I am hoping this blog post will make you wrap up your writing dream in bubble wrap paper, place it in a sturdy box, write FRAGILE all over it and store in a safe place.
We all start our writing journey clutching a big, colourful and exciting writing dream.
‘I want to write something that people will want to read.’
‘I am going to write that novel I have been longing to write.’
‘I want to see my book on Amazon.’
‘I want to get snapped up by a literary agent.
‘I want to be at my own book signing.’
‘One day I will be a successful author.’
Your writing dream puts fire in your belly, keeps you awake at night, puts a spring in your step, encourages you to buy pretty notebooks and makes you write thousands of words over Christmas.
It has taken me a LONG time to realise that a writing dream needs protecting.
Sometimes we forget how fragile they are.
Just think about what the average writing dream endures:
Pulled apart. You spend half your writing career pulling apart your writing dream in your head, on paper and on your laptop.
Deflated. You spend too long on social media comparing your successes to the successes of other writers. You conclude they have achieved so much more than you and this isn’t great. Air starts to ooze out of your writing dream. By the end of the day your writing dream feels like it is a deflated beach ball lying in the corner of your mind.
Inflated. You will find things like positive feedback, encouragement from friends and loved ones supporting you inflate your writing dream.
Crushed. In the early stages of your journey you make the mistake of telling the wrong people about your writing dream. A few silly jokes, about YOU actually writing a BOOK, later and that writing dream of yours feels like it has been crushed. You tell yourself ‘it was just a silly dream,’ and spend the rest of the evening doing some internal screaming while stuffing huge chunks of chocolate into your mouth.
Ignored. You find yourself craving a break from writing which weirdly coincides with a nasty bout of Writer’s Block so you ignore your dream for a few weeks.
Discussed. Your dream is discussed at length with writing friends, interested loved ones, other writers you meet at conferences and on social media.
Trodden on. You get some stinging feedback on your story which makes you cry. If only you knew that in six months time it will be this feedback which will get your story noticed by an agent. Anyway, you’re upset to think about this, so you spend a good week hating your own writing and your dream feels like it has been flattened and trodden into the carpet.
Resurrected. Your writing dream will normally be resurrected after a few glasses of wine, many hours of daydreaming, several likes on social media to a blog post or some unexpected writing praise from a loved one.
Stamped on. The rejections are coming in thick and fast. Every time you close your eyes at night all you can see inside your head is, NO, NO, NO. You tell yourself all sorts of horrid things like there’s no hope for you and after a few weeks it feels like your writing dream has been well and truly stamped on.
Glued back together. The urge to write is strong and no matter how hard you try to keep yourself busy all you want to do is write. You remind yourself of the negative feedback, the rejections and the ridicule, but that fails to stop you creeping over to your laptop. Line by line you slowly start to glue your damaged writing dream back together.
Tied together with some old string. Sometimes you get so desperate that you can no longer find the glue to repair your damaged writing dream. You’re mentally exhausted and about to start the tenth draft of a story which has been bugging you for four years. Your piece of work has been rewritten, revised, deleted, edited, rejected, edited, chucked on a bonfire, hated, loved, screamed at, cursed, cried over and hugged tightly. You allowed your dream to take all the knocks and now it is too tiring to glue the shattered bits of your writing dream back together, so your mind finds what feels like some old string and ties it all loosely together.
Writing dreams are precious things.
As I have hopefully shown above we put our writing dreams through a lot.
These things need protecting.
They are so fragile.
I wish I had not put my writing dream into so many situations where it came under unnecessary strain and stress.
These are things I think we can do to protect and care for our writing dreams:
- You don’t need to tell everyone your writing dream. There’s nothing wrong with protecting it by keeping it to yourself – especially at the start of your career.
- Accept that this is YOUR writing dream. It’s not your loved one’s dream, your mother’s dream or your writing friend’s dream. Letting other people dictate what happens to your writing dream will lead to damage.
- Build an imaginary wall in your head separating your writing dream from your work. When you get negative criticism on your work the wall will protect your writing dream. Your writing dream does not need to take all the knock backs your work gets. Your work WILL get criticised (guaranteed) but this should not damage your writing dream. Build the wall and if you have to stick that dream in a glass case too! I now have a wall, a huge moat and acres of imaginary land separating my dream from my work.
- Don’t discuss writing dreams on social media. It is guaranteed someone will spot your post after eating a large slice of asshole pie and will take great joy in ripping your dream apart.
- Ignore what other people say about your writing dream. It’s YOUR dream. If you want to dream big than do it.
Once you allow your writing dream to be destroyed you will end up walking away from a fantastic and life changing passion.
Dreams are what sets our souls on fire.
Now go and build that imaginary wall or find that box!
Look after your writing dream.
Have a great day 🙋🏼
It might be local press below but it’s still a dream being fulfilled ❤️