Why You Should Dream Your Impossible Dreams

(And What Happened When I Did)

All my life I was told that writers can’t make money. At least, not a steady income, and certainly not enough to live on.

I heard it so often that for years it’s what I told people when we got to talking about my dream to be a writer. “I’d love to write books for a living,” I’d say, “but you just can’t make money at it.”

And yet, I had absolutely no personal experience with that statement. I’d heard it so often that I believed it was an unrefuted fact.

Oh, sure, there are anomalies such as J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. Those people were exceptions to the rule, and I couldn’t just assume that I would be another one of the few, the elite, those lucky enough to make a living by my pen. Stuff like that doesn’t happen to the rest of the world.

For years I didn’t even try.

You know what makes it absolutely certain that you’ll never achieve something? Not trying.

Let’s say it’s your lifelong dream to visit Oregon. And yet you never purchase a plane ticket and get on a plane. It’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to just poof and find yourself in downtown Portland, right?

Likewise, dreaming and wishing I could make a living at writing, while not putting in the work, didn’t magically make anything happen.

I spent years dreaming and wishing, but not doing.

One day I looked at the calendar and realized five years had passed since the first time I knew I wanted to be a writer. Next thing I knew, ten years had passed. And then fifteen. But I never seemed to get closer to my dream.

Imagine that all your life you were told it was impossible to visit Oregon, that it just couldn’t be done, and in fact, lots of people had tried and failed. You probably wouldn’t hop in your car and start driving there just to make sure for yourself. Would you?

Or maybe you would. Because you know what? After 18 years of dreaming, that’s just what I did. I decided I needed to know for myself what I could and couldn’t do. I decided to believe in my dream. So I quit my job and began writing full time.

It’d be pretty awesome if this story ended with me telling you that I’m now making a living as an author. Well, sorry. I can’t tell you that yet. But what I can tell you is that I’m trying. And that has changed the likelihood of achieving my dream from impossible to possible. To me, that is a beautiful thing.

So what about you? What have you dreamed of doing, but believed could never happen? Are you willing to take the first step — to believe it’s possible?

I’ll tell you, it’s the hardest step and the easiest step, both at the same time. But also the most worthwhile.

Come on, join me. Oregon is waiting.

Your dreams are waiting.

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