As a child, I read a book about a girl who would draw a picture, and then as she slept, she would live the picture in a dream. It's a book I have searched for, time and again, and cannot find it anywhere. But it made a big impact on me, and now, as I prepare for my sixth writing conference, I know why.
I have been writing my dreams down, just as the girl, and watching them grow into their full potential over these past ten years. Each year I find myself at the ACFW conference, I might not see my book in print yet, but I add some color to my journey, and the dream becomes more real.
It's not as easy as closing my eyes to see the dream play out before me. There's work, always work to be done. It takes time, tears, and... time (did I say that?)
But, although I have no book contract to prove I'm living my dream, I have a ten year journey to prove it. And each step along that way has brought me even more color than I could imagine...and more dream to fill in with those hues.
I have learned the construct of a good story, and a bad one. I have learned the sobering reality of a tough market, and the sobering truth of a trusted critique partner. I have rejoiced in finding soul-mates along the way...women whose hearts beat the same rhythm as mine...whose dreams are at all different stages, but who treasure the same dream as me, regardless.
In the book I mentioned above, the girl ultimately ended up learning something from the dreams spurred on by her drawings. She was a different person at the end of the book because of the dreams she lived throughout it.
I always picture my writing dream culminating with a book on a shelf that might enhance a reader's heart. But, looking back, I realize the dream is more precious than that. I suppose, the dream is a journey, and the heart being changed is mine.
May I never come to a point where my color runs out, or there's no more space in the dream to fill it.
The dream has come true already.
I can't believe I just wrote that. If you know me at all, a week ago I would have told you differently. Sometimes, I get distracted by rejection or anticipation, and I try to control my dream. And while it feels necessary for a while, it's rarely satisfying. It just kills the joy, and fades the color of the dream.
Nope, regardless of human standards or culture-based success, I am living the dream out each day, each page, each writer's conference. This week, as I meet with my fellow soul-mates, and discover more colors to add to the page, I hope to realize all the more dreaming to be done.