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There are a lot of things we want in this world. A new car, a nicer house, a better job. Most of us even have a dream or two that we either working toward or think will never actually happen. The difference between a dream and reality is how much you want it and how hard you’re willing to work for it.


As I worked my way toward my dream of becoming a published author, I faced plenty of setbacks and disappointments. There were moments when I’d get close—an agent would be interested in seeing the full manuscript of my book or an editor was interested in presenting my book to the rest of the publishing staff to see if they might want to publish it. But again and again, I’d face the cold, hard sting of the word no. It wasn’t easy and as I’ve said before, I wanted to give up many times. I did give up for a while and took a break from trying just because I didn’t feel like I could deal with hearing no one more time.


But if the dream you’re after is truly the one you’re meant to achieve in life, you have to ask yourself how much you really want it. How hard are you willing to work to get to your goal? How many times are you willing to hear the word no? How willing are you to change your plan or try a different path if the first one doesn’t work out?


My path toward publication changed many times. In middle school, I was certain that I’d always write books about middle school girls like my friends and myself. I modeled my stories after The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins. In high school, I began writing teen romances. Then in college, I decided to write fantasy books about made up worlds and swords and sorcery. I wrote these books for the next few years, focusing most of my attention on a huge epic trilogy. I completed the trilogy and started other works while I tried to get an agent or a publisher for my books.


But it never happened. That epic fantasy I put so much of my life into still sits unpublished and unread by anyone else in my closet. I still have a fondness for it, but I found myself and my path being drawn elsewhere. It was this new path that eventually led to my first book being published and which has allowed me to write and publish other books since then.


Don’t feel that your path is set in stone. You can want the dream bad enough to work hard for it, but you should also want it enough to realize that there is more than one way to get there. Try experimenting with something different if the first thing you try isn’t working out. Branch out into new roads and new experiences to find the one that works.


So how much do you want your dream? Do you want it enough to push past the no’s and keep working toward that goal on a different path? Is your desire to reach that dream bigger than the obstacles standing in your way?


Shana Norris is a graphic designer and author of nine books for teens. Find her at ShanaNorris.com and SPNDesigns.com.

Jake Nawrocki
Jake Nawrocki
Motivational speaker, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Real Estate Owner, and Life Coach.

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