Dreaming is Hard Work

dreams and wishes. 62/365

As the New Year rolled around, my mind immediately went to goal-setting and resolution-making, which is to be expected. But, the other night I realized it should have gone toward dream-chasing.

If you didn’t know before today, I’m here to tell you, being a dreamer is hard work. Don’t be fooled by those who make it look effortless.

For me, there aren’t enough gaps in a day, between what’s “required” and “expected” to contain what’s “desired”. It overflows and quite honestly my goals should lead me to my dreams. That’s the hard work part.

I never dreamed of success. I worked for it.” ~Este Lauder

Ask anyone who’s reached their dream and I’m sure they’ll tell you they had to fight for it. The movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, comes to mind. Dreamers often equate work with the realization of their dream.

Recently I noticed I have calluses on my hands. I’m not sure what has caused these rough patches to appear on my palms.

Usually calluses are associated with repetitive motion and hard physical labor. I think of cowboys or ranchers or farmers … not a person who sits at a desk all day and taps away on a keyboard.

Maybe my mind manifested the calluses in response to work I need to do; for the dream I am chasing.

But as a writer who aspires to novelist or finished first draft of my novel, I don’t think I should develop hardened patches on my hands even if they are the instruments for putting down words.

Wouldn’t I instead toughen the mind muscle; the imagination maker? And how would I know that I’ve toughened it up? Maybe this is it:

If you’re not lying awake at night worrying about your novel, the reader isn’t either. I always know that when I get a good night’s sleep, the next day I’m not going to get any work done. Writing a novel is like working on foreign policy. There are problems to be solved. It’s not all inspirational.” ~James M. Cain

For most of the holiday season, my characters have been silent. My main character, Baby Girl, didn’t say a word. She let me sleep in. None of my characters distracted me from professional pursuits or leisurely lounging.

To the point where I considered, for a millisecond, abandoning them to the unfinished projects pile. I didn’t though. I waited. 

Where was the hard work part in the past two weeks?

Please know that I was still going about the hard work of a writer.

I read … I buried myself in someone else’s story until mine called me back. I read three books and my writing partner’s manuscript. I listened to podcasts on writing and dreamt of incorporating the advice. I read blog posts and articles. I searched for writing rescues and conferences for 2013.

My dream of writing was still at the forefront.

Then came the familiar ring. “Vacation is over,” Baby Girl called out. “Back to work.”

I hit my normal routine and my characters met me there. I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I couldn’t quiet my brain. As I grabbed the notebook from my bedside table and wrote:  plot notes, character ticks, missed opportunity lists, and dialogue, by iPhone light.

My poor husband. He’s so patient with me.

I am excited again. Anxious, once more, as I rediscover their story. I am having “roar” moments instead of whimpers and whines. Frustrated and worried about how to make it all come together.

Dreaming is hard work. If you’re a fellow dreamer you know what I mean.

What’s your dream? And, what hard work comes with it? Do you have the calluses to prove the hard work?

Photo Image from Zemanta

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Comments

  1. I’m a dreamer and this can sometimes take me away from my goal. I’m glad Baby Girl let you have a bit of rest, but now it’s time to get back into it. Best of luck 😀

  2. I like the way you can stalk around your writing, like a cat, until you know the time is right. If I’m to get anything done I need to put a block of time aside and force it along whether it is willing to co-operate or not. Looking forward to reading of your progress in 2013 Gail.

    • Thanks Roy. I find my best writing times are actually right before I fall asleep (which can be bad) or right after I get to work because I had enough time to think on the drive. Both are inconvenient but I make the most of it.

  3. This is great. It is a very important lesson to remember that it is fine to dream, but it is another thing to pursue those dreams. One is easy, one is not. One is worth it while the other one is worth a lot more.
    –JW

  4. Thanks for the link back Stephanie. Always appreciate it.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Being a dreamer is not easy. It’s not for the faint of heart. But I’ve said something like this before, here. […]

  2. […] Dreaming is Hard Work from The Jotter’s Joint A really neat look at hard work and when we get called back to our work. […]

  3. […] Dreaming is Hard Work (thejottersjoint.com) […]

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