Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Should Writers Have A Dream?

I liked the poster above. When we were kids, a parent or teacher might have scolded with words like Stop daydreaming and get to work!  or You need to quit dreaming and get busy! As a parent or teacher, we want kids to keep working and face reality. But perhaps those words sometimes poured water on a spark of imagination that could have been better encouraged into a real flame.

Coming back to today--I think we need to have a dream in our writing world. We need to set a goal that we can work toward. I read a guest blog essay this morning that gave some very good advice. The young woman who wrote the piece is a graduate student in an MFA program with non-fiction her primary focus. She had dreams of writing a book--a memoir--about her two years spend at a religious affiliated college during her undergrad years. 

A professor told her that she needed to learn to write a story before she could write a book. I am in full agreement with that. Far too many beginning writers set out to write a book as their first project. And some manage to do it. That doesn't say how good it will be. I've read many times that your first three book manuscripts should be left in a drawer--or maybe fed to the shredder. Writing a book for the first time is a learning process and not necessarily meant to be a smash hit. A lucky few do manage to achieve it, which makes the rest of us green with envy.

But it's OK to aim high. It's alright to dream about that first published book with your name on it. If we don't have dreams like that, how will we ever arrive there? Dream, set your goal, and then work toward it piece by piece. Those old keywords that I love patience and perseverance come into play here. Achieving a dream seldom happens overnight. It can take months for some and for others, it takes years. The important thing is to not lose sight of your dream. Keep it in mind or put something near your computer to remind you of it. 

I have a dream in my writing world, and I bet you do, too 

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