Persistence personified…

“A dream come true is just a tough little wish that won’t take no for an answer…”

So as much as I really wanted to use lyrics from Kelly Clarkson’s new single for an entry (because it’s seriously ingrained in my head just from hearing the thirty second clip), I couldn’t quite find a way to make it work. That’s okay, though, because this is an entry I’ve been wanting to do ever since I started writing in this blog. I can’t remember where I first heard the quote that I’m basing this entry on, but I do remember that I loved it immediately, from the very first time I saw it. It’s something I believe in whole-heartedly, and I’m excited to use it as the basis for this entry.

Being a professional singer. Being an Olympic gold medalist. Owning your own business. Working for a charity. Being a world-renowned artist. There are so many different things that people dream of doing, dream of being. The list is endless, and the possibilities are infinite. It’s a wonderful thing to have a dream, to have that hope for your future and what you want to accomplish. That dream in your heart is like this constant source of inspiration, encouraging you to work harder, to dream even bigger with the knowledge that someday, somehow, that dream will come true. The thing is, though, there’s more to it than that. It’s a special thing to have a dream that inspires and motivates you every day … but often times that isn’t enough. It’s not always enough to just dream big; you have to work hard to make that dream come true. And it’s not easy, not by a long shot. There are obstacles to overcome, barriers to break through, hurdles to climb. It’s easy to get discouraged when it seems as though the path to your dream is a long and winding road, but it’s imperative not to give up. There are going to be roadblocks along the way – the people who say your dream isn’t possible, the people who encourage you to try something else, the logistics that all seem to point in the opposite direction from the way you want to go. When these things happen time and again, it’s easy to want to abandon that dream. It’s easy to take those “nos” to heart, to feel discouraged. It’s so, so, SO important, though, not to let those “nos” determine the outcome of your dream. It’s important to remember that a dream come true begins as a tiny litte wish your heart makes … and it refuses to take “no” for an answer, no matter how many obstacles appear on the path to making it a dream come true.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience this firsthand. I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember. There’s just something about it that I can’t quite explain, something invigorating and exciting. It’s inexplicable and indescribable, and it’s a love that I’ve had for years now. Journalism has been a passion of mine for over a decade, and it was my junior year of high school when I made it my goal to work at our local ABC affiliate. I’ve always been one for lofty goals and dreams, and this was certainly no exception. This station is number one in its market — which just so happens to be the fourth largest market in the country. It’s a news station like no other, known not only for its excellence in journalism, but for its employees commitment to each other and their community. This isn’t a station where people work for a year or two and then leave. This is a station where people work for decades. It’s like a family, and it was my dream to be a part of that family in some way. I worked for years to make this dream a reality. I wrote for my school newspapers all throughout high school and college, I was involved in as many media-related events as I could find, I was the news director and vice president of my college tv station, and the list goes on. I took every journalism, writing, and broadcasting related course that I could in college. Beyond that, I am blessed enough to say that I had the most amazing mentor, the station’s health/medical reporter and anchor, giving me guidance and support along the way. Words cannot come close to expressing how grateful I was and will always be to her for always going so far above and beyond for me. I had everything planned out … I knew when I wanted to intern at the station, I knew what department I wanted to intern in. And then, just a couple months before I was FINALLY going to be able to submit my internship application, everything changed. Internships in the news department were no longer available, and all my plans were thrown into a tailspin. It would have been so easy to be discouraged by this roadblock, to see this as a “no.” I’ll admit, I was crestfallen. But things happen for a reason. I didn’t let this deter me, and I was lucky enough to get a wonderful internship in the station’s Creative Services department. It was so hands-on, really giving me the opportunity to be involved with writing, editing, website work, and more. I learned so very much, and it was an experience I’ll always treasure. Because I didn’t take “no” for an answer, I ended up with an internship I loved, an internship that taught me so much and helped me to grow in so many ways. And that little wish I made about working at the station one day? It turned into a dream come true in 2007, when I was blessed enough to work at the station on the ABC network-wide news archive project. Our ABC affiliate was the first station to be a part of this process. It was truly an honor to be a part of that, to work on something that was innovative and on the cutting edge, something that would have an impact on the way broadcast news was seen. And even more special? Not only did I get to work at the station, but I got to work with my mentor, with the woman who inspired me to pursue journalism as a career back in high school. There are absolutely no words to express what an amazing, inspiring, and truly special experience that was for me. I thought I was going to cry when Anita asked me if I’d like to help her and her producer; it was such an honor. The hours were long (I’d work on the archive project from 9:00-5:30 and then go up to the newsroom to work with Anita), but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world. To say it was a dream come true for me is an incredible understatement. It was, and will always be, one of the most special experiences of my entire life, and I will forever be grateful to Anita for giving me that opportunity and that dream come true. My life is truly better for knowing her, and it was a privilege to work with her.

So what am I getting at here? Dreams can and do come true. What begins as a tiny glimmering wish has the potential and capability to turn into a shining dream come true. The key is to never give up, no matter what anyone says and no matter what obstacles life may place on the path to your dream. Never, ever, ever give up, and never, ever, ever take no for an answer. I didn’t, and I was blessed enough to have that dream come true. Experience has shown me that it’s possible for dreams to be reality, which is why I refuse to ever give up on my dream of being an author and having my books published. I’ve discovered a new passion in creative writing, a new dream in wanting to be an author and having this book series published. As I’m sure you all have noticed, I have a tendency to write … a lot. However, I can’t find the words to describe what this dream means to me. Writing and working on these books is something so special to me, so near and dear to my heart. It’s such an important part of me and who I am. It’s such a special part of my life. Yes, the road to making this dream come true has its twists and turns. There are roadblocks along the way. I’ve received suggestions from literary agents, and I take every one of them into consideration. I don’t look at the “no” as an obstacle. I look at it as something to help me along the path. Maybe there’s a bit of advice I can use. Maybe there’s a suggestion that is helpful (as has been the case with one literary agent in particular, who was kind enough to give me a piece of advice that I’m giving MUCH consideration to. I’m honored that she would take the time to give me suggestions and to genuinely care, even though she wasn’t able to take on new clients right now). Maybe there’s a kind comment that keeps me from being too discouraged that this agent wasn’t the one for me. Sure, it hurts when an agent says “no.” It hurts a lot. But I will never give up. I will never take no for an answer, not when it’s something that’s this important and special to me. Not when it involves this “work of heart” that’s become so important in my life. These books are like my babies. I put my heart and soul into them and it hurts to hear a “no,” it hurts to see that obstacle up ahead. But maybe an obstacle isn’t a roadblock — maybe it’s a challenge. Maybe it’s a way to make us stop and think. Maybe it’s a way to help us grow. Maybe it’s a way to make us realize that our dreams are worth fighting for. Because, the thing is, if your dream means that much to you, you can’t take “no” for an answer, no many how many times you hear it. You have to stick with it, you have to be persistent … if you don’t believe in that little wish, no one else will. And before you know it, that tiny little wish just may turn into the greatest dream come true…


One thought on “Persistence personified…

  1. So this isn’t quite on topic with your entry, but I just wanted to comment and say OMG you got a writing journal?! I’m so excited to read through it all…I wish I had the time to really do one of these, I still have that overwhelming feeling especially now that I’m into my 2nd day of the new semester :-/ I miss you Shari and I can only imagine how incredibly busy you are with your writing, but I really hope we talk again soon<3

    <3 Michelle

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