Shannon Stacey

Make sure you're chasing YOUR dream

It’s easy for an author to get caught up in the daily hoopla of the online romance community and, while the negativity’s a known creativity zapper, being surrounded by positives can be just as damaging to the muse.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the successes of others. You want to be that big deal in the Publisher’s Lunch. You want to have written that book the Smart Bitches and Dear Author love like whoa and damn. You want to be the It girl on the cover of Romantic Times, with a double-page spread. You covet that three-book deal with the back-to-back-to back release schedule.

Or do you?

Listen, if you start getting hung up on what other writers are achieving and feeling some pressure to keep up, it’s going to wreak havoc on your psyche and you’re going to stop writing.

What is YOUR dream? Not what you think success is as measured by the romance community, but what do YOU want?

When I set aside what everybody else is doing and dig deep, MY dream hasn’t changed since I was a teenager:

I want to write for Silhouette, and I want to win a RITA.

That’s what I want.

It feels good to strip everything else away and focus on what I want—what will fulfill me as a writer.

If you’re a writer who spends a lot of time hanging around online with other writers, you should look deep inside yourself and decide what YOUR dream is in one sentence. Put it on a sticky note and stick it over your monitor to remind you to chase YOUR dream—to remind you as you’re running through this giant publishing maze not to be distracted by everybody else’s cheese, but to stay focused on getting YOUR cheese.

13 comments to “Make sure you're chasing YOUR dream”

  1. Jaci Burton
      · February 4th, 2009 at 12:41 pm · Link

    i’m so damn happy for you. I think knowing exactly what you want is 75% of the battle because so many writers really don’t.

  2. Charlene
      · February 4th, 2009 at 1:18 pm · Link

    Knowing is half the battle. Or that’s what GI Joe says. :groucho:

  3. Heather Rae Scott
      · February 4th, 2009 at 1:28 pm · Link

    :clap: Awesome blog. Go for it. You can do eet. I know you can!

  4. Dee Tenorio
      · February 4th, 2009 at 2:30 pm · Link

    You are so right, Shannon. I’ve been feeling all kinds of disappointment lately in this way and I have to refocus myself to my goals instead of the badges of “success”. I just keep reminding myself, all I can control is the production. The rest is out of my hands.

  5. EmmaWaynePorter
      · February 4th, 2009 at 2:34 pm · Link


  6. Bev Stephans
      · February 4th, 2009 at 5:13 pm · Link

    YOU GO GIRL! :diva:

  7. HelenKay Dimon
      · February 4th, 2009 at 6:45 pm · Link

    Amen on figuring out your own dream. It is so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing adn then measuring your career by that. Unfortunately I forget this lesson just about every month and need a reminder.

  8. Annmarie
      · February 4th, 2009 at 8:20 pm · Link

    Come over here and figure out my dream. Pls.

  9. Sandra Sookoo
      · February 5th, 2009 at 11:56 am · Link

    Amen to that! Just this week I’ve been struggling with that. I go through the motions thinking “it’s not fair”, “why her, not me?”, etc. But when it comes down to the heart of the matter, I know what I want and it isn’t necessarily what my critique group wants, and honestly, I’m okay with that.

    Thanks for the words of advice!

  10. Jill Sorenson
      · February 5th, 2009 at 2:41 pm · Link


    thanks for this. love ya

  11. Jewell
      · February 5th, 2009 at 3:47 pm · Link

    I wrote this post to a friend’s blog just a bit back, and I don’t know if it fits here, but it’s what I believe.

    “In the last couple of years I’ve learned there are really two questions in this world. “Why?” and “Why not?”

    When we are children, the two are interchangable. We are, after all, learning about our world and it’s boundaries. Why this and not that. More or less a “how come?” rather than a questioning of our own abilities.

    But the older we grow, the emphasis of those questions change.

    “Why?” can become: “Why me? Why that person and not me? Why didn’t I pay attention to that before and I wouldn’t be in this mess? Why didn’t I treat this person better? Why didn’t I learn that skill when I was younger and more apt to learn?”

    Bah, humbug, I say.

    The question to be focused on is, “Why NOT?” or more importantly, “Why not NOW?”

    When I lost my job at 40, I thought I was done for. Washed up, unemployable in my previous field. Well, maybe so, but I had more “Why Nots” in me, and I’m truly glad I went for some of them, be they personal or professional.

    Sure I failed at some, but not always. And my life is richer for at least trying.

    Okay, now it’s time to get off my soapbox and go do something. LOL”

    And that’s my take still.

  12. catie
      · February 8th, 2009 at 7:30 am · Link

    :cheer: Thank you so much for posting this Shannon.

  13. Rhonda
      · February 9th, 2009 at 1:14 pm · Link

    :clap: yay you.

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