Following Your Dreams – At Any Age

UnboundBy Nikkie Locke, author of Unbound

Twenty three. That’s how old I am. People tell me all the time how young I am. Part of me wants to say “Really? I didn’t notice.” The other more reasonable part tells me to take it as a compliment.

Even the sweet pacifist side of me gets pissed when people tell me I’m too young, though. Too young for what? To make decisions that impact the rest of my life? Sorry, sweetheart, but I’ve been doing that since the first good-looking boy tried talking me into bed.

My parents worked damn hard to raise an intelligent and independent woman. I like to think they did a fine job of it. My parents taught me that there is nothing more important than following your dreams. You work hard and you follow your heart.

I think that’s the best lesson I can share with anyone, no matter your age. Your dreams are probably not going to come true on their own. If they do, those dreams won’t mean as much as they should. Working hard for something makes you appreciate it more.

Anyone who tells you writing a book is easy is lying. It takes practice, determination, and hard work. You put your butt in the chair and write until it’s right. Then, you send emails and letters to every damn agent and publisher out there until someone sees your book for what it is and what it can be. In the meantime, you put your butt in the chair and write the next book until it’s right.

What if your dream isn’t to become a writer? What if you want to be a dancer or an artist? A lawyer or a doctor? Do you want to be an inventor or an actress? Go back to school? Learn to juggle? Do you want to learn to fly or see the world in a new way? Whatever you want to do in your life, my advice is the same.

You work hard and you follow your heart. That’s all there is to it.

5 thoughts on “Following Your Dreams – At Any Age

  1. Carol

    Nikki, I loved this piece. It’s so true that the dreams you strive for the hardest are the ones most appreciated when they come to fruition. Best wishes for you and your book, Unbound. It sounds intriguing!

  2. amandalvshalaby

    Great post, Nikkie! I love your comment that “dreams are probably not going to come true on their own.” Excellent. Great words of advice for those still striving for their dreams and the encouragement to keep at it.

  3. Lisa Weseman

    GOOD for you! I started my book when I was about your age, but it took another 10 years of living to get my act together. I console myself with the fact that at least I didn’t wait 20 years…or 30 years…or never. But still there is a part of me that wishes I’d done what you did and made it happen.

    The same is true at the other end of the spectrum. I know of a man who went to medical school in his late 40s. Everyone said, “But you’re not going to even be a doctor until you’re 50!” His response was always, “I’m gonna be 50 either way — might as well be 50 and a doctor.”

    You’re gonna be 23 either way — might as well be 23 as a fabulously talented published author, no? Congrats!!

  4. nikkielocke

    Carol, thanks. My dreams are definitely appreciated. 🙂
    Jessica, as you can probably tell, I don’t think age matters. I have no doubt you can do whatever you set your mind to. It may take “FOREVERRRRRR” as my baby sister says, but you can do it. PS Don’t tell people I’m a role model. I have bad a** rep and I like it. Okay, maybe that reputation is only in my head. 😀
    Amanda, we all know dreams won’t just come true. Sometimes, we forget that means we actually to work at it, though. 🙂
    Lisa, as you said, it’s never too late or too early to start making your dreams come true. And, I love the fabulously talented part! I wouldn’t have said it, but I’ll definitely take it as a compliment. lol. Looking forward to your book. Congrats to you as well.