Money Isn’t King: Why You Should Keep Dreaming

keep dreaming

“Life is about making an impact, not making an income.” – Kevin Kruse

Following your dreams isn’t always easy in a world that seems to revolve around money. Many people abandon their passions because they simply need to pay their bills. But what if your dreams turned into a way to pay your bills down the road? It’s impossible to predict unless you refuse to give up on what gives your heart joy and your soul purpose.

When I was a little kid I wrote diligently in diaries. I went through a lot of trauma early in life and the blank page became my therapist, friend, and savior. Eventually the diary entries turned into poetry. Then the poetry evolved into stories and screenplays when I entered college. What began as a diary entry led me to achieving my goal of a college and post-college education despite all of the adversity that could have easily led me astray.

As a college student, my choice to major in English was admired by some and laughed at by others. My peers couldn’t understand why I would choose a major that involved writing so many papers and reading so many novels and thick literary anthologies. They couldn’t understand that in those classes is where I was most at home and in my element. I looked forward to them and dreaded most of the other required courses.

Others asked over and over again “But what are you going to do with an English degree?” with concern wrinkling their brows. I smiled and said “I’m going to write”. This response elicited further wrinkling of their brows. I would defend my choice of major by listing all of the practical careers I could pursue like teaching or point out articles like this one about writing which states that “97 percent of executives rate strong writing skills as either absolutely essential or very important”. Most people would give a sympathetic nod and walk off with a shrug of their shoulders.

Those naysayers had a right to be concerned about my employment future. Writers, after all, are often referred to as starving artists despite the fact that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that freelance writers earn a median salary of approximately $55,000 per year. But despite the popular term of starving artist describing my future, I had things to say and a passion that could not be persuaded. Writing was everything and it pulled me up out of the mud growing up and eventually placed me in a cap and gown. I felt I was born to write, although I wasn’t sure how or where this would play out financially.

After graduate school, the naysayers got to me. Years of negative responses and doubts overshadowed my passion. I briefly abandoned writing. I worked at jobs that paid the bills and told myself I wasn’t meant to be a writer. I started to believe I wasn’t talented or good enough. When anyone asked why I wasn’t writing I would reply that I didn’t feel inspired and doubted anyone would care about what I had to say. Besides, I was busy with life and bills and living a life.

Eventually, I had so much built up inside of me that I needed to express that I turned to blogging. When I began the same doubts about anyone caring enough to read what I wrote in the already congested blog world remained front and center in my mind. After all, in 2013 alone there were an estimated 152 million blogs on the internet. But I was doing this for me and for the few who might care and need to hear what I had to say. Slowly but surely I gained a small following and received the kind of feedback that silenced the voice telling me I was wasting my time for good.

I have continued to write articles over the years and have branched out to many different kinds of sites that have featured my work. I am always honored that someone carves out a little space for what I wrote among their own writing. Very recently I was published on a site that was once a magazine I loved as a kid. I loved it so much as a kid that I wrote a letter to the editor asking how i could grow up and be one of their writers. Seeing my article on their site was truly a full circle moment. Shortly afterwards I found myself published on one of my dream sites- Huffington Post. I was so overwhelmed with happiness that I cried. It felt like that little girl with her stacks of diaries and poems was finally being acknowledged, validated, and celebrated.

I am by no means a famous or even mildly famous author. I am not wealthy but I make money doing what I love. Granted, it’s not much but it’s enough to make me smile when I hear the words starving artist. My passion in life to reach others through my writing is being fulfilled even if on a small scale. I find inspiration in women that bring about change through their work, like this list of amazing women. I might be a tiny fish compared to them but I’m living my dream nonetheless and this breaks my future wide open. Possibilities and hope are a beautiful thing.

So whatever it is that you love to do, whatever it is that ignites your soul- reach for it. Reach past the doubts of others and your own doubts. You deserve a life filled with meaning where money isn’t king. You deserve to make an impact in a way that would make that little kid you used to be look up from their guitar or notepad and smile.

4 thoughts on “Money Isn’t King: Why You Should Keep Dreaming”

  1. Hello Stephanie!

    First of all, I would like to say congratulations on all your achievements! You have done what many of us (as writers and bloggers) would only dream of doing. Keep up the good work and don’t let anyone tell you to toss your passion to the winds.

    Yes it’s true, sometimes it seems that this world cannot accommodate our dreams. It’s nice to be reminded that that’s not true. There are many ways in which we can all live out our passions and fulfill our childhood aspirations.

    Thank you for the insightful article.


  2. It’s true that in this world,not every person could understands our feeling,our passion,when I reading this blog,I was thinking that it’s specially written for me the same lines,the same world which I feel everyday when any person ask me silly stupid question about my dreams…
    Thanks to write this blog!!

  3. You stayed the course. It is a good thing to share. “I am by no means a famous or even mildly famous author. I am not wealthy but I make money doing what I love.” That is enough. “Possibilities and hope are a beautiful thing.” Yes, they are. Thank you.

  4. Yours is a fine example for many people who just can’t find such balance in dreaming and living. Children are often literally born built upon the foundation of the previous generation’s dreams. We are fortunate to live in the digital age where so many of us can even remotely dream attaining of a lifestyle that resembles one that is more play than it is work. The technology and associated level of connectedness has created a lot more space of ways people pursuing fulfillment, One could say that what a person does while constructively procrastinating is what truly offers them fulfillment, as opposed to any official vocation.

    Thank you for your insight!

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