Do you want to hear a story? It's a bit long and convoluted but it's got a classic quest, a bit of mystery and a happy ending. It's a story that tells why you should have a dream and how you can be rewarded for working towards your dream. I think you'll enjoy it.
For all my lovely new readers I'll just fill you in on the backstory. Basically, my twenties were spent traveling, my thirties mothering and now, in my (very early) forties, I'm focusing on writing. Mothering and traveling will always be most dear to me but my writing was neglected for a while so now I've vowed to make it a major part of my life again.
The writing dream
My dream of writing more is why I created this blog. I've blogged away for a year ~ writing, networking and learning as much as I can as fast as I can. I've worked hard but I still think not hard enough. I find blogging all-consuming but I love it and I've achieved one writing dream: getting 1000 subscribers to my blog after a year.
What really makes me determined to carry on blogging are the emails and comments from people thanking me for helping them work towards their dreams and increase their happiness levels. Take this one from Sadia:
“Thank you for your inspiring words – really need them at this moment in my life. Love what you write and how you write – it is uplifting.”
That kind of feedback is what makes my work here worthwhile.
The blogging dream
But I'm ambitious for my blog and the writing I do here. I dream of being paid for my passion which is writing, traveling and helping other people live their dream. Being paid for doing something is recognition that you're doing a job well and proof that you must be good at what you do.
I've thought about possible ways to make money from this blog and one of them is to have a sponsor for Get In the Hot Spot. Someone who likes what I'm doing and gives me a cash injection because of that. I'm imagining a huge multinational company and I even have one in mind who I've planned to approach, but I'm not telling who. I don't want to jinx it.
The crazy dreaming
I'm dreaming of a wealthy benefactor, a supporter of the arts who gets what I'm doing and wants to promote it. I've got a lot of big plans for my blog and one of them is to actually get a sponsor and make that dream reality.
But then I got side-tracked in my dreaming because another thing I want to do with the blog is put more videos online. Since I don't have a proper video camera I was dreaming that a video camera company would give me one. If you don't ask you don't get so I was plucking up the courage to approach video camera makers and see if they'd give me one. It fits with my philosophy to do something scary every day and I'll do it sometime.
But now I've been side-tracked again.
Recap of the story so far
- Woman has lots of wild dreams and follows them.
- Her dreams take her on adventures around Europe, Africa, South East Asia, North America and Australasia.
- Eventually, she settles on a beautiful island in New Zealand and has three kids.
- Life's good but the family decides to follow another dream and move to Central America.
- Finally, they move to Australia where she dreams of launching a writing career.
- She sets up a blog and works hard on it.
- She has some success.
- She perseveres, keeps working and dreaming of a break.
It's good to dream
So while I'm dreaming and planning who to write letters to, what they'll say and how I can persuade people to back me (but not actually doing anything about it yet) I get a surprise email.
I won't go into details but on Friday afternoon I got an unsolicited email saying that I've been selected as one of five Australian bloggers to go to China next month. I've been invited to stay in Shanghai for four days for the opening of World Expo.
I thought the email was some Nigerian bank account style scam or just a joke but it didn't seem to be.
Someone really seemed to be offering me a free trip to Shanghai. The email clearly stated that all I needed was a valid passport and to be able to leave on May 5th. Just if it wasn't a joke I went to check my passport. I'm sure you're all familiar with sod's law but I was still amazed to see that my passport expires on May 5th.
But that's just a blip. My passport (the Kiwi one) is being renewed in Sydney right now and all being well I will be visiting China very soon.
This feels amazing. It's real validation of my work here and recognition of my writing from a major global company.
Who is the patron of my art?
Who wants to whisk me off to World Expo in Shanghai? Can you guess? Here are some clues.
I thought “What a Feeling” was one of their slogans but I got that wrong. They change their slogan every year (I guess you can do that when you're the most famous and well-recognized brand in the world) but back in 1989 their slogan was “Can't Beat the Feeling”.
Warning: '80s Flash Back
I was 21 in 1989. Last month was my birthday and I turned twice 21 so it's understandable I miss-remembered the slogan. But I definitely remember the slogan and the emotion that I associate with the classic 80s song by Irene Cara, What a Feeling.
I checked out the YouTube video and think you might enjoy this taste of the 80s. Music videos have come a long way since this one was made. The beginning is odd. The middle is odd. The end is odd and total schmaltz but it tells a story and I confess it brought a tear to my eye that wasn't just caused by the mid-air high-flying splits she pulls off.
It tells the story of a woman who's on a mission to make her dream come true, who works hard and gets there in the end.
And read these lyrics. For people with a dream, they're unbeatable and guaranteed to fire you up.
Flashdance Lyrics to What A Feeling
The beginning's good but a bit over-dramatic. You'll see what I mean:
“First, when there's nothing but a slow glowing dream
That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind
All alone I have cried silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone.”
A bit over-dramatic but things get better in the chorus:
“What a feeling, bein's believin'
I can have it all, now I'm dancin' for my life
Take your passion, and make it happen
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life.”
So did you guess?
Many thanks to Coca-Cola for supporting my writing and validating my dream.
Here's all I know. It's to help launch their Live Positively initiative in Australia. I don't have to write about it and they're certainly not paying me to but I don't think they'll mind if I do. But I'll hold off until I know more. This trip represents a real opportunity for me to get more readers to my blog and work with Coca-Cola to spread happiness and help more people reach out for their dream.
But why me?
Apparently, Coca-Cola made a short list of blogs that they thought reflected their commitment to making a positive difference in the world and chose mine because they liked the topics and tone.
Blogging Rocked My World and It Can Rock Yours
Blog well, work hard, be passionate about what you do, keep an upbeat outlook on life and you never know where it will lead.
You never know who's watching you and reading your blog, liking what they see or what opportunities will present themselves.
Life is full of surprises.
Most of all I hope you'll take your passion and make it happen. Keep your dream alive, keep working towards it and keep moving ahead. You'll get there in the end and working towards it is part of the fun. You can't beat the feeling!