Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Guest Post: Rena Rocford: Of Pens and Swords

Thanks for letting me invade the blog, Samantha! Today I’m talking about how we chase our dreams. In my newest book, Of Pens and Swords, the Main Character, Cyra pursues her dreams with a dogged stubbornness. She’s determined to make the Olympics, and she sacrifices everything on the way, even her own heart. This, of course, leads to trouble, and if you want to, you can read more about it in the book. We’re here to talk about how you can chase your dreams without running yourself and your friends into the ground.

Here it is Rena’s Guide to Chasing and Catching Rainbows (insert Kermit the Frog song here)

Have a goal. Congratulations, you have a dream! No, I’m not being mean here. There are thousands—millions—of people in the world who don’t have a dream. They don’t have this thing you’ve found that burns in your mind. Now do yourself and everyone around you a favor: WRITE IT DOWN. Sometimes, we get lost along the way, so it’s important to write your dream down. This way if it changes, you’ll know. You’ll be able to point at it and say “this is my dream.” Excellent: Target Acquired.

No I in Team. I know, this is so cliché it almost hurts, but the truth of the matter is that you’re gonna need support. If you have a significant other, explain to them what your dream means to you. You’re going to need to prioritize your life and you’ll never get anywhere with your dream if it isn’t on your list. If you don’t have a significant other, enlist your friends and family. Most of them will be happy to help however they can. Don’t assume they’re just “being nice.” Many people would love to help you with your dream (hint: this is why it’s useful to have it well defined, so you can explain it to others when recruiting them to your dream).

Sometimes, There’s No I In Team Because I Is Off Quietly Working Hard While Team Is Busy Having A Party. You want to achieve your dream? Then you’re gonna have to do a ton of work, and no one is going to make sure you put your nose to the grind stone. You’re going to have to be the one duking it out with that voice in your head that says things will be fine after a donut and a Netflix binge session. There is a component of sacrifice to your dreams, no doubt about it.

Victories Are Planned. This is important because you’ll need to know something about your dream if you want to make it work. Planning out how to get your dream can sometimes fill in the gaps between “I’d like to be a writer” to having actual books in your hands with your name on it.

No Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy. I’m glad you have a plan, now, remember that you have to be ready to discard it at a moment’s notice, bend it for the crazy things that crop up in life (deaths, births, accidents, etc.). This doesn’t mean you aren’t going to stick to the plan, but it does mean that you might need to revise the plan at the drop of a hat. Semper Gumbi.

Change is Constant. Or give yourself room to change your dream. If you outgrow your dream, that’s okay. You can quit. So you had a dream to write a novel, and you’re five years in and you haven’t written chapter 1 yet. Don’t sweat it. Find a new dream and move on. This one doesn’t seem to be for you, and that’s okay. You can also take a break and come back.

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day. Sadly your dreams will not come true quickly. There will be delays and setbacks. There will be bumps in the road and your process. Give yourself time. Forgive yourself for the crazy feeling that you have to hurry up. This isn’t a race, and there’s no ribbon at the end—unless you were dreaming about winning races, in which case, get a move on it buddy.

If this seems like something you’ve seen before, it’s because you have. There’s a ton of luck in success. A ton. But the people who find that magical cross section of talent, effort, and luck all put in the effort. The other two factors are completely out of your control. Good luck out there!

Seventeen-year-old Cyra Berque wants two things in life: a date with Rochan and a chance to fence at the Olympics. But people with one hand don’t normally fence, and girls with big thighs don’t get the boy. Knowing that she wants to make the Olympics, Cyra’s coach sets her up with another coach, one who could take her all the way to the top, but the new coach costs more. Feeling her dreams slipping out of reach, Cyra agrees to tutor a ballerina with a rich father and a D minus in English. It’s triple the pay and triple the pain. The ballerina isn’t interested in passing classes―she wants Rochan, and she’s promised she’ll turn her D minus into a full-fledged F if Cyra doesn’t help her win the heart of Rochan.

Buy it now on Amazon!

About the author:
When Rena Rocford isn’t taking over the world one book at a time, she can be found living out her mild-mannered life, wearing out dance shoes, raising a herd of pets, and enjoying her time with her family in beautiful Northern California.
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  1. Interesting advice. I've always been very goal oriented but I keep my goals to myself for the simple reason that there are a lot of people willing to sabotage, often unconsciously. It's wonderful to have supportive friends but watch out for those dream-killers.

  2. All of this is so true! The key to success is just sheer hard work, but you have to have a goal in mind first and work hard toward it. Also--dealing with rejection and people who will tell you that you "can't" do what you're striving to do. If you can get past all of that, you can achieve whatever you want!