Following your dreams…
When I was 19 years old, I decided to leave my small Alabama hometown and strike out on a journey to the Big Apple: New York City. It took a combination of naivety and hard-headedness, I suppose. After all, I didn’t know anyone in New York City, and only had a grand savings of $300 in my pocket as I rode that Amtrak train 16 hours North. But I had a big dream: I wanted to sing my own songs in NYC. After a couple years, I manage to find a job in the music biz writing jingles and programing tracks for such clients as the Armed Forces and Red Lobster. Not at all what I had planned when I moved to NYC, but I was paying the bills and New York was expensive. I told myself my dreams could wait. I let them sleep.
Enough is enough!
Before I knew it, 13 years had crept by…13!!! I woke up one day and realized I was just making a living. Yes, I was doing music, but not what I felt I was meant to be doing. “How long am I going to let my dream sleep?” I remember asking myself. Another 13 years? 26 years? Longer? That’s when I decided to wake up and start writing my own songs. Working after hours at night, I recorded demos for five of them and began thinking of ways to get my songs to artists who might record them. I got up each day more excited, and went to bed more at peace. there was no clear road map. I didn’t know how to achieve my goal, but I had awoken the dream. It took another 7 years, actually, to find my way to Nashville and celebrate the first of several #1 songs as a writer (at the ripe young age of a dreamer…40 years old!) with a song called Beautiful Mess.
I want to encourage you today to awaken your sleeping dreams…
Dust them off and sweep them to the front of your thoughts and prayers. Cast aside the negative doubts and throw yourself into the day and do one thing that gets you a step closer to whatever you dream. You will smile more and sleep better tonight.
Write on! ~CM
Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter, producer, and performer. He has 2 Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio and “Heaven Heartache” by Trisha Yearwood. Clay Mills is also the co-author of The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing.