Moving Forward

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It’s currently 12:45 am ET as I write this. I want this post to serve as a reminder to everyone grinding toward their dreams. No matter how far behind you think you are in life, don’t give up. Every morning you arise is another opportunity to reach your goals.

Don’t be concerned with those around you that belittle your ambition. Eventually they will be the ones watching from the sidelines as you cruise to victory.

The race is not given to the swift, but to the one who endures. Don’t worry about how long it takes you to get to the finish line. Just get there.

Chase Your Dreams

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I spend a lot of time writing about dreams on this blog. Not the actual dreams you experience while sleeping at night, but the short and long-term dreams you wish to achieve someday.

I feel it’s my duty as a blogger to inject some level of hope and optimism into my writing.  If someone takes the time out of their busy schedule to read my blog then I owe it to them to write something that will make some kind of an impact on their life.

Dreaming is such an important part of life. No matter how big or small, you should always be striving toward something. My eventual dream is to write a book. I’m not exactly sure what kind of book it will be, but I do know that it will be inspirational in tone to some extent. Every encouraging blog post I write gets me closer in that direction.

If you don’t have any dreams then I encourage you to grab a sheet of paper and jot down three things you’d like to accomplish. Keep it practical, but don’t be afraid to launch out into the deep. Then begin working to mark each one off your list by a set time. Putting a timeframe on your dream is crucial as it will help you remain focused in reaching key benchmarks along the way.

Don’t let another day pass without working toward your dreams.

Pursue Your Passion Now

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Life is too short to not pursue your passion. Begin chasing every dream that consumes your thoughts.

Seek a mentor. Take a You Tube tutorial. Check out a book. Sign up for a class. Volunteer.

Study and practice until you become a master.

You don’t want to look back on life a decade from now with regrets. You’re young enough and crazy enough to begin making your wildest dreams come true.

There is no such thing as overnight success. Every celebrity you admire worked hard to get to where they’re at. They honed their craft in between jobs, after school, and during times when nobody was watching. They didn’t become great by accident.

Start pursuing your passion today.

 

 

500 Writing Prompts: Life Is Short

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Finish this sentence: “Life is short…”

…so you should do everything you want to. Take chances. Don’t play it safe. Don’t waste time. Spend time with those you love. Tell the people you love how you feel about them. Love people in spite of their faults. Serve God. Live your dreams regardless of how impossible they may seem. Write a book. Record an album. Buy a house. Start a business. Go on your dream vacation. Pursue your passions. Apply for the job you want even if you’re not qualified. Don’t walk in fear. Walk in love. Encourage others. Be a light in the darkness. Do your best to bring a smile to someone’s face everyday. Use your words to uplift those around you. Don’t tear people down. Be a hero to someone. Develop a prayer life. Go out of your way to help others. Don’t be lazy with your talents. Be yourself. Speak up when necessary. Be quiet when you need to. Let your presence be a relief to others. Show grace and mercy to others especially when you think they don’t deserve it.

 

 

What I Want Most Out of Life

I want to be remembered as an all-time great at something.

I don’t want to live the rest of my life as a nobody.

I want to help people.

I want to be more confident.

I want to have an excellent career instead of a good job.

I want to realize my full potential.

I want to see my dreams come true.

I want to walk with God in word and deed.

I want to see my friends’ dreams come true.

I want to be a better husband, son, brother, nephew and cousin.

I want to not be so indecisive.

I want to enjoy all that life has to offer.

I want to go to new places to see new things.

I want to be a good father.

I want to have healthy relationships with the people around me.

I want to stop being afraid.

I want to stop being lazy.

I want to be successful.

My Writing Dream

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Without dreams, everyone would wander through life without anything to look forward to. We’d all be content with going to work, paying  bills, and doing little more to make an impact on society.

Dreaming helps you to wake up every morning with a sense of purpose knowing that you’re getting one step closet to achieving your goals.

One of my biggest dreams is to become a great writer. I want to host a successful blog with thousands of followers, write multiple books, and be on the cover of publications such as The Writer Magazine and Writer’s Digest.

I want to be invited back to my alma mater, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, to speak with students about how to  become a writer. I want to have book signings where I meet fans and listen to their stories about how my writing has changed their lives.

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I want to appear on the cover of this publication.

By the time I die I want to leave behind a written legacy that will stand the test of time. It may sound like a lofty ambition, but I’m up for the task.

I’m smart enough to realize that there is a lot of room for improvement in my writing. I need to perfect certain aspects of my craft and become a more meticulous self editor.

Writing is incredibly difficult work. There are days when I struggle just to put down the right words on paper. Sometimes I look at my writing and wonder how I could’ve produced something that reads so awful.

When these moments come I’ll keep pressing forward. I’ll keep dreaming. I’ll keep writing.

 

 

Mini Dreams are Building Blocks for the Big Ones

Dreams. For most of our lives, especially during childhood, we are endlessly told to pursue our dreams or do something that will take you in the direction of where you wish to wind up one day.

Of course, various factors in life (having children, work, unforeseen circumstances) often interfere and can ruin even the best of plans. When I entered college, I just assumed I would graduate in four years and then have some type of high paying job doing…something sort of unique. As I matriculated through college I began to discover I could write pretty well. Working on the student newspaper and getting great reviews from internships led me to believe that I was on the path to becoming the next great news reporter. The only problem was that I never really had the passion to write about news. It kind of reminds me of a current storyline from the latest season of Degrassi (I had to use one of my teen show references!). There is this hotshot hockey player named Campbell Saunders. He’s the rookie and the one with the more potential than any of his teammates. Most people assume that he loves hockey since it comes so naturally to him. Yet he suffers from constant low self esteem, panic attacks and winds up injuring himself just to get out of practice and have a normal life.

That’s kind of how I felt about news writing, particularly in my final year of college. I was on staff with the paper and just realized that I didn’t have the passion for it anymore. People would constantly commend me on my stories and in my mind I was thinking that I absolutely hated writing them.  I still loved writing, and always will, but from that day forward I knew deep in my heart that covering news wasn’t for me. Of course, I never told my parents that. But the neat thing was that working on the newspaper for so many years did teach me valuable tips about utilizing storytelling techniques to write across many platforms.  Those techniques would come in handy years later.

There is a bit of regret (not much) in me about not being committed to the newspaper lifestyle. So many of the former students I worked with on staff have gone on to do great things in the world of journalism. Heck, one of them even works for NBC Nightly News while another is an award winning reporter based in Charlotte, NC. I’m very happy for the level of success they’ve achieved.

Hold up! I know it seems like I skewed quite a bit from talking about dreams, but I’m about to bring it all together.

Even in this current phase of my life where I’m largely waiting to make my next serious career move, I’ve discovered that working in the professional wrestling industry would truly make me happy in life. And no I’m not talking about being a wrestler. Just like any other leagues, there are plenty of opportunities to be involved in the sport that don’t require the physical toll of wrestling. There are production people, writers that create the weekly storylines we see played out and a wide range of professionals in nearly every discipline imaginable. I searched the profiles of several WWE employees on LinkedIn and was amazed to find out how diverse their staff is. They come from all walks of life. There are employees that graduated from a four year institution and some that have their associate’s degree from a community college. There are also people who have worked extensively in the entertainment business.  There is even one person who worked as a waiter at a steakhouse before becoming employed by WWE. Who would’ve thought?

I’m not sure how I will begin networking or who I would even attempt to contact first, but I have to work in the pro wrestling business before I die. And if I can’t make it into WWE, then there is always TNA Wrestling. TNA is based in Nashville so it would be a lot better to move there than have to relocate to New York or Connecticut (where WWE is based).  Then again, there are numerous local independent wrestling promotions all across the country, with a ton of them being in North Carolina, that I could offer my services to in some capacity. Whether it’s the biggest company in existence or the smallest indy, I will be working with a wrestling promotion sooner than later.

In the meantime, I also plan on becoming a famous writer. Running this very blog is helping me turn that dream into a reality. This year I’ve had the chance to write a feature article for a regional literary magazine, have my work appear as a featured article on said publication’s blog and have even begun to write for publication on a somewhat regular basis at my job.

From 2010-2011, I worked as a staff writer at North Carolina A&T State University. That may have been the most important job in my life up to this point in time for the simple reason it gave me a tremendously huge platform to showcase my work. My primary responsibility was to write features for the alumni magazine. Keep in mind that magazine is distributed twice a year to over 40,000 alumni, students and friends of the university. That means over 40,000 people read my articles. That is mind blowing to me.

Even though I’m working as an office assistant, I’m currently in the process of working on four stories for the university’s development newsletter.

I’ve also weighed the possibility of writing about wrestling on a professional basis. Unfortunately, wrestling doesn’t offer the wide array of publications of other sports. You can go to any newsstand and see a plethora of NBA, NFL, NHL and MMA publications. There is only a handful about wrestling and the majority doesn’t really provide genuine coverage of the sport, rather they write about in an almost fictional manner.  I write about wrestling enough on this blog and for various websites that I can at least say I’m getting some good training for that line of work.

Even though I have large expectations for the things I want to achieve in my life, the fact of the matter is that I’m accomplishing quite a few of them. I may not have the recognition and paycheck commensurate with the greats, but I’m living quite an amazing life and am at least getting the opportunity to accomplish my dreams on a small time level.

I think most of us believe that dreams only become a reality once we reach the big stage. But every dream is a process that involves fulfilling a lot of mini dreams along the way.

I should probably learn to be thankful for this phase of my life because I have a feeling my life won’t always be as low key and relaxing as it is today.  I think the same could be said for any serious dreamer reading this.

Dreams Can Become True Once They’re Broken into Bite-Sized Pieces

In the daily grind of life we often weigh ourselves down trying to fulfill unrealistic expectations. It’s like the New Year Resolution syndrome. You try to set a big goal and may be really serious about it for a short period of time until a situation or distraction arises. And then another…and another. Before long, you will have forgotten about your original goal and gone on to create ten more. And the goal may have simply been too high of a bar to reach anyway.

Instead of setting one giant goal, it may be best to break down that goal into individual pieces or “mini goals.” Achieving each of the smaller goals will give you a boost of confidence while keeping the big picture in front of you of what you’d really like to achieve one day.

I’m beginning to apply this principle to my life. I’ve often been the worst at reaching the goals I set out to conquer and have often described myself as the ultimate beginner. I can start a project or assignment like the best, but I lose my hunger along the way and end up completing my tasks in a very lackluster manner. That’s even if I finish at all! I think a lot of people become frustrated in their personal and professional lives due to the fact they feel they can’t ever accomplish the things they set out to do. We often get overwhelmed by our own lofty expectations of where we think we should be at in life and fail to take pleasure in the simplicity of doing the little things that will get us to our end result.

Whatever you desire can become a reality. People always tell me that I can write a book someday. I believe I can. Will it happen tomorrow? No. Will it happen two months from now? Highly unlikely. However, I’m taking baby steps towards realizing that goal. Every blog post I write, story I submit for publication, author I speak with, writing workshop I attend and research I conduct, is getting me closer to the day when I will release my masterpiece onto an unsuspecting general public and shock them with my literary prowess (while climbing the bestseller charts)!!!

Anything is possible , but trying to do it all at once, or without a proper game plan, is a surefire way to fail.

 

How My Story Became the Featured Blog Entry for Southern Writers Magazine

Hello everyone. Every writer has those moments in their career, or on the path to publication, that serves as a breakthrough moment. I’m happy to announce that yesterday was my breakthrough moment.

But like any good writer, I must set the atmosphere of the events that led up to it.

Last Monday as I was leaving from work, a coworker (who writes as well and is a dear friend) told me I should consider joining a writers group. She discussed that it would be a great benefit towards improving my craft and re-fueling my passion. Even though we all enjoy to write, we must be honest enough to admit there are times when our creative well runs dry.

She recommended I join the Facebook fan page for the Southern Writers Magazine. SWM is a bi-monthly publication packed with inspiration and advice from popular, published authors sharing their secrets of success, as well as articles by experts on book marketing, promotion, branding, blogging, screenwriting, songwriting, conferences and much more. They have over 900 fans on Facebook so it’s a great deal of exposure.

Once I arrived home I clicked the “like” button on their page and began to do a bit of research. I saw they had a special promotion on their weekday blog,“Suite T”, for the month of February. You could submit a 500 word or less article about one of the four topics of love they had listed. I chose to do mine on the topic “When I Fell in Love with Writing.” Every week, they select an entry to be the featured guest blog on the site.

On that evening, I quickly wrote the first few things that pooped into my mind about my love of writing. I polished it up a few times before finally submitting it. I knew it was a decent piece, but I didn’t really think I’d hear back from them about it.

Yesterday afternoon, I was stunned to check to my e-mail and discover I had a message from the social media director of SWM. They informed me that my entry was selected for this week and will be featured on their blog and on their Facebook and Twitter pages. You can read it at  http://southernwritersmagazine.blogspot.com/2012/02/committed-relationshipwith-writing.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook.

This has been the best writing-realted news of the year for me and like I’ve said numerous times, I will make my writing dreams come true in 2012!!!!!! I’d like to encourage every writer to stick to your dreams and continue to stay true to your craft. If so, then nothing but success will come from it. And last but not least, I’d like to send a special thanks to Lisa Flint and D’toya Colson for always reminding me that my writing dreams are firmly in my grasp.

The Number One Bit of Advice for Making Dreams Come True: Start Running, Now!

Hello. Today, I want to share something I think everyone (my subscribers especially!) will enjoy. I want to talk a little about dreams.

For as long as I can remember, I (as well as most of you) have been told to reach for our dreams. You know the lecture: “No matter how hard and impossible they may be, as long you work hard and never give up, they will become a reality.”

I’ve always wondered about how people really achieve great things in life. Did Jay-Z just wake up one morning as the single greatest rapper of all time? Did Barack Obama listen to Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech hundreds of times until it was embedded in his mind that he could one day become the president of the United States? As George Clooney progressed throughout his acting classes and first major roles, did he envision himself being among the best actors of his generation?

At first glance it may seem as if there is some special genetic code in celebrities and important public figures that give them an ability to succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In reality, they are people just like you and I. They were born with special talents that they considered important enough to improve on everyday. I don’t believe in overnight success stories. Anyone who has ever been great at what they do for a living had to work extremely hard at it.

I read a very interesting fact about famous horror/suspense writer Stephen King last week. It was in an excerpt from the September 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine. Here it is:

“Stephen King served as a janitor for a high school while struggling to get his fiction published. His time wheeling the cart through the halls inspired him to write the opening girls’ locker room scene in Carrie, which would become his breakout novel.”

If a man who worked as a janitor could go on to become a New York Times bestselling author, then I truly believe that anything is possible. Growing up, I only thought certain people could attain the really big thing in life. I was raised in a great household and grew up in church, but I always thought it was out the realm of possibility to achieve the spectacular things. Instead, I’ve come to realize that it really does take hard work and a bit of patience.

As I said earlier, success doesn’t come overnight. However, I believe only those who chase after their dreams are the ones who ultimately catch them.

Looks like it’s time to start running!

To further illustrate my message I chose to include a video of a song from the Disney Channel movie, Lemonade Mouth. The name of the song is Breakthrough and the lyrics are very appropriate to what this article is about. Enjoy!