People love to dream of what they could achieve.
I dream about what I could achieve as a writer. You may dream about what you can achieve your creative sphere: in music, painting, sculpture, cooking, gardening, craft.
When I began writing three years ago, I didn’t have a dream of what I wanted to achieve. I began to write because it was something that was burning in me to do. As time has progressed, my vision has become clearer in regards to what I want.
I dream of having books published.
I dream of earning passive income through the books I write.
I dream of becoming a known blogger in the areas of writing and creativity.
I dream of seeing my name on the list of nominees for the Miles Franklin Literary Award (a prestigious literary award in Australia).
Recently I wrote down the projects I wanted to complete. Written on the first page of my first moleskine notebook are: 4 novels, 2 novellas (both collaborations, one is multi-media), 2 non-fiction projects, 1 picture book, 1 anthology of short stories.
Beyond the completion of these projects, there will be others to fill their place. More novels, novellas, non-fiction books, picture books, collaborative projects, anthologies, scripts, graphic novels. Plus other things I haven’t even dreamed or contemplated. And then in the “weird, but why not” category: I want to write a book about drumming, writing and spirituality.
Over the washing up (one of my “Thoughtful Spots” as Winnie The Pooh would call it, where I think through plots, ideas, blogs), I dreamed that Post Marked: Piper’s Reach was the break out book of the season. Jodi and I were invited to readings and signings, television show interviews.
That’s a dream.
But how do you go about achieving your dreams?
Some flirt with the idea of following their dreams but never act on it. Their dreams fade away and waft away like a fart on the breeze.
Others begin with gusto and vigour but they become wisps of ghosts, withered husks, as their seeds wither in the ground. Their dreams never come to fruition because they never followed through.
Dream with me a little more.
How do you achieve your dreams?
1. Make Plans
Dreams require planning. Without planning and commitment, dreams will only remain in the imagination.
John Lennon wrote: “Life is what happens to you/While you’re busy making other plans.”
Life involves planning. There is room for spontaneity. Between the hours of 3pm and 6pm on the fifth Sunday of the month. Book it in.
Let me counter this statement with a proverb: “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Proverbs 25:28
Go and get a pen and come back. Now.
You’re back? Good.
Write down what you want to achieve, no matter how simple or unrealistic they seem. Putting it down on paper begins to solidify the intent and instill the need to be in control of your dreams.
I’ll see it when I believe it.
2. Set a Timetable
It’s no good to make plans and then use the paper to wipe your bum. You need to timetable your projects.
How long will each project take? How long do you want it to take? What time do you have available to work on a project? When can you make time? Do you want to write a novel in a year or 3 months?
Break it down into monthly, weekly and daily targets.
Prioritise your projects, but allow for flexibility.
And make sure you finish what you start.
3. Be Accountable
A little wisdom again from the Book of Proverbs (11:14): For lack of guidance a nation fails, but many advisers make victory sure.
Developing a good network of creative (or non-creative) people can keep you accountable, keeping you on track to achieve your goals. Have them check up on you on a regular basis.
Lastly, dreaming is easy. Making them a reality is hard work.
What are your dreams? How do you go about fulfilling them?