by Casey Herringshaw
Do you have dreams for your writing? Do you take the time to plot out where you’d like to go? And I don’t just mean the New York Times Bestseller list.
Dreams are a good thing. Dreams give you motivation. Goals. Energy.
We hear all over the social media internet when a friend or fellow writer signs with their dreams agency or publisher. Do you take the time it takes to fuel these dreams? It’s no accident that these writers have gotten where they are. They worked hard and achieved one more step on the road to their ultimate dream-moment: holding that hot-off-the-press book in their hands.
Positives for aiming high for your dreams:
You’ll work that much. harder. to succeed.
You’ll study and learn everything about these agents and publishers so you have that much better of a shot at making it in.
You read what they publish. What they represent and what other authors have to say (or don’t say) about their professional relationships.
Negatives for aiming high for your dreams:
You’ll become obsessive and when your dream is redirected, you’ll want to continue clinging to what you’re sure is right for you.
You’ll start writing to the market and what is selling and not what is on your heart.
You’ll put your dream on a timetable for when it must be completed.
Dreams are powerful motivators, but they can also threaten to get you rut-stuck. An easy pitfall to fall into is that our dreams can become unrealistic, or we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Beware of the devil tempting you toward this downward slide. It’s a dangerous trap to fall into. Our dreams should become so entwined around God’s plans for our future that one can’t be discerned from the other.
Ways for keeping our dreams within reach and motivation, but not allowing them to distract us from God’s goals:
Pray every day about where you want your writing to go and then ask God to redirect. Pray that you’ll be willing to be redirected.
Be honest with yourself. Don’t give yourself a goal to have that agent or publisher by the end of the year. It only sets you up to be disappointed when the market takes a turn.
Be humble. Dreams are great. Goals are awesome. Be humble in every single moment of it all.
You’ve got your dream. You’ve got your goal. Now what are you going to do about it? Be proactive. Go to those classes, budget for a conference, study. But more than anything else: write. Write, write and then write again. Dreams and goals will only become lifeless piles of nothing unless you actually do something about it.
Be set on fire. It’s exciting! It’s not something to over think. It’s something that should excite you, no matter how long it takes you to get there. Because once you get there, you’ve got another dream to discover.
Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and lives in rural Eastern Oregon in a town with more cows than people. Casey is a member of ACFW and an assistant to the ACFW Carol Awards. You can connect with her through her blogs, Writing for Christ and The Writer’s Alley.