Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Finishing the Dream

We all dream of things, and especially of doing things.  Writers want to sell a best-selling book.  But without a book to sell, the dream will never come true.

Instead of dreaming, let's start doing.

The first key to the writing dream is to write.  Yeah, you probably already knew that. ☺  But it bears repeating.  Keep telling yourself WRITERS WRITE, and it will become so ingrained in you that you'll start writing, hopefully on a regular basis.  If that means an hour each morning or evening is all you have for writing, do it.  Write.

The second key to to the writing dream is to finish a book.  Hey, isn't that your dream?  Well, a huge step toward your dream, at least.  So what's keeping you from doing it?


  1. I have a family to care for.  Having been a wife for twenty-four years, and a mom for thirty-four, I understand how hard it is to find the time to do the things you dream of doing.  But hard isn't the same as impossible.  Mothers--and fathers, too--often find their lives filled with nothing but catering to others.  There's nothing wrong with fulfilling responsibilities, but you also should have responsibilities to yourself.  You should give some time to making yourself enjoy the things you want (and need?) to do to be a well-rounded person.
  2. I work long hours at my day/night job.  Yeah, I've been there and done that.  Now I work at home, and I still find it difficult to find the time to do everything.
  3. I don't know where to start.  You are not alone.  Most people don't, at least in the beginning.
  4. I don't have the knowledge to know how to write a book.  Nobody knows everything.  If you have children, do you remember what you knew about babies before having one?  Did you know everything about your job when you were first hired?  Probably not.
  5. I don't have a place to write.  Very few do, in the beginning.
Basically, the above are cop-outs.  Excuses.  A way to not fail, because if you don't try, you can't fail.  Here's another:  Don't have a computer or typewriter?  Countless books over the years and up to this moment are written by hand.  There's always an answer and a way, if it's what you truly want.  Miracles happen.  Let them.

Let's take a quick look at the above excuses.
  • I have a family to care for.  Yes.  It's "difficult" doesn't mean you can't do it.  Get up an hour earlier in the morning, when the family is still sleeping.  Or stay up an extra hour at night.  Or write when the children are napping or after they've gone to bed.  Write while dinner cooks.  Write while waiting at the school for the kids to emerge, all full of energy.  Write during their sporting events.  Not the entire event, especially if your child is playing, but during the warm-up at every other game?  You don't need huge blocks of time.  Smaller ones work as well. They're there.  Look and you will find.
  • I work long hours at my day/night job.  Do you have a lunch hour or half hour?  Write.  Or at least think about your story and take notes.  Yes, we all want to chitchat with our work friends, but two or three days of the week, take take for yourself and your writing.  I'm also familiar with the rest of this.  "And I go home to care for my family."  Do you watch television?  Cut out one to three programs a week and use that time for writing.  Go into an empty room, shut the door--after explaining that you are not to be bothered unless there's blood involved.  Or flames. Or flooding over six inches.  We have to be real about this.  Delegate.  Let the kids or hubby clear the table--if they aren't doing it already--and do the dishes.  Let hubby or oldest child who is responsible watch the others.  And DO NOT feel guilty about taking time for yourself, whether it's writing, spending time with friends, exercising, or taking a walk.  Give yourself the gift of time.  If needed, ask family members to brainstorm with you about how you can find some time.  Remind them that a fulfilled mom is a happy mom.  (This all includes dad-writers, too.)
  • I don't know where to start.  This one is hard for me to understand.  If you want to write, there must be something you want to write about.  The answer is at the beginning...of the story, of an idea, of a character, a snippet of conversation or internal thoughts, a snippet of scene playing in your mind.  All of those and others are the beginning.  Your beginning of an idea.  If they aren't coming together, write them down.  In time, they'll evolve, especially if you give them a read, now and then.
  • I don't have the knowledge to know how to write a book.  Then I have to believe you've never read a book.  Ever.  It's a story of a person...or two people...or a family...or an incident...or...  My advice?  Read more books!  After that, find books about writing.  There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of books out there about writing.  Or try online.  Look for the basics, at first.  Worry about the details later.  Join a writers group.  You'll immediately discover that you are not crazy, or if you are, you aren't the only one.  People in writers groups, both live and online, can be the door that opens your world of writing.  The plus is finding new friends who won't put you down for wishing and dreaming.
  • I don't have a place to write.  I chuckle at this one.  Why?  Because I have a place, but not a day goes by--or an hour--when someone doesn't step in to tell me something or ask a question.  And if I'm home alone, the phone will ring.  Oh!  You mean a real place?  Then make one.  A corner in your bedroom, the attic, the basement, the kitchen or dining room table, although that does mean that when mealtime comes, you'll be moving your things elsewhere.  Go outside and write.  In your car, if necessary.  Even the library!
Excuses are now gone.  Start writing.  Don't worry about what it's about.  If this is your first time to write, revel in it.  Enjoy it!  You're writing!

Now that you're beginning, don't worry about finishing quite yet.  We'll really take a close look at that next week on Writing Wednesday.  You're dreaming of writing and you're making that dream come true!  That's what's important right now.
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. ~ Michael Jordan

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