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Dreams and Reality

ďDream is the spark of passion; talent is the firework of its expression; perseverance, the sacred fire of its accomplishment.Ē ~ Daniel Chabot

May 21, 2003

I just read that one out of four women want to write a book, and writing a book is the fifth most common dream. Suddenly I donít feel so special anymore!

But dreaming isnít everything. 

You also need talent. Many things can be learned, but some have to be an innate ability. Maybe your favorite daydream is to be sitting at a table in Barnes and Noble signing autographs for your blockbuster novel, but youíre never going to reach that point if you donít naturally have good grammar and a strong sense of how to structure a story properly. Having good ideas for stories is not enoughóyou need the ability to write them. Or maybe you want to be a singer or musician. If you arenít capable of carrying a tune or feeling a rhythm, it isnít going to happen. Maybe you want to create breathtaking artwork. You need to be able to look at something and translate it to paper.

But talent isnít everything, either.

You need to be willing to work hard. You need to be willing to put the time and effort into learning and practicing the craft of your choice. If you want to be a writer, you need to spend hours writing and editing. You may need to read books or take classes to improve on your natural talent. If you want to be a singer, you need to be willing to practice, maybe take voice lessons for years and years. If you want to be an artist, you need to study artistic techniques. And, whatever you do, you need to be willing to pay your dues, take your knocks. The ones who achieve their dreams are the ones who donít quit.

But suppose you have decided you donít have what it takes to succeed with your dream? Should you shove it aside? That depends on how you feel about your dream. Is it so far out of reach that the only reason you are clinging to it is because you know you canít even try, so there is no chance of failure? That isnít a real dream; thatís just a fantasy. You need to find your true dream. Maybe you donít have a big dream, and thatís fine, too. You need to find your niche, where your heart belongs. But maybe you know you lack the talent, but you still love to do whatever it is you are dreaming about. Then donít ruin it by turning it into a chore! You might not be cut out to be the next Stephen King, but you can keep a journal, write letters, maybe write your family history. You might not be the next Billy Joel, but you can sing lullabies to your baby or learn to play an instrument for your own pleasure. 

Find your dream, put your heart into it, commit to it. Maybe one out of four women want to write a book, but most of them will never carry through. Some of them will find creative outlet in other ways, and some will just continue to dream and never do anything about it. And some of us will write that book.