Monday, December 21, 2015

You Have to Work…Hard

The other weekend, I was laying in bed trying to wake up from a nap, and my oldest was on the floor petting one of the dogs. I was getting ready to do a Facebook takeover for one of my books, and he looks at me and says, “I don’t get it. We write books, why aren’t we famous?”

Oh, wouldn’t that be nice? That just creating something and putting it into the world made you famous? It would certainly make things easier.

I explained to him that just because something exists doesn’t mean that people know about it and to be famous they have to know about it and like it. Perhaps even buy it.

He still didn’t get it. He still believed we should be famous.

If there’s one thing I try to instill in my boys it’s a work ethic and the idea that nothing in life comes easy, nothing gets handed to them. I tell them that they have to work for everything they get, but with that comes a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Don’t get me wrong, if there was an easy way to do things, I would totally take it. It’s exhausting working hard. And more often than not, the hard work doesn’t pay off. There’s a lot of frustration and irritation. The world tries to stand in my way. People try to stand in my way. I stand in my way.

There have been days when I’ve wished for an easy way and cursed the world when I didn’t get it. I’ve stamped my feet and threw a temper tantrum, said it wasn’t fair, and cried tears of frustration. I felt better after venting, but I also knew that there was only one person who could change the situation…me.

I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at in life and as an author. I’ve been knocked down and had my self-confidence fail. I’ve become jaded and angry about my path. I’ve wondered if any of it was worth it. I’ve blamed others for my short comings.

I’m not special. I’m just an average Jane trying to make a name for myself. I have a family and a full-time job and people who count on me to be there. They all have visions of who I should be, and I have a vision of what I think I should be too—and often, those visions aren’t the same.

But I’ve discovered that I can be one thing AND another. I’m not just a mother or an editor or a writer or a whatever-other-label can be applied. I’m all of those things. And to make them balance harmoniously, it takes work. Lots and lots of exhausting, hard work.

The road is long and often filled with disappointment, but those moments when things work out and I accomplish what I wanted to accomplish—those are amazing! They push me forward and help me believe that maybe my dreams aren’t crazy. And they totally make me feel accomplished.

I told my son that if we keep working and putting ourselves out there, then maybe one day we will be famous. But there’s no guarantees. All we can do is try.

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