Doing the Dream with LeVar Burton and How Self-publishing Helped Me Realize My Dream

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech in which he shared his vision of America. Last Friday, as part of the 11th annual Doing the Dream celebration, famous actor LeVar Burton came to Kokomo Indiana to advise students how they, too, can achieve their dreams. As an accomplished actor and a man who says he’s living his dream, LeVar Burton stood before students “as living and breathing truth that our dreams do indeed come true.”

Over one hundred middle school, high school, and college grade students were in attendance, including students from my program–hence why I could justify going on a Friday. LOL. Yours truly had a front row seat for this inspiring speech.

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LeVar Burton is “living the dream”

For those of you who don’t know him, Burton is well-known for his roles as Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and as host on the popular TV series “Reading Rainbow.” He is best known for his role as Kunte Kinte in the groundbreaking TV series “ROOTS” which united audiences from all walks of life in 1977 when it first aired.

Burton spoke in detail how Martin Luther King Jr., as well as three others, inspired him to achieve his own dreams. He also shared with audiences some words of encouragement as well as advice on how to make their dreams become a reality.

“That which we focus our attention on [while] either sleeping or wide awake … is how we make our dreams come true.”

This quote resonated with me as an author because it validates my opinion that a dream is both a conscious and unconscious nagging which will only come to fruition with hard work, attention, and focus. I did not achieve published author status by sipping coffee and wanting to be an author; I made it happen with hard work, sacrifice, and diligence. While others were out partying, watching television, or hanging out with their boyfriends/girlfriends, I was tapping away at the keyboard.

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Author photo courtesy of The Kokomo Tribune

I actually got the chance to discuss in detail how I achieved my own dream in Sunday’s edition of The Kokomo Tribune. In a candid interview, I shared with readers how I, being discouraged by the cumbersome process of traditional publishing, realized my dream of becoming a published author through e-publishing. I explained to readers how this nontraditional route was the best opportunity for me to reach a wide audience while maintaining creative control over the novel. I also shared how, after three years of tinkering with edits, my debut novel, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other finally came to fruition thanks to this alternative route and my own increased efforts following my mother’s cancer diagnosis in August. For the entire interview, please click here. For more information about the novel, including prices, click here to proceed to the Amazon sales page.

Being a published author, being interviewed by the paper, and hearing LeVar Burton speak in-person–I truly feel like I am “living the dream!” What inspired me most was hearing LeVar Burton validate my views on dreams . . . though his words were far more eloquent than mine. LOL. Still, I think the message is the same and can be summed up in one phrase: “Every person has a purpose, and that purpose is to discover his or her gift and then share it with the world.” -LeVar Burton “Doing the Dream 2015”

Thank you everyone for stopping by on this beautiful, cloudy Monday Morning. Hopefully, the excitement from last week will fuel me through another work week. If not, that’s what coffee’s for;) See you all again soon!

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12 thoughts on “Doing the Dream with LeVar Burton and How Self-publishing Helped Me Realize My Dream

  1. What a wonderful opportunity to hear him speak. And a front row seat to boot–wow! Seeing a book through from inception to publishing (and then marketing…) does indeed take hard work and perseverance. Many times we may stop and ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this again?” But then we realize we wouldn’t feel fulfilled if we didn’t see the dream through.

    • Well said, Carrie. I don’t think I could say it better. That was kind of the theme of LeVar’s speech–sharing your dream because you have to. He seems to support the notion of achieving dreams for achievements sake, which I kind of like. Thanks for stopping by!

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