It all started with a date with a really cute girl. I had met her at work. This isn’t something I usually do because of professionalism but in my defense she offered her phone number to me. I didn’t ask. I’m really outgoing with all of my customers so I guess I can be pretty approachable to most.
Anyway it was just us in the store. We were talking about what we both were doing in college. This was before I had published a book. So my answer was that I wanted to study English and become an author someday. I told her about the project I had going on at the time.
Eventually the conversation ended, she left and things were fine. Then she returns to the store maybe less than 5 minutes later asking more about me and the book I was working on. Long story short I ended up with her phone number and went on a date with her two days later.
A couple of weeks went past and things sort of went down hill with her. It disappointed me because she was really interesting. I thought I had finally found a cool girl to date. Back then one of my top priorities was getting into a steady and long lasting relationship. I know this sounds crazy for a 20 year old but wait, the story gets better.
I sat down one day and just thought about how much effort I was putting into dating. A LOT. When I say a lot I mean I had dates pretty much every weekend. And it’s not that I was a player. I wasn’t sleeping around with these women. I was just looking for that special someone. And I couldn’t find her. No one gave me the spark I was looking for. But my efforts were amazing.
I sat at a table one day and thought, “how successful would I be if I put this much effort into writing?”
That’s when it happened. I made the decision to publish a book. My goal was to write a book from start to finish it, edit and revise it and publish it before I was 21. And I went to WORK.
I woke up every day and wrote 1000 words at LEAST and wrote another 1000 before I went to bed. It was like a job to me. But not a desk job. I loved every minute of it. I would listen to my playlist on Spotify and just type for hours. Literally HOURS. There were times where I didn’t even leave home. I’ve written for eight hours straight before. No lie. I got so deep into it that I calculated my page per hour speed. I average 8 pages per hour on font size 11, Times New Roman, with page dimensions of 6×9. That’s 64 pages in eight hours. Yes, I was going to the EXTREME.
This wasn’t some joke to me. I hadn’t been more serious about anything in my life. It was time to be an author, not want to be an author. I set my alarm for 7am and when it went off I didn’t dare press snooze. It was time to write. It was time to be great and make my dream come true. Eventually I finished writing and revisions.
My war for my dream started in the winter of 2013 and I won April 1st, 2014. I self-published my debut novel, Hero’s Romance on April Fool’s Day, something I hadn’t realized until someone thought I was pulling a prank. It wasn’t a prank though. When my box came in March 12th people started freaking. I had done it.
I was finally an author at the age of 20. I had a book signing a week after I got my shipment and another signing at a library a few months later. I was even lucky enough to go to an Indy’s Author Masquerade Ball. I’m always the youngest person at these things. The second youngest that I have met has been 25.
My experiences with publishing my own book pushed me go after whatever I wanted. Any dream. I went overseas for the first time to England ALONE. This was huge for me because I had never been on a plane nor had I ever traveled overseas. But I didn’t care. I never thought twice about it. I went to England not thinking about any possible disasters. I was and still am the king of my dreams.
In England I met a girl there that I had known for 6 months through email. I was in the UK for a week. Things didn’t work for us though. And no she wasn’t a catfish. I have pictures all over Instagram haha. I just didn’t feel that spark that I was looking for. I went into the unknown not sure of what to expect but had my hopes up for greatness. And even though I hadn’t found that fairytale girl I dream of one day meeting, I loved every single moment.
20 and thousands away from home. Spending my week with a beautiful woman. Seeing things I never thought of seeing. I had one of the best if not THE BEST New Year’s of my life. I spent it in England. I felt and still feel so alive. Reborn or something. You set your eyes on something you want. A dream. Whether it’s being a famous dancer or some hardworking hair stylist. Anything. Then you chase that dream without ever looking back. Will you catch it or will you fail? You DONT know and that my friends is the beauty of it all.
Facing the ups and downs of chasing that dream with bravery. The laughs, the good times, the moments of disaster and burning.Those tough moments where you feel like throwing in the towel but you don’t because this fire inside of you refuses to die. Most of all those moments of flawless glory. Claiming your victories knowing it was all because of your hard efforts. These are the moments that make us glow. I call it afterglow. The beauty of being who you were destined to be, accepting that title regardless of the fears and dangers you must face.It’s a thrill I live for.
Chasing and catching a dream. I love all of it. I’m an adventurer. I’m a warrior. I ache for walking outside the lines and risk looking like a fool for love and my dreams. I live for the thrill of feeling alive every time I do these things. It’s what makes me fill full and grounded. I’m grateful for every experience, good and bad. I have no regrets and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Chase your dreams. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Friends. Family. A lover. The only person who matters when it comes to your dream is YOU. It’s yours to claim and it is your duty, your destiny to fight the battles until you come out on top. I can’t promise you an easy victory or any victories at all. But I can promise you’ll feel amazing for having the guts to try. Too many people refuse to try because they may look foolish or their dream seems unattainable. Where there’s a will there is a way. Just run for it and don’t look back.
I am not rich and I’m not a genius. All of my feats have been rightfully earned through raw hardwork and dedication. Sure I’ve had help from family and friends. But the bulk of the work was done by me. So take it from someone like me. If you have a dream then get up and chase it. Accept your challenges and find a way to victory. One fail doesn’t equal a permanent one. It’s only permanent if you let it be. It’s not enough to just dream. You have to bring that dream to life.
And so now I’m a year from where I started. My journey’s anniversary is in a couple of weeks. I might give away a few books. I’m 99.99% sure that I will have something new on the book market either next month or before spring ends. Most likely it will be Where is Dreamland?