What are you wishing for in this new year? What are you dreaming of doing? Do you hear of friends and acquaintances receiving awards or discovering opportunities that you wish were yours? Do you feel like you could be, or should be, doing so much more with your art/life/etc.?
It's a new year, dreamers, wanderers, lovely readers. It's time to put yourself out there and make your dreams become a reality. Want to win an award for writing? Enter contests! Want to have a painting accepted in an art show? Put your work out there! Want to get added to Benedict Cumberbatch's restraining order list? You better hurry up and pluck those eyelashes to mail to him! (too far?... maybe...)
Time to take a risk
My point is you can't have the things you want if you don't put yourself in the way of them. Sure, entering a contest or applying for a spot are scary, time-consuming things. But no one can experience your work, can offer you the chances you want, if you're not out there actively looking for them.
I'm saying this more for myself than anything else. All the time I hear of people that I know accepting awards or putting out amazing collaborative projects or getting their dream jobs and I think, "I wanna do that! I want to be recognized! I want to collaborate!"
Turn "No" into "YES!"
But I'm here to tell you, as proof myself, that until you put something on the table, until you take the risk, until you share yourself, your art, your heart with others, you'll be stuck saying "I wanna..." and feeling unfulfilled. And it takes more than once, usually, before you realize your dreams. For some people, it takes years of hearing "No thanks. Not at this time. Better luck next time. It's just not quite right for us." Just today I found out that I did not make the top 20 in a contest I entered. But will that stop me from believing in the project I'm working on? No!
If you believe in yourself, if you love what you do, if you feel in your heart that you're meant to write that book, paint those pieces, do that ONE THING... you'll pick yourself up after each one of those No's and keep going until you hear YES! It's not instant success. It's persistence that brings fulfillment to most of us. So, dear wanderer, never give up. And I promise I won't either.