Hi friends! Today I have Sydney Roy in the spotlight. You can tell by reading through what inspires her that she’s an interesting person. She also has some great advice!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Writer. I know that seems like the obvious thing to say, but it is the absolute truth. I remember creating all kinds of stories as a kid.
I watched a Wishbone episode about The Purloined Letter and I created The Purloined Trophy. It was a film noir style detective story starring Sampson the Turtle and Miss Kitty.
I created a world called The Scarlet Pimpernel based on these European placemats my parents owned.
I watched Footloose and started a story about a town where writing was outlawed.
Probably the cringiest was Besame Mucho, a play about a saucy Spanish cougar inspired very loosely by the Beatles cover of the same name.
…I guess you could I say I was a pretty strange kid.
What do you do now?
I write. I’m a freelance writer, and when I’m not writing for profit, I’m writing for me. I dream of the day when those two things will not be mutually exclusive.
I’m giving you a super power that will make your biggest dream come true–guaranteed. What’s going to happen?
I’m a realist. Which is a nice way of saying that I’m a cynic. I guess I’d say my biggest dream is to become a published author, capable of supporting myself with my work. That doesn’t really seem big enough though.
How about an author and a travel writer who moves all over the world…and teaches yoga on the side…and owns a ridiculous pug with a ridiculous name like Spartacus Finch?
Clearly I would need two extra arms. There’s no other way I could do all that writing and keep up with a dog. It would probably help with the yoga too.
Did you ever give up on your dreams?
Yes and no. I had other dreams. I thought I was going the Peace Corps and do that for the rest of my life (while writing of course). I never gave up on the idea that one day I would publish a novel.
However, I frequently put it off, believing that I had all the time in the world to get it figured out. I tried on a lot of different jobs. I worked in software and education. Briefly, I was in HR. All of these jobs had one thing in common though. I only ever meant them as a means of making money while I write. It turns out, that’s easier said than done.
So, the unthinkable happened and I turned 30. In true stereotypical fashion, I obsessed over how little progress I’d made toward my goals. Honestly, it sounds silly, worrying about turning 30, but it really kicked me into gear. I made a twitter account, I made a blog, I got on Elance, and I started calling myself a writer.
What advice do you have for people who are trying to decide if they should chase their dreams?
Everyone has different reasons for wanting whatever it is they want.
I guess my advice is threefold.
One. Don’t be inflexible. A lot of people might find themselves chasing a dream they had ten years ago when they were a different person. Maybe they don’t want to seem like a failure. Maybe they don’t want to feel like they wasted their time. In either case, they hold stubbornly to a set path. You are dynamic. Your dreams are too. Listen to what it is that you want and don’t worry about the rest.
Two. Don’t listen to critics. Your dreams come from you and they change with you. Therefore, you are the only person who can determine your success or failure at achieving them.
Three. If you are lucky enough to know with stunning certainty what it is that you want, don’t waste any time.
If you could have any super power in the world, besides what I just gave you, what would it be?
Hmmm…I would like to be able to access Google with my brain. Debates with my husband would become much more satisfying.