching Pearl Magazine this month, a new outlet for genre-bending Kingdom-minded fiction, and with your permission, your story will also be published there!

Click here to enter!

Have questions? Check out the contest page for more information, or message me! I’m happy to help!

I’m so excited to read your stories and see what sort of characters, situations, and worlds you’ll create!

Even if you wouldn’t exactly call yourself a writer, entering this contest will be a lot of fun, and will give you an excuse to try something new.

Happy writing!

Before You Go…

What is your favorite genre to read or write?

Let me know in the comments below!

Check out last week’s blog here!