If You Can Dream and Not Make Dreams Your Master
I stayed up until 4:00 a.m. this morning looking at dresses. Let me tell you about that. The 2018 Writers of the Future Awards Event was held yesterday in Los Angeles, California. I started watching it at midnight, and well, it’s almost three hours long. I’ve entered the 2019 contest, so I don’t have any skin in the game for 2018, but after watching the event for a while, I started daydreaming about what I’d wear if I were one of the finalists someday. Here’s a link to the Pinterest board. You might notice I like gold dresses. And floral dresses. And golden floral dresses.
I’ve mentioned how important it is to me to write more than I talk about writing. The same goes for daydreaming. I don’t want to end up dreaming more than doing. Dreaming takes a lot of energy. If I’m not careful, it can waste a lot of time as well—like last night, when dreaming (both literally and figuratively) resulted in me sleeping in and missing my a.m. writing time. As Dumbledore would say, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
So this morning, after dropping Bubs off at school, Rosebud and I did our hair, packed our bags, and headed to the library. Lucky me, it was my turn to share a short story with my local writer’s group and get a critique. I work with a lot of awesome writers, but I love the guts out of my local library group. We’re a bit of a motley crew. We’ve got an age range that spans several decades. We write everything from genre fiction, to memoirs, to exposés, to beat poetry. Today, I had two people rave about my short story, one say “I couldn’t get past the third page. I’m astounded anyone could read it,” and I had to break up an argument over whether or not the opening needed more description. More than once. I seriously love these people. If your local library group doesn’t regularly end near fisticuffs, you’re missing out. We also have cookies.
Going to the library today helped me a million times more than staying up and planning my winner’s wardrobe. And it didn’t just help my writing; it helped my morale. Because I was out there doing something. I was sharing my work. I was getting feedback. I was talking about ideas with real people. I wasn’t thinking about dresses or awards, but I was closer to them than I had been last night.
Because dreams aren’t accomplished by dreaming. Dreams are accomplished by laying down real efforts, brick-by-brick, and trusting that what you build will be beyond what you imagine.
So tonight, I’m going to bed on time. Let the dreams settle with the feathers in my pillow. And tomorrow morning, I’m going to wake up and write.