The Challenge, The Target, and Reaching The Goal Of Stardom

Joy often dwells where dreams unveil. ~ Attica Lundy Cooper



IN 1985 I sat on the second row of my 7th grade class learning Langston Hughes poem “Dreams”.  I remember thinking big and wide ALL the dreams I had. Growing up in the south side of Atlanta in a city called East Point in the suburbs left me with a lot of time for dreaming. I dreamed about having more money than I could even need, and making a comfortable life for me, my grandmother, and my little cousin Richard.  I felt that I’d already been through a lot in my short but troubled life, and holding fast to dreams wasn’t very hard for me to do at all; it’s all I had.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Early on I understood that if dreams died, there would be no more hope.  I’d seen people give up on their dreams.  When I asked them about it, they would scoff at the idea of it.  Not having hope is one of the worst feelings there is.  Even as a young child, whenever hope was gone I was at my saddest and loneliest. I wrote a lot in my journals, a habit that my third grade teacher had gotten me into doing in order to express myself.  But when I did have hope I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do.  Since I’d began enjoying writing so much, I set my dreams towards being a famous writer and…I wrote.
Becoming a professional writer was always on my mind as I read through the countless books I’d been reading.  I could finish a good sized book in one day, so i was a frequent visitor and patron of the local library, especially the one at my school.  I challenged myself to read more and more, absorbing the different styles, rules, and freedoms involved with writing.  I couldn’t go to a store without getting caught up on the author section, either.  I longed to one day see my book on the shelves of stores everywhere.  I read as much as I can and wrote as often as I could.  I would always wonder “How do you become a great writer?”.  I’d began writing more serious poetry after reading some of Nikki Giovanni ‘s work (my grandmother’s favorite)  You write more and more, you practice, you set and meet deadlines, you get critiqued, etc.  There is so much to do to become a “great writer”.  And even more than that, I’d wonder “How do you become a famous writer or even a successful writer?”.  Again, I was directed to just practice my craft more and more until it felt flawless.  And so I did. I entered my words in contests and competitions and open submissions.  I found great gratification when I’d get published somewhere or found a placement of some sort.  I felt great pride in the fact that I was writing for friends as well, by request.  The challenges were here and there as I learned more and did more.  And then it clicked in my mind that I could also get paid to write, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

There’s always the dream.  The initial dream that follows us throughout time until we finally get the opportunity to do it.  We may not know exactly what it is, but we get a taste of it enough to know where to start, if we follow our dreams. But do what?  Yes, I wanted to write a book, but writing a book is like top level.  People are not just putting those things out there with quick turnarounds, so it takes time.  Often times we have little money, little resources, little network in the beginning of the dream.  The challenge of getting to the place where we want to be is sometimes almost impossible to imagine. At some point, the books in the stores dream was not seeming possible.  I could write essays and reports but couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to write a book  I was burned out from reading and writing and my brain honestly could not fathom how to compose words into a story-line into a book. I even made little booklets out of paper and staples, but the pages remained empty. As I realized I had burnout and writers block, depression began to sink in.  If i couldn’t write a book, how could I write for a TV show or write a movie?


It wasn’t until I was first published in a poetry contest that I decided not to allow my fears to stand in the way of my goals.  I had my eye on the target and my target had never been as clear. I won and was published.  Throughout the decades I would strive to meet the challenges that life through my way and always rise to the top, because that is where I’ve always aimed to be.  I remember when My publicist asked me to write down my 5 year personal and professional goals. My goals were to pay off my student loan, to have a daughter, to publish a book, and two other goals I can’t remember.  Well, at the end of the 5 years, we looked back and discovered that I did so and I can tell you it feels amazing to 5 years later be able to say you reached all of your goals.  Knowing this, I make that a way of life; setting goals and reaching them.My target was clear, so it was no surprise to me when I saw my book “A Quiet Time” on the shelves of Barnes & Nobles and  I soon learned the magic of setting specific goals and reaching them. Despite obstacles I face day in and day out,  I still manage to achieve my goals.

For the members of the On The Rise community, becoming a star can seem so very distant of a goal to successfully obtain.  There are so many obstacles that get in the way that seemingly makes your goals of success impossible.  Lack of resources and lack of support are among the top reasons why people don’t make it., not to mention lack of faith.    Sometimes other people come in and distract us and lead us into a different direction, setting us way behind schedule.  Time does not stand still for anyone. Sometimes we stand in our own way of success due to making bad decisions or not having enough heart for the task.  What we have to do is try to overcome the obstacles and revel in the opportunity.

Our dreams do not have to die.  They do not have to be barren filled with snow.  We need to make sure we take advantage of any and all opportunities if they feel right from within.  You accept the challenge, whatever that may be.  Do your best and do not stop doing your best.  You keep your eye on the target and you don’t lose sight of it.  And then…you  reach the goal of stardom, whatever that means to you.


Fran Briggs Releases The Best of Winter Reading, 2015, names Attica Lundy ‘s “A Quiet Time” novel

Purchase “A Quiet Time” by Attica Lundy in e-book or paperback

Attica Lundy Presents ON THE RISE MAG 2016






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