Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

The Power of Persistence

When I was a little girl, I had many big dreams. I was going to:
  • be the President of the United States. (That is a dream I willingly let go, I have no desire to play political games).
  • become a doctor that cured all kinds of diseases. (Not sure why I let that one go, not my true calling I guess)
  • be discovered at someone's concert (I believe it was Donny Osmond, Sean Cassidy, Sting, or {gulp} Barry Manilow) pulled up on stage as he sang to me and fell in love, and then turned into an instant movie/rock star.
  • become a famous actress/director
  • become an international diplomat who somehow brought peace to the entire world
  • make enough money (doing some kind of business, but don't ask me what) to live in a fancy apartment in NYC and travel the world
  • become a journalist who reported on wars and international crisis (while occasionally saving lives because I was, of course, in the right place at the right time).
Amidst all those big dreams was one that I started pursuing early on, in shaky handwriting and small words. I was going to write. I loved words and stories, and whenever given the opportunity I wrote. Short stories about mermaids, poems about unicorns. I wrote. Pages and pages of poetry and prose. I wrote. Sometimes I illustrated my own work, but more often it just gathered in piles tucked away in my school books or the little white desk I shared with my sister.

I still remember (and own, although I can't find it at the moment) the first blank book/journal my parents gave me to write in. The empty pages were an invitation to almost anything. That was the start of an addiction to blank books, which I have carried throughout the years. Some of them contain journal entries, some are filled with the beginnings of stories, poems, ideas, images, thoughts. Many are filled from front to back, a few have gaps when I found my creative dreams blocked by fear, doubt, and the business of life. Even though I know it is a waste, I can't restart in the middle no matter how often I try.

Now obviously many of those dreams were just childhood fantasy. Some of those dreams have come true in subtler ways than I had imagined, but they still exist in interesting forms.

But the dream of writing got pushed into the background of my life for a long time. "Why?" you ask. The answer to that lies in something that I have struggled with for a long time--self-doubt and too much concern about what other people think. I  thought it was useless to write if nobody would ever read my work. I took a short story writing course in college . . . and while my teacher liked the work (although he said it would make a better novel than a short story) I wasn't his favorite student, so I interpreted that as not being good enough. I was hard on myself, and kept my stories hidden from the world.

Then my life took many twists and turns. Through it all, my writings grew, gathered in the dusty pages of journals that fill entire boxes. Occasionally I submitted things here and there, but I didn't believe in myself or my ability. I started taking classes because that is my safety zone--I know I'm a good student, so I thought if I just learn enough I would finally achieve my dream. I took courses through the Institute of Children's Literature, and Long Ridge Writer's Group. I took workshops in poetry and short story writing. I participated in writer's conferences. Meanwhile, even though I didn't even realize it at the time, I started making  a living because of writing. I couldn't always teach courses in the theatre department at the college where we were working (long story for other places) so the writing program hired to teach composition and research classes. But, in my mind that came from being a good and flexible educator, not because of any writing talent.

Finally, though, life led me back to writing. I found solace in it during difficult times. I formed a writing group with my dear friends Sharon and Sue, partially to help provide new-mom Sharon with some adult contact and conversation. They encouraged to start blogging and to submit that very first novel (Giving Up the Ghosts). Yet, I still held back in some ways.

Fast forward many years. Blogging opened up a world to  me that I never knew--one of friendship, support, some negativity, and a lot of possibility. I began to believe that I could, indeed write something worth reading. P.O.W.ER is the result of that support in many ways. The main character, Andra BetScrivener, inherited her name from one of the people who have shown me value of being persistent and believing in yourself and your own ability--of not listening to the naysayers, the doubters, or the cruelest of all your inner critic.  I am forever grateful to Andra Watkins who helped me find the courage and pursue the dream, and also helped me understand what I actually achieved.

Over the past few years I have learned a lot about the power of  persistence and believing in yourself and your dreams. I have learned that everyone has the right to making dreams come true, even if those dreams do not fit the world's definition of success. I have learned to embrace my own power and create new dreams that link back to those old childhood ones in some ways, but that have simply made my life rich and rewarding. Some of my more recent dreams include:
  • Creating a company that uses the arts to make the world a better place. Enter heArtful Theatre Company.
  • More travel . . . this is one I am still working on.
  • Lose weight and get in shape so that I can be a stronger, healthier, happier person
  • Live life on my own terms, writing, teaching, dreaming, believing, and yes  . . . publishing.
Power of Persistance

P.O.W.ER is available today! Buy your copy now.

What dreams do you have? What's next in your life? What is next in mine?