I couldn’t believe it! There I was in the third row, center seat of the greatest concert of my dreams. Barry Manilow took center stage and belted out all his famous hits. My wonderful, thoughtful husband purchased these tickets as a surprise; not for a birthday or anniversary—but, for no reason at all. His love was the only impetus.
I had followed Mr. Manilow’s career since the late sixties to early seventies. I heard the lyrics and the haunting melodies of his hits. I had never listened to his words of advice, “Do what you love and the rest will follow.”
Being raised by a mother and father who were old enough to be my grandparents, the rule of do’s and don’ts were strong in the household—mostly a long list of don’ts and very few do’s. Typical for the time, my dad ruled the roost. My first love was always writing. Creating a story that someone could get lost in. Taking them to a faraway place or an incredible situation was my fun, even during my early teen years.
Would writing be an acceptable profession, one that my parents would approve? Nope! Not on your life. I had the choice of a “proper” career of nursing, teaching, secretary; well you get the gist. I decided nursing might be the best fit if I couldn’t do what I loved.
After establishing a career and raising a family, I no longer felt the need to follow the dreams others had set for me. Barry Manilow’s words now rang loudly in my head. I thought, “Dare I try to write a novel? After all this time? Can I even form a proper sentence after writing on patients’ charts in phrases and disjointed abbreviations? Spelling? I’m dyslexic! That’s another hurdle.”
I all too well realized that I no longer had the luxury of feeling my life was infinite, as comes with youth. If I were to plunge headlong into writing, the present was as good a time as any.
My memory flashed back: My first attempt to write a novel. Seventeen seated in front of an old rickety Smith-Corona; carbon paper for the copies. At least now, I had a laptop. I purchased this computer for the sole purpose of writing this novel that brewed in my head. I had no other desire than to write a story for friends and family. I didn’t understand the Internet and didn’t even have an email account. Yes, I used a computer at work; that was an entirely different animal.
The plot and characters took form quickly as my fingers could barely keep pace with my racing thoughts. I completed my novel in three months to the day and baptized it “Front Row Center”. A dear friend of mine thought my baby was good enough to seek an editor.
I found Carol. She was enthusiastic. I entered the prestigious Independent Publisher Book Award contest. I WON! That win was the reward for listening to Mr. Manilow’s advice, “Do what you love and the rest will follow.”
What is your dream? Go for the love!
I’m still following my dream at www.wordsandpassion.com . See you there!
©2013 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe