First you dream – then you do!

19 Jan

Dreams, of course, come in many guises. They can be nighttime dreams or daydreams, but whichever variety you are most susceptible to, they are vitally important. I think you have to actually dream it before you can do it. And I do believe that most people who have a dream about accomplishing something specific, and set their sights accordingly, can indeed achieve that goal.

An important thing to remember is that you’re never too old to dream. For instance, if you’ve never sung a note in public, chances are pretty good that suddenly dreaming of being an opera star at the age of 70 or 80 or so might not stand a high chance of success. But—if you’ve been singing and studying all your life, it’s not unrealistic that at the age of 50-60, you could achieve your goal – maybe even on a professional stage! Probably best not to aim for the Metropolitan Opera or LaScala, but there are hundreds of smaller stages available for you to showcase your talents.

I’m such a klutz (and always have been) that to dream of being a dancer is so far beyond me, I might as well dream of being an astronaut. But space and rocket ships never appealed to me; I like things with wheels! Race car driver? Check. Semi-driver? Check. Motorcycle driver? Nope. I need at least three of those round things under me, or whoopsie! Big-time.

Then again, timing does matter. 55 years ago I wanted to be a sports writer or a French horn player in an orchestra. I could write and was crazy about sports, and I’d been studying music for ten years by then. I was very capable, but – in those days, women didn’t do things like that. So it was back to the drawing board. Eventually, however, I was able to use those early skills in a way I’d never even considered. For the past few years now, I’ve been (successfully) reviewing all sorts of classical music concerts for several on-line venues, and occasional printed ones, too. And for five years, I was the staff writer for the Cleveland Fusion, the women’s tackle football team. But, in that time I’d also had five books published, too.

I have a good friend who dreams entire books! True. Her biggest problem then is to actually get it all written before the memory fades. She has been singularly successful with this endeavor. As for me?  Well, ideas just land in my lap, although on occasion, I wake up with a scene or two in my head that I can then put into words. I seldom remember very much of my nighttime dreams, however.

So what works best for me is — I somehow come up with an idea or scene, and then let it stew in my mind for a day, a week, a year – although that latter doesn’t really happen all that often. Usually, the ‘thing’ takes root within a week or so, and more of the idea fleshes itself out in my mind. Then, it’s get out of the way and just let me do.

Dreams of whatever kind are important, unless they’re nightmares, of course. On the other hand, given the success of horror books and films in recent years, they may be a good thing, if you’re inclined toward that genre. More power to you, if so.  Just please don’t ask me to read it for you.

So you’ve sort of had this noodgy feeling that maybe, someday, you’d like to write a book. Great! What are you waiting for? There is no age limit involved in becoming an author. What’s that? You don’t know how/where to start? That’s easy. You sit yourself down in front of the computer, open up a blank document, and start typing. It’s simple, really!  Oh, you don’t know what to write? Well, start anywhere.

How about:  I was born . . . (most people were, so that sentence shouldn’t be all that hard to complete!)

Or, how about:  It was a dark and stormy night . . . (worked great for Snoopy! And Edward Bulwer- Lytton.)

Or, if you don’t care for either of those ideas, here’s one that just popped into my head. Take it and run with it, with my blessings.

It wasn’t quite time for evening rush hour, so I was able to get a window seat on the bus. Of course, the window wouldn’t open, because of the air-conditioning, but still I could look out and see the store windows and the people, and cars and bikes, and all that. Just as the bus began to move after taking on two more passengers, I glanced out again, and gasped in astonishment. I couldn’t believe what I saw! . . .

Let me know how you do, okay?

See you next week! If you have questions, please write to me at bookmechanic@gmail.com

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