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  • C.A. Lightfoot

Dare To Dream 2020

Updated: Jan 14

I've said this more than once: My life changed last year (2019) because I decided to take myself seriously as a writer. What I my not have mentioned (but I probably have as I never shut up) is why I started to take myself seriously.


I made a decision in December of 2018 that in 2019 I was going to take some classes or go to writing conventions. I didn't make it to a convention last year (I WILL this year, I promise), but I did sign up for the Dare to Dream 2019 seminar at Writing Workshops Dallas (shout out).


I met Whitney Davis at this seminar, and immediately, I knew I'd like her. She went into this detailed lecture on time management, shedding fear, and setting realistic goals. She did all of this with massive heart, killer humor, and an ability to see through bullshit. Whitney teaches scriptwriting and has worked as a screenwriter on shows such as Breaking Bad.


I KNOW, RIGHT?!


I devoured the information she had to give and set about setting those goals.


Fun update: I crushed those goals.


The novel that took me seven-effing-years to complete suddenly got finished by spring, I was sending queries by summer. I got 22 no's, but I got one "Let me see the whole thing" and that is a big fucking deal.


(Also, I got almost 38,000 words done on Dark Ember since November and that's awesome)


Well, I wanted to go back to that seminar, especially since I started to lose steam with DE toward the holidays. At least, I thought I had. Turns out, I'd written a crapload more than I thought. My husband got me a seat and I was SO pumped to get down to business this year.


I went back to see Whitney for another kick in the pants. I felt like an entirely different person sitting in that seat last night. I've taken more classes with WWSD (Seriously, check them out even if you don't live in the DFW area. You can livestream and its worth it) But last year I was this scared person who had a crippling case of "imposter syndrome". I hated the thought of rejection, I paled at the thought of trying to sell a book. Trying to get a meeting with someone might have actually killed me.


Last night, I felt no longer like the panicky newbie, I felt so much more confident. Not only have I gained confidence as a writer, but as a person. I know I am capable, I know I am talented, and I know I have something to say. All of this is down to what Whitney helped me see in myself.


Whitney had more to teach me. I feel more capable than I did last year, more likely to push myself. I want to set loftier goals, I want to push myself harder. My dream is within my damn reach and I know it.


I'll share with you my "Keystone" goal, which I set last night. My ultimate goal with my writing is very simple.


- I only want to make a living writing. -


That's it. I don't have to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. I just want to make a living doing the thing that I love.


For this year, my Dare to Dream 2020 goal is to finish Dark Ember and be in the query process while still (maybe) searching for an agent for The Guardian. I know this is a lofty goal, but I need to push myself more this year.


I must say a huge thank you to Whitney. She, literally, changed my life. Going back was even more affirming. I left that seminar knowing I am doing exactly what I should be doing.


I will never again call myself an 'aspiring' writer. I am a writer. Full stop.


Don’t give up. Set those goals. Make a plan. Crush it.


All in all, I'm having a damn fine Monday. Hope all is well with you! Watch this space for another excerpt of Dark Ember this week!


-C.A.

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