Yikes! In all the excitement over the past few days, Wednesday slipped by before I knew it. Election night was something of a fairy tale with a huge happy ending, and many of us are basking in the afterglow of all those euphoric feelings about hope and change.
I’ve been thinking a bit about dreams, and the visions we all have for our lives, particulary our writing lives. We talked about our wildest writing dreams here a few weeks ago, and pondered the challenge of plunging forward to make those dreams come true. It takes courage to embark on a quest, whether it’s toward achieving our goals as a writer, an athlete, or a leader. There’s a great deal of excitement involved, and heady anticipation at the prospect of things to come.
The outcome of our election is a good reminder of the way dreams come true. But geting there involves not only the courage to embark on the project, but the strength to stay the course when the going gets rough.
Those of you who are involved in NaNoWriMo are about to be tested in that regard. These first few days were a picnic compared with the middle of road humps that are just ahead. Those are the days when it seems as if your characters and plot are totally ridiculous, you have no idea where the story is going, your mind draws a blank when it comes to description and dialogue. At about the mid-way point in your novel writing journey, you have to drag yourself to the keyboard, and those 50,000 words appear as an insurmountable goal.
Here’s where you might need to employ “cheap tricks,” as Julia Cameron calls them, to keep you on track. (The Right to Write) A change of scenery works for some – taking your computer to a cafe or coffee shop. Phoning a writing friend can help, someone who will encourage you to keep at it. Even bribing yourself can help – the promise of a dinner at your favorite restaurant or even the indulgence of massage or manicure to celebrate the achievement of writing goals can sometimes be the incentive to get you started.
Cameron’s favorite “cheap trick” is what she calls the “writing date,” personally connecting with a writing friend and working in tandem. “There is something enlivening about writing in duos,” Cameron says. “A great deal of usuable track can be laid in chummy proximity.”
I’m sure President elect Obama has plenty of experience with the doubts and negativity that plague us in the pursuit of our dreams. His ability to stay the course was likely tested many times during the campaign, and will be tried many more during his tenure in office. His dedication to the dream was inspiring, and we can take a page from his book when it comes to fulfilling the writing dreams we all share.
How about you? Are you having a hard time staying the course toward fulfilling your writing dreams? What are you doing about it?