When You Allow Others to Decide Your Dreams

As much as I keep telling myself I won’t put up these kinds of posts anymore, I just can’t help it. And it’s my blog, anyway, so I have to keep reminding myself that I can do whatever I want here. So here goes some thoughts and rants and everything else in between – all colliding into a final realization that will change the way I think about the coming year and the rules we make for ourselves.

I took some needed time away from blogging and networking and when I came back yesterday morning, I had a panic attack. I looked at other author’s book stats on Amazon. I started comparing. I read blog posts about how well people are doing with their sales and such. I looked at what I’ve sold with my 99-cent sale this month on all of my books, and I got depressed in comparison to how I wanted the sale to go. And yes, I know 99-cent sales are not magical cure-alls, but no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to catch up to everyone else I think I should be caught up with. Authors who have released later and fewer books are soaring past me in almost every way possible. For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve screwed my career by not writing in one genre. I wonder if I’ll ever be bigger or if I’m doomed for the rest of my career to lackluster sales. In my pitiful self-wallowing, I threw a wad of tissues across the room.

Poor, poor me. My poor little ego being deflated so terribly. Over and over and over.

*insert eye roll here*

And if you’re rolling your eyes, too, because you think I have no reason or right to be depressed and feel sorry for myself, just read to the end of the post.

My little panic attack is all really just stupid and pointless because wallowing and crying isn’t going to fix a damn thing. Comparing isn’t going to fix anything or do anyone any good. Spending the little time I have on marketing to the pool of readers whom I’ve already reached isn’t going to do any good. Online marketing, period, doesn’t seem to do much good. At least not for me at this point in my career.

Yesterday was my nine-year wedding anniversary. NINE YEARS. I swear it was yesterday we got married. This made me stop and think. When I first married my husband, I had these morphine-drip-like dreams that the rest of my life was going to be perfect. The night before last we went to a movie and dinner, and between the two we stopped at Barnes & Noble where I went up and down the aisles touching all the book spines. I found books belonging to friends of mine. I found my friend Tess Hilmo’s book and took a picture because her writing path seems to have been more difficult than most, and I’m really proud of what she’s accomplished.

Michelle D. Argyle with A Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

I’ll admit that while I’m thrilled for Tess, a part of my heart broke that my own books aren’t on the shelves of my own city’s large bookstore without me having to go in there and ask them if they’ll stock it. Which I doubt they would short of me giving them copies on commission. Then I thought of my nine-year marriage again, and I thought of everything we’ve been through together – how the years have been completely different than I thought they would be. We don’t have a house yet. My husband isn’t through school yet. We only have one child (which is all I want, but when I first married, I thought I’d want more). We’ve had stints of time where we can barely buy food. We’ve had our share of arguments and hard times. It seems in a lot of ways, though, we are behind a lot of others our age, but the point about all of that is that I’ve made peace with all of the things I thought would happen by now, and haven’t. I didn’t marry my husband on the condition that we had to reach certain milestones or own certain things to be happy. I married him because I love him. Period. And I’m lucky to have him and my daughter. So lucky it makes me humble just thinking about it.

So I stop and I think about my choices so far. I think about why I chose to go with a small press, and in a lot of ways, it’s like a marriage. I didn’t sign with them on the condition that I would only be happy with a certain amount of sales or marketing or fame or whatever. I knew going in that they are small and the pros and cons that go with it, just like pros and cons with any sized press. And for some stupid reason, I keep forgetting the reasons why I’m doing any of this. As a friend of mine made it very clear to me yesterday morning, I’ve been allowing everyone else to decide my rules. I’ve been ignoring my own wants and goals for so long that the only option left was to let other author’s dreams determine my own.

Except…

Well, for the first time in a long time – because I’ve been having such a hard time lately inside my head and heart – I stopped to examine my own dreams. MY OWN. Like holding up a translucent piece of tracing paper to the dreams I’ve drawn all over the walls, I started sketching what I really want against what everyone else seems to want. It didn’t surprise me when I saw how everything differed. Before I knew it, I was looking at a very familiar picture – one which originated when I was a child: a picture of me writing.

Writing stories and learning to tell them better. That’s it. Unlike many authors, my dream doesn’t include making a living from my writing. It doesn’t include impressing others or making a certain amount of sales or securing 5-star reviews or a huge advance or gaining a million followers or landing on that bookstore shelf where I thought my book should be or any of that. None of it. Like a marriage, I’ve entered into something that will be affected by how I think of it every single day. It will mold itself to the respect I give it. It will see ups and downs, and like any good marriage, it will grow richer and deeper every year if I work with it instead of against it. My dream is incredibly personal, private, and quiet, and that’s just how I want it.

It’s no wonder I’ve been miserable lately. First of all, I’ve been ungrateful, but mostly, I’ve been trying to live other people’s dreams. That’s impossible to do and stay sane. Nobody’s goals and rules are ever going to match up to my own on the unique path I’m on. Even if I met all those goals I see floating around online on so many blogs and Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds, I still wouldn’t be happy because I would not have met the deepest desires of my own heart – the ones I have been ignoring for so long.

I think we authors often forget what we really want. I think we often delude ourselves into thinking we want what everyone else wants, and it’s creating this insane sense of urgency in our heads. We pump out our work faster and harder and less carefully than we would otherwise. We feel pressured, more than anything else, to meet certain criteria, follow the lists and rules and advice others post, and it hurts us deeply when we can’t meet that criteria at breakneck speed. For me, at least, this urgency transformed itself into an energy-sucking, emotionally-draining need.

Until I realized that for me it was an illusion and unnecessary.

I’m not saying anybody’s advice or lists or advice are wrong. I’m just saying that when I opened my eyes, I was surprised at how easily I had let so many voices drown my own, and I’m wondering if others might be under the same spell. Maybe not. Maybe this is all just me. Either way, this year I vow to remember my OWN dreams. I vow to erase the foreign dreams I’ve painted on my walls. I vow to love my stories and hold them close to my heart until it’s time to let them go. I hope if you have dreams, you can hold onto them. Protect them. Because if you don’t, you might be on the path I have been on for awhile – left standing with nothing when you thought you knew exactly what you wanted.

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle

46 comments

Michael Offutt, Supra-Genius

If you want to be in the Barnes and Nobles you need to go Big Six, Michelle. That should be a shoe-in for you. If you feel like you're being a bad person by leaving your publisher, you aren't. Writing is a business not a marriage. Kick Rhemalda to the curb, call up that person you know at Curtis Brown that you did the guest post on, and get yourself an agent and a book deal with Knopf or something like that.

A wonderful post, of course! My goals in 2012 are mostly about fully starting my writing career, and I'll be changing a lot about my online presence and appearance for those starry-eyed dreams I have. I think, when starting off, it's important for some to have those starry-eyed dreams, but when part of the actual world it's important to re-evaluate them.

Theresa Milstein

Every year I make goals and every year I fall short. This business is hard. And it's hard not to compare ourselves to other writers. I think you've found a good perspective. Keeping it will be hard, but at least you know what's best for you.

N.M. Martinez

First off, congrats on nine years! Wow!The rest of this post is exactly what I needed to hear. It's a great reminder. Everyone views writing differently. We all have different reasons for it. But it's so easy to fall into that trap of comparing yourself to others. I catch myself doing it all the time even though I said I wouldn't do that. I told myself I'd wait and take however long I needed to, and that I wouldn't bother marketing until I was ready for it, if ever.Thanks for the reminder, Michelle. It's always useful and always comforting to know someone else feels similarly.

Charlie Rice

I suppose the universal dream is to be happy. Unfortunately, we allow others to define what that should be. For most, that may mean wealth and accolades. There’s nothing wrong with wanting those things. I would love to live like the stars in a large modern home with million-dollar views, but I can be happy with far less. Winning the lottery might be nice, especially to those like me currently struggling, but creating wealth from scratch by working is more satisfying. If Margaret Atwood reads my stories and publicly raves about my genius, that’ll be sweet, no doubt. But the honor is meaningless if I didn’t earn it by working hard to achieve it. Any such praise at this point would clearly be sarcasm.I’m drifting from the topic again. Yeah, you do tend to reveal yourself in your posts, but it's your blog, and your rules. You have so many followers because so many of us care and appreciate your candor. I have a hunch that most artists have bouts of depression occasionally. You're in good company.

Cherie Reich

You are definitely not alone. :)If I look back on how I wanted my writing career to be by now when I first started, I've realized I wanted the dream goal that probably most writers have at one point or another. I mean, who doesn't want to be a bestselling author?Now, I'm much more realistic. In the end, it comes down to I love to write, I want to write, and I would love for people to read my work, hopefully enjoy it. Whether it is self-pubbed, small press pubbed, or big press pubbed, it no longer really matters to me as long as I'm able to write what I love and share it with others.

Charlie Rice

About writing in one genre: So what? I'd rather you write from the heart and not what an agent says would sell. Put another way, I'd rather read the stories you write with passion than stories written for a paycheck. Put yet another way, you have already established a fan base based on honesty. I will buy every book you write.

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Michael: Are you sure you read my post? πŸ™‚Tiffany: You have been an inspiration to me, honestly. You have been re-evaluating your dreams this whole past year, and it has been a wonderful thing to see. Thank you for letting me have a glimpse into it! My dreams haven't necessarily been starry-eyed, I think. They've been deluded. They haven't even been my own, and that was the problem. I forgot my own because it was easier to focus on other people's, you know? I think you've got yours straight. Let's make this year awesome!Theresa: Oh, it is so, so hard, I agree! I think it will be hard this year, yes, but at least I'll be working toward the right things this year instead of pining away after things I thought I wanted and was left with only confusion when I looked harder. I hope you meet your goals this year!Nina: Thanks! Nine years seems crazy! And thanks for your thoughts. It's true that it's a trap to compare. Everybody does it. I think it's a rare gem who doesn't. I hope you can keep following the dreams that are right for you. And I'm happy this was helpful. That's partly why I choose to put up these posts because there always seems to be someone who says they are grateful I put it out there. Charlie: The base dream is happiness, yes. I don't think we can go wrong with that, but yes, the definition of happiness is the rub. Without work, none of it would be worth anything, only a shimmering illusion of something earned. I'm definitely in good company with everyone who reads and comments here, that's for sure! And thanks for saying that about genres. It's something I've stressed over for so long. Re-examining everything now, though, it's not so big a deal. In fact, I feel more freedom now than in a long time because it's a non-issue when viewed the correct lens – my lens and dreams. Cherie: That's the dream I've always had – to have the freedom and ability to keep writing. That's pretty much it. Everything else is icing, and to hang all my happiness on the icing (which a lot of it I don't truly want anyway) instead of the cake is sheer stupidity.

This is a great post Michelle, and I'm glad you realized it for yourself. :)It's a lot harder to stay in the idea of the dream when numbers and dollar signs come into play, but I know how passionate you are about what you do and you are great regardless of those numbers. β™₯

Michael Offutt, Supra-Genius

I was just wondering why you aren't a Big Six author. I mean I know why you chose the small publisher way and that you are happy with it but can't you try the Big Six thing out and if it doesn't work out or turns out to be a nightmare go small press again? Look…you were in the Barnes and Noble and clearly wanted your book there even if it only lasted a moment. I say agent up and try the other route out with your next book and then if you hate it, go back to publishing small press stuff.

Judith Mercado

My self-corrective mantra? "Be you in charge."Sometimes that will get me in trouble but when it doesn't I will feel doubly empowered.Have a great new year!

Amanda Bonilla

The best advice I can give you is to not look at your sales/reviews. The first week after my release I swore off Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads. Believe me, you'll feel much better. πŸ˜€

anytime our 'fantasies' meet reality, the collision is messy. But then you can start to build something real…Yep, that's Bridget's Big Thought for The Day

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Alyse: Thanks, Alyse! I knew you'd understand the core of this. πŸ™‚Michael: Getting an agent is not what I want right now. Being on a bookshelf is not the answer to my happiness. I thought that was clear in my post, but maybe not. My next two books are signed with Rhemalda, and I plan on signing the next two as well. I plan on being there for awhile because they line up the closest with what I want right now. An agent and a Big Six publisher does not, as hard as that might be for some to believe. After 5 books with Rhemalda, I plan to re-evaluate where I'm at and see where I want to go at that point.Judith: What a fantastic motto! Taking charge of your own choices and dreams is one of the keys to happiness, I do believe. Amanda: I don't look at my reviews. I wrote a post about that a bit ago, here: My Top Five Ways of Dealing With Reviews. My sales I've been more tempted to look at lately because I just released my short story collection, and then also did this sale thing for the month. Normally I don't look hardly at all. Thank heavens for MONARCH, I can't look. My publisher has all that information. As my career advances with them, most of my books will be with them and looking at sales won't even be an option. Which is awesome. πŸ™‚ Review, I've got handled, as is clear in the post I linked to. So yay!Bridget: Hehe, love your Big Thought. πŸ™‚ The funny thing is that those fantasies weren't even mine. Funny how that happens.

Well said. When you are going after your own goals, you're only in competition with yourself. That's true even when those goals are the same as other people's, I've found.*hug*

Jake Henegan

I cannot say with certainty what exactly it is what I dream for (maybe that's a problem). But as far as I can see, you know what you want and that's good. In fact, that's very good.I think your choice with the small publisher was a good one. From what you've said, you're very happy with Rhemalda and you followed your gut to find them, per se. (I just read an article that said that choices made by intuition are most often better than those made with too much information.)I think people (specifically me, but maybe you too) easily gets swept up into a dream that wasn't their own because they found themselves in a particular situation. Maybe especially if your dream seems less glamorous than the norm (i.e. dreaming to write as opposed to dreaming to publish with one of the Big 6). You're driven to make your dream 'fit in' (high school all over again) and then you lose sight of what they really are.In conclusion, kudos on realising what your dreams really are.Oh, and by the way, congrats on the 9 year anniversary.

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Janci: Yes! It's so true, even when your goals match up with other people's goals. It's so important to realize that your results won't be the same and that you aren't in competition. πŸ™‚Jake: I definitely went with intuition on my choices. That's one of the reasons I trust my choices so far. Despite them not aligning with what seems like the BIG AND ONLY dream out there, I went with what felt right. That's what matters the most to me.And you are exactly right about fitting in and high school all over again. That's really what has happened. The less than glamorous results of my choices so far really affected how I started to think about things.

Michael Offutt, Supra-Genius

Oh okay. Well that makes sense. It wasn't clear to me because I was reading "I want to be in the big chain bookstore" and then reading "I'm happy with the small press and that it's like my nine year marriage in that it may not have achieved all the things that I've wanted but I'm okay with that."That all boiled down to some probably over-simplified conclusions on my part. They are:1) My friend Michelle wants more.2) She's "okay" with where she's at but certainly wouldn't complain if more success somehow found its way onto her plate.So I envisioned myself hearing these words and wanted to chime in with my thoughts.Why are you okay with that? I mean we never know when we're going to kick the bucket. It could happen a hundred years from now or next week.I've been really impressed with all of your publishing connections. Your friend Natalie Whipple is going to be in the Barnes and Nobles everywhere. That's a huge connection. You basically have Curtis Brown on speed dial from what I've seen. Maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture and that's where I'm failing?To draw an analogy of what I'm saying, from my point-of-view I pretend that you and I are standing in a Mercedes dealership in Salt Lake City. I say to you, "Michelle, you should totally get this Mercedes. It fits you. And you have the money to buy it." And then you turn to me and say, "Mike, I may have the means to buy a Mercedes but it is not environmentally friendly and will make me look like a snob. Let's walk across the street, and I'll buy a Toyota Prius."I stare at you in silence knowing that the only reason I own a Toyota is because that's the only car I could afford. If I could afford a Mercedes, I would totally buy a Mercedes. I wouldn't care what anyone else thought. I'd drive that baby all day long and be like, "you suck because you don't own a Mercedes…"Anyway, I was just speaking from the heart and saying "If I had your connections I'd be totally riding all of that without even batting an eyelash."

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Michael: What's funny is that the car story you share is EXACTLY what would happen. Right now, where I'm at in my life, I wouldn't want a Mercedes. No way. It would be nice to take for a spin, sure, but I wouldn't want to own one right now. It's completely impractical for me. And I'm stubbornly and irreversibly practical about everything. The problem is that you can't see the size of my bank account and where my money really goes, and you can't see that Curtis Brown is not on my speed dial, and that I did have an agent interested in my work – several, actually, and they all made it very clear why they didn't want to take my work and why it wouldn't work in the big market. In my nine year marriage, we still don't have a house, but well, I seriously don't want one right now. My husband isn't finished with school. We can't afford it, number one, and even if we went into debt to get one, who knows where the heck we'd end up needing to move in a few years when my husband goes to graduate school. That's my point. I may WANT certain things, but those wants aren't my dreams. They are the icing on my dreams, and icing isn't worth chasing after until you've baked the cake.

Michael Offutt, Supra-Genius

For the record I think you'd look great in a Mercedes.http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/innovation/future/page-FutureModels/year-2013/vehicleclass-SLYou should check out that link. It's what sexy is.

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Michael, I have no doubt I'd be smokin' hot in a Mercedes. So would my hubby. I think he'd rather go for an Aston Martin, though. πŸ™‚

Jasmine Walt

I know where you're coming from– I'm sort of doing a similar thing where I'm re-evaluating my dreams. I'm sitting here getting through college because it will help me get a good career, and resigning myself to life in New Mexico because my husband wants to work as a nuclear engineer at the space port. But I have dreams of my own that involve fanciful things like backpacking through Europe and volunteering in Haiti, and I need to think about how to do what I want without throwing away what I already have. :)It's really cool that you found your friend's book on the B&N shelves, and hopefully yours will be there someday too! πŸ˜€

scott g.f.bailey

I like this post a lot. Of course I dream about being a bestselling author with a Pulitzer on my mantlepiece, but when I sit down to actually write, all I really want is to be good enough. Good enough to write the piece I'm working at. Everything else is outside of writing. Though a Mercedes would be cool.

What a great post. It certainly is very important for us to set our own goals and desires and not ones other create that they think we want.I wish you the Happiest of New Years and best of luck with YOUR goals.

Charlie Rice

Michelle would look great in a Smart car.

If it makes you feel any better, I had 0 sales across all e-markets for the month of December. Although, I really want my book to sell; it's not the most important thing, so I'm not stressing about it, even if I am working on it. Mostly, I just want to write what I want to write. Which makes me wonder if I ever responded to your response on that topic from a while back… I'll have to go check…

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

Oh Lord, please don't buy me a Mercedes Benz,My friends may want Porsches, but that's not my end….It's really hard not to get your dreams get tangled in everyone else's. I'm glad you're putting your dreams and your stories first.As for happiness, sometimes it flees from us the more we pursue it, only to settle on our shoulder when we stop.

Jennifer R. Hubbard

I hear you. For me, I can't read sites that say there is only One True Path for writers. In reality, there are hundreds of paths. Good for you for asking yourself which one you really want to be on! You don't have to answer to anyone but yourself.

I can see Michael's train of thought. I've always gotten the impression that you wish you were with the Big Six and had the budget, advertising, and street cred that comes from being with the Big Six. Michael probably got that impression, too, and he was like, "You can do it, girl! Go, you!" Very sweet of him. We're all rooting for you no matter what you decide. Just keep telling great stories!

Anne Gallagher

Bravo!!!!I'm glad you found what it was that you were looking for.And take it from me, you really don't want a house. I thought I did, and the dream is not worth the aggravation. Fresh tomatoes taste just as good from a porch pot as they do from a 16' x 16' garden. And don't get me started on dryer vents, misplaced washer hoses that rot wood, ugly insects, and missing insulation in the attic.You are right where you want to be, right where you need to be and don't listen to anyone who doesn't understand that.

You have no idea how right Anne is. Houses are SUCH a pain. Locked in one spot, stuck with all the repairs, knowing it'll cost you several thousand in realtor's fees to move. And don't let anyone tell you that rent is a waste of money. You know what's a waste of money? Mortgage interest, property taxes, and every freakin' time your roof or foundation needs repairing. And we're not even upside down on ours! Imagine how much home ownership sucks for those who are! I will tell you what I've told all my other friends: renting is fabulous. Don't rush out of it.

Nice post, Michelle. I like it when you're not afraid to bare your soul. I hope you have a terrific year!

Glass Dragon

My brain is mush and I can't formulate an intelligent reply, so I'll stick with this:I came, I read, I support your dreams, and I love you. β™₯β™₯β™₯

Janet Johnson

I always love your posts, Michelle. It's so easy to let others' dreams overshadow our own. I know I do it. It takes effort to keep our focus where it should be. :)Thanks for always sharing from the heart. And yeah, you'd look great in a Mercedes. πŸ˜‰

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Jasmine: Oh, wow, your dreams sound exciting! But they also sound doable while still keeping a home in one place. You can always travel, right? Then again, if kids enter the picture, things get complicated really fast, but no clue if you plan on that, lol. Life has a funny way of throwing us crazy stuff. I think the only way to keep happy is to roll with the punches. I wish you the best! College is an awesome time, too. πŸ™‚Scott: Yes, that's why I keep writing – to be good enough. I know exactly what you mean. That's the cake I'm baking, and I have a feeling that when it's baked, I'll forget to frost it and just start on another one. When I die, I want to know I put out the best stuff I possibly could, you know? How many people read it doesn't matter nearly as much. It's the fact that I wrote it that matters.Mary: You're right! I always find it interesting when someone gets offended if my dreams aren't similar to their own. Like you say, oftentimes, people like to push their own dreams onto everyone else. I mean, why wouldn't everyone else want what they want? Why wouldn't your first and foremost goal be to have a bestselling novel? LOL. πŸ™‚Charlie: Oooo, yes!Andrew: I think you did respond, yes. Sorry if I didn't reply! This month has been craziness. I'm sorry you didn't make any ebook sales this month. πŸ™Sandra: Yeah, I really don't know if I'd want to own a Mercedes, but then again, I've never driven one…so who knows. I might fall in love! Hehe. I do like BMW, and my hubby wants an Aston Martin. He knows he'd have to go Hollywood before we could afford one of those. I can see us pulling up to the grocery store with our five year old in the back. Nice. Hehehe.Jennifer: I forgot! I have a picture of me with your book, as well. I need to send it to you. πŸ™‚ I also tend to avoid blogs that make me feel pressured into one way of thinking. It's just more stress I don't need these days.Heidi: Yeah, I first felt like Michael was trying to push his own dream on me, but it became clear that's not what he was doing. It's sad that I've put out the impression that I'm dying to go Big Six. I guess it's because I've been swimming around in that false dream with my own real dreams on the fringes for a long, long time. The truth is, that Big Six dream is not a closed door to me, but it's certainly not something I'm aching for at the moment. It's a possibility in the far future, perhaps.Anne: Oh, I DON'T want a house right now. I just remember feeling like I'd have a house by this time in my marriage. There would seriously be no point in us buying a house right now because we'd just end up moving anyway. What a pain. Sometimes I wonder if we'll just rent for the rest of our live and spend most of our money traveling. That sounds nice. πŸ™‚Heidi: Hehe! Yes! I've had several people tell me that, so I'm not feeling bad about where we are. Is there a reason you don't sell your home and just rent again if you hate it so much?Angie: I hope you have a terrific year as well!Becca: I can see your thought process now. OH, GOSH, here goes another one of Michelle's rambling posts… At least I warned you beforehand that I was writing it, lol. I know you care, sweetie. Love you. <3Janet: Thank you for your kind words! It makes me happy that you keep coming by. πŸ™‚

I've wished we could, but selling a home costs a great deal of money. Between realtors fees and closing costs, which all current buyers demand, it would cost us about 11K to sell.

Some day, we should sit down over coffee/tea/whatever and have a chat. You're awesome!!

Amber Argyle, author

I've been through exactly this. We'll get there, my friend.

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Heidi: Yikes! Yeah, I'm happy I'm not in that boat right now.Leah: Aww, we really should! Amber: But I AM there! That's the thing. I seem to keep forgetting I'm doing exactly what I want and I have exactly what I want. The problem is me getting bored or unsatisfied because of what I keep seeing around me. I'll get some icing later – all that extra stuff. πŸ™‚

Yes, you ARE there … and these thoughts are poignant and beautiful and honest. That is what we all love so much about you.And, you should know that Barnes and Noble actually passed on LOVE. It is only carried because I went in and asked/begged/pleaded with the manager….they carry a couple at a time and only in the stores I've gone into here locally. It was so hard sitting in that parking lot, trying to get the courage to go in and shamelessly ask for them to carry it. I'm not complaining and I really do understand what you are saying here. We all start out just praying to see our stories in print and then we keep moving the goal. This is a good reminder to knock that off.PS…my anniversary was on the 28th! It was 21 years for us. My husband was in school forever and we didn't have a house or he didn't have a job until we had been married 11 years. It really does all work out in the end. I know you know that and I'm babbling now…so, I'll say good night and happy new year my dear writerly friend πŸ™‚ I think you're amazing!

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Tess: Are you SERIOUS? Wow, that opened my eyes a bit. It makes me sad to think of you in the parking lot fighting yourself like that. I wish you would have come to pick me up and taken me with you. I so would have been moral support. I love your comment. It's like the perfect way to round out my post, so thank you. Please, oh, please, let's get together for lunch soon!

You are still young and you have so much time to fulfill your dreams. You have some great books out there already and I am certain that you will see great success with your future novels as well. I am just starting my writing career this year via self publishing. I like that in your post you remind us to stay true to OUR dreams, forgetting about those set out by others.

(Please forgive me cornering in…)If I read this right, it sounds like you are using stubbornness and humility to overcome fear and anxiety. I hope it works!When it doesn't, I have a hug ready for you. Here's a little sample: *HUG!*PS Charlie spoke well, too: "Yeah, you do tend to reveal yourself in your posts, but it's your blog, and your rules. You have so many followers because so many of us care and appreciate your candor." Thank you, Michelle!PPS You also said: "And I'm stubbornly and irreversibly practical about everything." That seems to make you so strong and I love that about you!

Great post, Michelle! I stumbled along and found your blog and I am so happy I did! – New Follower, and fello writer Ryann

Michelle Davidson Argyle

saraflower: Yes, I think staying with our own dreams is probably the key to staying happy. It's tough that it's so hard to keep our eyes on our own papers, lol. Thanks for your encouragement! I have renewed faith this year.Alicia: Stubborn is right! It's not always a good thing, but in this case, it SO is!Ryann: Lovely to meet you! Thanks so much for coming by!

Casey L. Conley

That was a really great post! Its easy to get caught up…we need to be true to our passion. πŸ™‚