How To Make Our Dreams Come True
Writing is my dream. Or that’s what I tell myself.
10 years into this dream I have really only been working somewhat consistently for under 2 years. Without Writing Wednesday I would be nowhere. I would still be dreaming and delaying. “I’ll become a writer when I’m older.” I used to tell myself that for many years.
That is part of the growth curve of any dream. When we are practicing and acquiring skills it is often hard to (and sometimes best to avoid) assuming the title. It is a fine line. Sometimes we are definitely not ready to assume the responsibility of owning our intentions and dreams. Maybe the hours have not been invested, or we are weak in the fundamentals. However, there comes a time when, just like a project, we have to start. Initial humbleness is essential, but we do need to claim it. The unwillingness to call ourselves an artist, a real musician, or anything else that we dream of is something that cannot go on forever. Actually, it matters less that we call ourselves that in public, or to anybody. But, it does matter that we are comfortable knowing that is what we are (or at least becoming) when we are by ourselves.
I’m almost there. I am almost able to call myself a writer.
But, not quite yet…
Now that I’m nearly comfortable calling myself a writer, (I usually still convey to others that I am becoming a writer) how do I really make it happen? How do I manifest this dream?
Whether it is writing like my dream or another pursuit you may be dreaming of — I know the following list is what I need to do to make my dream happen, and part of what it takes to make any dream happen.
Perhaps I should use another word. Work scares most people, at least the notion that more work is required. Practice. How about that? I need more practice to become a real writer. I am beginning to claim it, but I know I have hours and hours and hours of practice (work) ahead of me.
At present, I am not prioritizing my dream. How sad is that? I’m not the only one out there who doesn’t put their dreams first, but most will not admit that. Going after your dreams is a great challenge. I am on the path but loaded down with the weight of all the other things I give my time to when writing needs to be done.
Exertion and effort are mandatory. Getting myself to put in the work required to make this happen is a daily battle.
This is my way of calling myself out.
Brendan, to become a writer you need to spend more time writing.
The skills I have presently are not adequate. I must improve all the facets of the craft that represents my dream. Gaining proficiency in multiple skills is fundamental to making our dreams become reality. Whether it is painting, poetry, or professional fighting — there are always areas where we are strong, and areas where we are weak.
The most glaring weakness in my skill set presently is editing. As a writer, this is such an essential ability. It would be like a fighter not learning how to punch with their non-dominant hand. Of course the synthesis of words is in need of improvement too, but actually taking the time to review my work after it has had time to sit is something that I hardly ever do.
I know I’m rushing sometimes. Rushing to conceptualize, write, edit, design a graphic and publish all in one day. Rushing is a bad way to build skills. The world may seem to be moving faster and faster, but the best performers across all fields move at their own pace. They built their skills, and their skills build their dreams.
A Functional Process
It may not be pretty, but the process must be effective. In search of what we envision as the best possible life, sometimes we get lost. While we are practicing and developing skills (both good things) we can be overlooking how those link to the overall process. Step by step, and brick by brick we are working and building, but are we following a blueprint?
Are there others who have done what we intend to do? How did they do it? Their process can provide insights into what we may be missing as we plod along.
I want to illustrate some examples of a dysfunctional and more effective process.
An artist goes to their local art and design school. They accumulate large debt. They love art, but start to focus on the business side of it over the creative process. This student starts to focus on marketing skills they have not yet honed. Marketing and advertising a product that is not market worthy, let alone excellent. After finishing school they are not making any money selling their art. They seldom create anything just for the sake of creating it. Eventually, under pressure from friends, family, and society they give up on their dreams and look for a “real job”.
As you may guess that is not a functional process for manifesting our dreams. But, that is a similar story to countless people who have given up on the journey.
What could a better process look like?
A fighter enters the dojo. They humbly, and without pay practice the fundamentals with their coach. They find the best training partners and practice relentlessly. They keep another job on the side to support themselves. As they improve they continue to look within their gym and beyond for the best. They emulate the best. They watch the best train and develop ways to work even harder. This process continues for many years. Through discipline and practice, the fighters skill level rises steadily. The fighter decides to enter a competition and performs well enough to garner some notice and attention from notable influencers. More practice, training and focus on fighting. After several bouts, the fighter starts to make a few bucks here and there. Pressure from friends, family and those around them start to increase — make more money, cash in on your talent. The fighter keeps their nondescript job for a while longer. The fighter decides to keep working on their skills, using competitive bouts as a way to test themselves, money coming second. When greater opponents and opportunities arrive, fighting begins to surpass their earnings from their ordinary paycheck. The fighter needs more time to train to face the better competition. and quits their regular job to pursue the dream full time.
More work, less impatience.
Although the second example is more richly illustrated, both the artist and the fighter face similar choices. So do any of us going after our dreams.
When do we go after money? When do we go full time for the dream? How long can we sustain ourselves and our vision with only the rewards of practice and skill development?
The fighter entering the competition is the same as the artist entering the marketplace. They are both presenting their work to an audience. Art and fighting are both highly competitive. Art indirectly, and fighting directly. The artist went for money very soon after they began, the fighter went for skills as the primary driver.
It is not always what we do, but when we do it.
As far as my dreams go, the functional process is something I am trying to focus on. For example: When do I get a book agent? After I write a book proposal and have proof of concept. I could derail my dreams by trying to do things in the wrong order.
Craft and skills first and foremost.
Money matters, but not more than the dream and the writing itself.
I do not have all the answers on what it takes to make our dreams come true, but this is where I am on my journey. These are my thoughts on putting in more work, acquiring more skills, and using the most effective process. All of these are required.
Work, skills, and process. That’s what I need to become a writer.
That’s what I need to be the man I dream of.
This is the 66th installment of Writing Wednesday. A weekly commitment to myself to actually pursue my dreams of becoming a writer. I am a writer.
Let me know what you think, and follow my journey on Instagram/Twitter (@multitude27) you can also check out my blog www.27threnaissance.com