“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams!”
A story told by Itzhak Perlman, one of the world’s great classical musicians: By the time he was four years old, two things happened to him that shaped his future. First, he was crippled by polio, and second he heard a recording of the famous Jascha Heifitz. Polio had taken away the power of his legs, but the music he heard gave him wings. It gave him a dream to work for that set him on the path to a life of musical training and fulfillment. He dared to dream — and to do what he needed to do to make his dream a reality.
“We grow great by dreams,” President Woodrow Wilson once said. “All great men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day, or in the red fire on a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish them through bad days until they bring them to the sunshine and light which come always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.”
As we move toward a new year, it’s the perfect time to dust off our dreams — to polish them until they shine brightly again. We have more than two weeks before we unwrap the new year and begin to write on its pages. Sure, the holidays can be hectic. But let’s also take some time to slow down and sit somewhere quietly by ourselves, perhaps over a cup of coffee or hot chocolate — and jot down the biggest dream we can think of for coming year. It might be getting published, whether independently or traditionally. It might be finding that dream agent who will love your novel and champion it through the publishing maze. It might be pulling out that compelling story you’ve put aside out of frustration, giving it a fresh look, and making the decision to finish and submit it.
Whatever your dream is, write it down in a notebook Give it wings by spelling out exactly what you want to have happen and what you’d feel like if it did. Be specific! Then on another page, write down three small steps you can take to make it happen — and take action on them. After you do those three, write down three more and accomplish those. And keep doing this day by day, week by week, until your dream looks more and more real, more and more doable. Here’s another idea: Jot down your dream — “I am happily published in 2017” — or whatever it is, on a little index card and keep it in your wallet, then pull it out and look at it throughout the day. Soon more ideas will come to you about how to make it happen.
Let’s be dreaming doers — and write on!