In the course of any dream, any career, and indeed any life, things change. They change so much it can sometimes be scary.
It’s a familiar story: Someone starts down one road until they find the road had ended and they have to blaze the trail for themselves if they wish to continue.
This is what has happened to me.
It was a long time in coming. It has been going on for so long, in fact, I didn’t realize it until I’d gone so far it was like standing on the edge of a cliff. Finally, I just had to force myself to stop for a minute (actually an entire day) and think carefully about what has been going on in my writing career, what has been changing in my dream.
When I finally realized what was happening, I understood that I had been here before.
Back when I worked as a corporate writer, I had been in this position several times. Legal writing had led me down a career path that provided more opportunities for technical writing. When I changed tracks and started doing technical writing, opportunities opened up for marketing and copywriting. Each time I changed paths, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. Each time I changed paths, my world grew a bit. But it didn’t come without an equal bit of fear.
Taking a walk with my wife this morning, I asked her if the same thing had happened in her career. Vicky is a paralegal. Her career has taken her from a small law office to a corporate position. Her corporate position opened a door to management and another door to teaching. Each time a door opened, she too was faced with the intimidating choice: step into the unknown and grow or stay still and play it safe.
Once I realized how familiar this was, I felt a bit more at ease… except for one thing. The corporate world is often structured with paths of advancement, for growth. But how much structure is provided to the person aspiring to a dream only they can see? Athletes have to make this decision with every competition. Chefs must thread the needle between specialization and lack of focus. Actors must be cognizant with every role they play what that will do for every opportunity that will come next.
And then, there comes the time when they must create their own opportunities, blaze their own trails. Actors sometimes do this by writing or producing their own material. A chef may open her own restaurant. An athlete may face an obstacle they know they’re not physically prepared for. Creating opportunities means creating risk, creating danger.
And yet, that is what dreamers must do.
That is what I must do.
And I can tell you it is frightening. Because I started out this road wanting to be a writer. How did I get here, on the edge of the unknown? Surprisingly, from writing too much. I’ve overloaded my agents with so many books they either represent or are considering for representation, they simply cannot fit more work on their table.
And I am left with more books waiting in the wings. I’m not kidding. Right now, I have one non-fiction book and three novels that I would love to write. I am ready to write them. I could start today!
And yet, what good would it do me? What benefit would it bring? Those books would just sit here… waiting.
I didn’t dream of being a writer just to write books that gather dust.
The problem is that I have reached a point in my dream where I need to grow. I need to push myself to become more than I had originally imagined.
In the coming months, I will address this issue and tell you how I am facing it head-on. You will learn about new projects created to help me grow. You will hear about how I’ve faced this problem before, which is how I know I can face it now.
It isn’t new. We all face this.
This time, I will face it with you.
About the Author
Ken La Salle is an author and playwright out of Anaheim, California. His passion is intense humor, meaningful drama, and finding answers to the questions that define our lives. You can find his books on Amazon and Smashwords and all major etailers. His philosophical memoir, Climbing Maya, is available in ebook and paperback. Ken also has a number of audiobooks available on iTunes, Audible, and all major etailers. You can follow Ken’s writing career on his website at www.kenlasalle.com.