This post isn't about giving thanks (though I have a lot to be thankful for) but relates to the post Beth Revis did called "Thankful for Dreams" on her (very cool) blog. If you haven't read it, go do so. I'll wait.
I agree with Revis that having a dream is paramount. Dreams, goals, whatever you want to call them, are internal motivators and things we can see and move toward on the horizon. And it is that feeling, that sensation of standing on the peak and seeing ahead in the distance the next point in the journey, that I have come to treasure. I'm standing right now on the the first of many points in my journey to being an author.
While I like to think I am equally reasonable and emotional, always using the best of both worlds, I would be lying if I said those things that speak to me in an intangible, and sometimes reasonless, way, were not what moved me the most. A good argument rarely wins me over unless the argument, almost literally, moves my feelings or thoughts to agree. But a sunrise? A song? A dream? Moved like a mountain into the sea.
Nothing moves me and motivates me to continue my journey to becoming an author more than that feeling of being on the precipice, on the edge of that next step. The step I'm on is rather far from my goal, since I don't yet have anything even close to ready for the querying stage, but just standing and being able to see the general road ahead pushes me to complete the step I'm on now. That step involves finishing my first draft of my second novel, finishing the second draft of my first novel, the moving on to edit and revise that first novel, which may take who knows how many times to get a polished product.
But I can see that polished manuscript in the distance. I know that if I keep working, keep writing and reading and writing some more, it will get better, and the ebb and flow of working on it will produce the polished rock out of the jagged mess it once was. I don't want to put time limits on this, since the process is the process and it can take as long or as little as it feels like. But if I work, it will get done. And knowing myself and how long it has taken me to get this far, I think I will be able to start querying sometime in 2013. I know that sounds like a long way off, but really it's not. I hope that I can stay motivated so that maybe, something great (who knows what - maybe getting an agent, maybe finishing the series I'm working on - maybe something else altogether) will happen in 2014 (fourteen is my favorite number and this will also be the year of my ten year high school reunion). But only I can make that happen. If I don't work, then it won't happen.
This idea, this fact, that working on it will be the only way to get there is something I knew but was reiterated to my spirit when I went to the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville this past October. On a panel I went to, Myra McEntire (author of Hourglass) was asked by a member of the audience how an aspiring author could get published, like if they had to know someone in the business or what. Myra's answer?
Do. The. Work.
So I'm going to use this first of many steps, this feeling of forward motion and of great things to come, of having something so immense and beautiful waiting for me, to walk, run, stumble, and crawl through this journey.
To do the work.