Image from OutWrite 2012 in DC, taken by Author Donald Peebles
When everything else falls short, our dreams are sometimes the only things that can pull us through. When you wake up each morning and go to bed every night yearning to break out and bring your passions to life, you’re eventually going to have to make a decision. Either you’re going to continue living a life unfulfilled or you’re going to commit yourself to working towards a fulfilled life where you achieve your dreams. I’m glad that I finally made the decision on November 27, 2011 to make a serious push towards achieving one of my lifelong dreams.
On November 27, 2011 I submitted the initial draft of my manuscript to be self-published through iUniverse. For at least three years, I’d been toying with the idea of publishing my first volume of poetry. For whatever reason, I was conflicted. I take that back. For several reasons, I was conflicted. I’d given so much of myself away to my job and school and other entities outside of myself, that there didn’t seem to be much time or energy left to focus on what truly mattered to me. I doubted my talent and wondered if I really had what takes to make it. And I got caught up in others’ and society’s expectations of what I should be doing with my life. I found myself trying to adhere to standards and live a life that I didn’t want and that didn’t fit me personally. I suffered because of it and had to work to rebuild and get myself back on track.
So in the months leading up to submitting my manuscript, I eventually said, “Fuck it!” I was tired of being depressed. I was tired of doing things I wasn’t passionate about and could really give two shits and a side of fuck about. I realized that there was no better time than right now to go after what I wanted. I couldn’t blame anyone else but myself if I got to a point in my life where I was completely frustrated, disappointed, and angry about what I did and did not accomplish. The blame would definitely fall within no realm but my own if I committed to the quest of living the life dictated by others. So I went to work. I did research on how I should go about getting my work published, talked with friends and others about their experiences publishing and what advice they had for me moving forward, and continued nurturing my craft. And in roughly six months time, my book Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics was available for public consumption.
It fills me up with so much pride and joy seeing my book in print. It’s a major accomplishment, and I’m glad I finally pursued it. Now that my book is out, work hasn’t stopped. I’m still writing, networking, and planning for signings, readings, and other appearances to promote my work and myself. I’ve also begun work on my next project (more on that in another post, I promise). The focus for me is becoming a full-time writer. Outside of my writings about music, entertainment, pop culture, I’m most interested in writing about the human condition and the many things that we experience in our day-to-day lives. My writing—be it poetry, song lyrics, short stories, or prose—can, at times, be raw, confrontational, and confessional. As people who’ve read my writing have said, it’s engaging and it’s real. I’ve long since realized my style is not for everybody. However, if my writing resonates and touches just a few people, then I’m on the right path.
While writing is one of my passions, the dreaming doesn’t stop there. I’m in the process of achieving two other dreams. The first is finishing my MBA (which will be completed December 2012) and the second is becoming a voice over actor/artist (which I’m training for as we speak). And I have others, that, in time, I will continue to nurture and work to achieve.
It’s great to have dreams. We should all be encouraged to dream. But nothing is sadder than when we don’t go after or put in the work to make our dreams come to life. It’s critical that we do not let anything or anyone (and that includes ourselves) stand in the way. And you can’t give up if success doesn’t happen immediately or happen in the way you think it should. Always be open and flexible to what the universe may bring you. It may be better than anything you ever dreamed or anticipated.
Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics is available at iUniverse, Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover & Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.
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