Follow Your Dream

Barry Manilow


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 . See you there!

©2013 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe

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28 thoughts on “Follow Your Dream

  1. Salvatore Buttaci

    Cynthia, what a delightful story! Your ability to hook us into the telling and keeping us there until the end is a testament to your excellent talent. I enjoyed your story and agree with you that our dreams cease being dreams when we take them on a walk into reality!

  2. Trish

    What a fascinating start to a novel!! Having read the book, it’s great to hear the story behind it. Thank you so much for this wonderful posting!

  3. Joanne gray

    I loved your artical ,I too heard Barry’s advice on a u tube video .so started painting after 20 yrs .my father also decouraged follow ing a art career .I’m currently working on a 6 scene painting telling the story of coccabanna. And looking to entering amiture art competition later this yr.

  4. Mike Staton

    Thanks for sharing how you made your dream of writing and publishing a novel come true. Enjoyed the post.

  5. Monica Brinkman


    How thrilling to read the moment you realized you could go after your dreams and goals. Didn’t hurt that Mr. Manilow inspired you. Guess we must thank Barry for if you had not attended the event and heard the words which would change your life, we would not have writings by such a great author.

    Keep chasing your dreams!

  6. Martha Love

    Cynthia, thank you for your fascinating story about how you followed your true dreams. Sometimes it takes a while to get to the place of following those dreams but as you have so beautifully expressed, once we do success follows!

  7. Elaine Bullin

    I think we all have a dream within us of something we want to do. For so many, like you, outside influences derail that dream. This is so sad. As I have become older I realize just how important going for your dreams are vital to a satisfying life. No one wants to grow old and realize “I wish I had…”

    Glad you went for your dream, Cynthia. I am loving reading your book.

  8. Lori Foroozandeh

    Kudos to you Cynthia. What a heartfelt post and one that described the story behind not only the picture but your life and it’s dreams too. Congratulations on your book and life, you deserve it:)

  9. Micki Peluso

    Cynthia, I’ve always wondered what your connection to Barry was–other than a fantastic performer. It’s always interresting to see the diverse ways people follow their dreams; yours being no exception. Thanks for sharing a great post.


  10. T.R. Heinan

    Cynthia demonstrates that inspiration can come when least expected. The wonder thing is that she acted on it and, as the reader can see, she knows how to tell a good story.

  11. Cherrye S. Vasquez


    I am happy to learn that you reclaimed your dream. It seems that whenever we do what we enjoy it just makes working fun.

    I enjoyed your article. It’s nothing wrong with having multiple talents and skills. This is what I try to instill in my own daughter. Learn to do two or three things well. This way, you can always fall back on one or the other if something should happen.

    Good for you, Cynthia!

  12. Linda hales

    Cynthia – what a delightful recap of your wonderful experience with Bary and how he inspired you and others to pursue your dreams and become who you were meant to be! This as a lovely read!

  13. Diane Piron-Gelman

    Inspiration comes in many guises–including this wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it, and keep dreaming… and making those dreams come true. 🙂

  14. Louise Malbon-Reddix

    Cynthia – Reminds me of planting flowers, pretty flowers, and then there is just that one that is the most beautiful of all! And moments in our life are just like that. One of them just blossoms and becomes the most beautiful of them all and we are off following that dream. Thank You for sharing your beautiful blossoming moment!

  15. cindy

    What a revealing look behind the motivation for your novel. Thank you for sharing such heart felt thoughts. Wonderfully written!

  16. Sharla Shults

    Cynthia, I, too, have wondered about the connection of your book and Barry Manilow. What strange thoughts have wandered through my head! I enjoyed reading your wonderful connection and bridge to fulfilling your life’s dream. As you already know, I have your book and look forward to reading!

  17. Delinda McCann

    You are so right that we need to follow our dreams. Sometimes the rest doesn’t follow, but at least we’ve followed our dreams and lived the our own life not the life someone else planned. How sad it would be to get to the end of your life and realized you’d never lived your life.

  18. Yves Johnson

    What a great experience. Your husband knows how to take care of you…his love! Beautiful. Thanks for the advice and extra push…I’m following my dream!

  19. Cynthia B Ainsworthe

    Lori, Micki, TR, Cherrye, Ken, Linda, Diane, Louise, Cindy, Sharla, Delinda and Yves, Thank you all very, very much for those wonderful comments. You’re comments and loving words strengthen my desire to do what I love—write!!

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