Who Says Your Writing Dreams Have To Be Sensible Or Realistic?

I have big dreams as a writer, and as an entrepreneur.

But I often try to squash those dreams down because they feel too egocentric or too ambitious or too unreasonable. Not sensible at all. And I have always been a sensible girl, taking everything very seriously! I try to be practical and pragmatic and realistic.

But today I read this passage from the brilliant Julia Cameron in  The Sound of Paper, an excellent book to dip into for creative inspiration.

“A great deal of the time we dismiss our longings on the grounds that they aren’t reasonable – and often they aren’t. Where did we get the idea that life was intended to be reasonable? … We have very little evidence that sensible and frugal are actually qualities cherished by the Great Creator … Most of us have a dream that we could set sail if only we dared … Rather than act on these dreams, we often shoo them from our consciousness, saying ‘I need to be sensible. I would never be able to manage that.’ But perhaps we can manage more than we think.”

This passage challenged me, so I am sharing my big dreams with you. Please share yours with me in the comments. Maybe together we can make some of them come true – even if it takes this writer’s lifetime.

  • I want to be a brand name fiction author – which means becoming an excellent, commercial fiction writer and all that entails
  • I want to be a New York Times bestselling fiction author
  • I want to write a James Bond book – maybe be the first women to do so – and have a book launch with a fantastic sports car and hot guys in tuxedos flanking me in a scarlet dress (inspired by the launch of Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver)
  • I want my books to be made into action adventure movies, preferably featuring Angelina Jolie, and I want to walk down the red carpet at the premier
  • and yes, I want to be on the Forbes list of the highest paid authors :)

Nothing too ambitious then?!

These dreams may be crazy and ambitious, but I also know the difference between dreams and goals. My current goal is to get the third novel in my ARKANE series, Exodus, finished before July. I know I can achieve that goal.

But our dreams feed our goals, inspire us and keep us focused on the future. I’ve always wanted to be a brand name fiction author, that’s a little guilty secret from years ago, but I am definitely closer now than I was 3 years ago. Back then I didn’t even have one novel. Our dreams have to start somewhere, right?

I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Image: Flickr CC KayveeInc

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Comments

  1. says

    They say “aim for the stars, maybe you’ll reach the sky.” Yeah, we have every right to be unreasonable and dreamy. May all your dreams come true. <3

  2. says

    Wow, this was really inspiring Joanna. I had just been getting down on myself for dreaming too big. But you’re right – perhaps we can manage more than we think!

    My dreams:

    Write a book in each of my favorite genres
    Host a book-signing
    Write a bestseller
    Write the screenplay for a movie OR
    Have a movie made out of one of my books
    Attend the premiere of said movie
    See my name in the credits

  3. says

    My Dreams

    1. To Be a Best selling author ..isn’t that what we all want?
    2. To publish many books and actually make enough from their sales to live on the royalties.
    3. I hadn’t considered the movie idea but I think I would enjoy that.

    My father-in-law used to say it was better to aim at the stars and hit the fence post than to aim at the fence and hit the ground…..so I am aiming at the stars and hope to hit one as high as it can go.
    I sent a children’s book in to my publisher tonight…..that makes #4 for the kiddie books……..now…..to get that 3rd novel done so I can publish that one myself ……….YES! I CAN DO THIS!

  4. says

    I loved reading this. This is a much needed boost for a young writer like myself, and actually most writers that I know who so easily get discouraged by the size of their dreams.

    Thank you for writing and for always tweeting such great pieces like this one.

    Also, for the record, I would definitely buy a James Bond book written by yourself! (:

  5. says

    Thank you for the challenge to dream as a writer. I’ve been too afraid to dream big, but I am facing my fears and hope to overcome that one written word at a time. I loved reading your dreams about books into movies and best selling books. I’m thrilled to read you are finishing your 3rd novel.

    My writing dreams include:

    devotionals
    a book to help teens and women overcome shame
    a book using my zebra butt photo, working title “God’s Love is Bigger than Your But.”
    . .and many more

  6. says

    Thanks so much for inspiring people to come forward and claim their dreams. Me–I’m a traditionally published writer now gone indie.

    Dreams:
    Make enough money to quit the day job
    –Continue to make enough money to pay for the grandkids’ college (my brothers’ kids, as well as some of my friends’ kids, are who I consider my grandkids.)
    —-Make even more money to set up a trust fund for each of them

    I really don’t care if I’m on a best seller list, or a household name. A movie might be nice, but I’m not a very public person. I just want to make enough to support myself and my extended family.

    As for goals:
    –Publish three novels this year and a number of short stories (pared down from four novels. Just can’t do it.)
    –Attend writing workshops to further my craft

    Next year’s goals are focused on the publishing side, improving my covers and blurbs. As well as writing and publishing two-three novels and a number of short stories.

  7. Steven Beamish says

    Okay, how’s this for ambitious or unrealistic? I want to buy the rights to the Highlander franchise, re-write it, and turn it into an animated web series.

  8. says

    I want to be a brand name fiction author with a 15 x 25 foot office, furnished with oak.
    I want to be an international best-selling author.
    I want to build a studio in the state of Ohio with the capability of creating books, audio books, and full length animated movies.
    I want to add an educational campus to my future studio, that would teach writing, sound design, and computer graphics (mostly animation), and I would profit very little monetarily. My profit would come from my novels (possible movie deals) and private investments.

  9. says

    I want to be a successful writer like Neil Gaiman–maybe not huge famous bestseller, but definitely a following with deep and enduring love for him and his work. I want to make dark and beautiful animated films based on my stories. And I’d like to make a real income from writing and art. And to write always.

Trackbacks

  1. […] In Who Says Your Writing Dreams Have to Be Sensible or even Realistic?, Joanna (from The Creative Penn) says, “But our dreams feed our goals, inspire us and keep us focused on the future.”   A powerful reminder that there is a difference between dreams and goals, and that we need both to keep us moving forward. […]

  2. […] The Creative Penn posted a quote from Julia Cameron: A great deal of the time we dismiss our longings on the grounds that they aren’t reasonable – and often they aren’t. Where did we get the idea that life was intended to be reasonable? … We have very little evidence that sensible and frugal are actually qualities cherished by the Great Creator … Most of us have a dream that we could set sail if only we dared … Rather than act on these dreams, we often shoo them from our consciousness, saying ‘I need to be sensible. I would never be able to manage that.’ But perhaps we can manage more than we think.” […]

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