I won a writing contest in September of 2012. As my jaw bounced up and off of the stage when the emcee announced my novel’s title, my first thought was of me thirty years before shelving that manuscript thinking “everyone wants to be a writer.”

Someone had said those words to me in a disparaging voice and I believed them. There was little hope for me, little old me, to join that rarified group of writers, much less the exclusive club of authors.

I’m 57 now. I look back on my “career” path and see it now as one decided in great part by the act of resignation, the tucking away of my dreams into a folder. Not that it’s been a bad life. Quite the contrary. But if I’d not given up so easily on creative writing, that journey would have taken a different direction.

One always hears those adages that follow along the lines of “follow your bliss and the money will come,” or the “luckiest person is she whose avocation is her occupation.” Our dreams and our bliss may not actually pay the bills all the time, but even if they don’t, they nourish us at the root level. Don’t prune your dreams too early. Let them sprawl and be unruly. Don’t let the neighbors tell you otherwise. If it’s beautiful to you, let it grow.

Perseverance, patience and then…progress.