Living the life of a full time writer is a dream for many of us. There are other dreams, too – perhaps, in retirement or upon winning the lottery, we’ll travel the world; visit the grandkids regularly; go to each national park in the system; or take up underwater basket weaving. But what shall we do until we can do what we want to do full time?
We could say, well, that’s not for me and go about living our lives without incorporating parts of our dreams into our daily round. But that sort of existence lacks fire and passion. It’s far better to include pieces of our dream in the now, so that we can enjoy them and prepare for when we can fully engage with them.
Here, try this: take out a sheet of paper and write down the numbers 1 through 10 on the left side. Then, writing as quickly as you can, answer the question “If I could do it full time, and money was no object, I would…” ten times. Write as fast as you can and don’t stop to think, just answer. Would you scuba dive in the Caribbean? Take a ride-along with your local police department? Travel to Paris to have tea in the shadow of the Eifel Tower?
Now, take a look at your list. What are the common elements? Art? Travel? Pets? A new place to live? People to see more often? Whatever the commonalities, what kinds of things can you incorporate into your daily round now? If you want to write full time, why not write in the corners of your current life? You can use your lunch break at work, or get up a half hour early. If you want to visit family, why not get some cards at the dollar store today and write them a note? If Paris calls your name, do some recon and find out where to say, what to do, and subscribe to some newsletters about the Paris travel scene?
We don’t have to wait to enjoy the life of our dreams. If we want it enough, we can incorporate elements of it now, while we’re preparing for our full time reality. After all, practice makes perfect.
So tell me, Dear Reader: what’s one exciting dream from your list of ten?
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
– E.E. Cummings
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