Is your dream practical?
prac·ti·cal / ˈprak-ti-kəl /
: relating to what is real rather than to what is possible or imagined
: likely to succeed and reasonable to do or use
: appropriate or suited for actual use
Let me ask again, is your dream practical?
Probably not. If it were practical, by definition, it wouldn’t be a dream. It would be doable.
Yet, some people do end up fulfilling their dreams. What’s different about those people and their dreams? The difference is those crazy few choose to redefine the power that practical has in their lives. They decide to loosen the grip of guarantee that threatens to choke the life from their futures. They come to the conclusion that though following along the expected path gives a sense of security it will never produce strength.
Twentysomething author, Leah, was creating stories before she could even actually write. Her very first documented story was written in the third grade, and she’s been writing her stories ever since.
Once in college Leah switched her major right before her junior year to Early Childhood Education because “it was practical.”
“I really chose to do teaching out of fear,” she said. ” I was so focused on needing to have a job, so I stuck it out even though I hated it.”
After graduation, Leah married her high school sweetheart, Zach, and began teaching at a private elementary school because they needed the money as newlyweds. After a full day of teaching, Leah would come home and write her own stories all evening, essentially working two full-time jobs. At the same time, she also started freelance writing for various clients as well as editing for the popular lifestyle blog MaieDae. In addition to her full plate of writing and teaching, Leah began her martial arts training in Hapkido and Taekowndo, in which she is now a black belt and blue belt, respectively.
“I really loved working with kids, but I couldn’t do the drama and the politics that came with the job. It just became so soul killing,” she said. “I realized that teaching is not just a job, but a calling. It wasn’t my calling.”
Recognizing his wife’s passion for writing was only continuing to grow, Zach encouraged Leah to stop teaching and to find a way make writing her profession. After two years of teaching, Leah took a leap of faith and resigned from her job to pursue writing full-time. Though it was a financial risk, Leah walked into the unpredictable world of freelance and self-publishing confident that she was making the right decision.
That was a year ago. She has since self-published two books in a trilogy as well as a novella.
“Self-publishing has let me learn the process at my own pace,” Leah explained. “Plus, it’s more cost effective.”
With traditional publishing, you have to pay people like agents, editors, and graphic designers. By publishing her books independently, Leah filled all those roles herself while learning the ropes. She is currently working on two new novels that are set to be released by the end of this year.
Leah also formed her own LLC and her freelance career is growing. She is the “Administrative Maven” behind MaieDae as their chief editor and business administrator. She is also writing for various blogs, including her own blog.
Leah’s first love will always be her stories. She is energized by developing her characters and plots. She says she ends up putting a bit of herself in each of her characters.
Leah’s advice to other twentysomethings is “Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”
Photo Credit: Savannah Wallace