This is our second oldest granddaughter who lives in Dallas. She graduated Saturday with the other 1052 members of her class. Yes, that number is correct. She attended a large suburban high school. And yes, they all walked across a stage to receive their diploma as their name was called. We were delighted to be able to be there for her big day. Her long-loved bear is wearing an Arkansas t-shirt, which is where she is going to college.
We listened to short speeches by the Class President, Salutatorian and Valedictorian. It made me smile when one of them referenced Dr. Seuss books and another one based the speech on the Wizard of Oz. Books! Books that meant something to them. They all talked about the hard work done over a 13 year period and about the dreams of what might be ahead for each graduate. First, either entering the work force or heading off to college for further education, the next step in realizing their goals.
It made me think about the dreams of the very young. How many do come true? How many work hard enough to make sure their dream comes true? How many will not pursue the dream with intensity and regret it later?
As writers, we all have dreams, too. Dreams of being a success in the writing world. It doesn't matter if you started when you finished high school or college or whether it was 30 years later. The important part is how you pursued your dream. How many times were you ready to give up but soldiered on? How often did you weigh writing time vs social time and skipped merrily off into the social world?
We know that those big goals of a high school grad get sidetracked for various reasons. Our writing goals get pushed aside at times, too. Very often, it's for valid reasons, not just our yen to be a social butterfly. Life tends to set up roadblocks that we must either jump over and skirt around somehow. I know from experience that it doesn't always happen as quickly as we'd like. For me, it took many years to realize my dream of being a published writer because I allowed life to get in the way. But it did happen.
Key to reaching our goal includes these things-- determination, perseverance, faith in yourself. There are others as well. Patience is one. Pure grit is another.
Nothing happens if you sit around and wait for it to rain success from the sky. All those graduates we saw on Saturday worked hard for a dozen plus years to achieve the status of graduate. It was not always easy. The work was harder for some than others. So it is with we who write. It's easier for some writers to get published than others. With a few, it's pure luck but for others, it means they've worked very hard to become a published writer, It doesn't matter if that first publication is in a small local newspaper or a nationwide venue of some kind. Do it once and you'll know you can do it again.
In some ways, I envied those young people Saturday for they had a lifetime ahead of them with great possibilities if they work hard. On second thought, it made me grateful that I'd moved past that period and had achieved some of my dreams. How about you?