Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's Your Dream?

At the beginning of the movie "Pretty Woman," a street hawker yells out to passersby, “Welcome to Hollywood. Everybody comes to Hollywood got a dream. What’s your dream?” as if he’s awakening slumbering souls who aren’t paying attention. My point isn’t about bad grammar. It’s about you paying attention. Do you have a dream you haven’t realized?

By Hurry from
My writing career began in 1994 with divine inspiration – yes, a voice told me to write – and the sketchy attempts at a romance novel. I loved romances and thought that since I’d read hundreds of them, it would be easy to write one. I was a college graduate. I knew how to construct sentences. I had the gift of beautiful description.

I was wrong.

It takes more than beautiful description and well-constructed sentences. You need strong characters, a good plot, and a little bit of magic. Several novels later I was still struggling with those elements. Thank the powers that be I discovered WriterUniv.Com, an online site that delivers practical and affordable writing classes to the needy.

Help me, I cried, and it did. I slaved over Plotting, Pacing, and Conflict. I delved into World Building, Turning Points, and Themes. I role-played with Archetypes. I dabbled in Body Language. In short, dear friends, I honed my skills. And from the ashes of my previous rubble soared the phoenix of new ideas. A trilogy of love stories about jealousy and betrayal and unrequited desire.

The new subject took a little getting used to – two years J – but I finally found my way and the first book is ready to go. Perseverance, dedication, determination, all those drove me along the way.

By Nikolai Sorokin,
Is your dream a murder mystery in an ancient castle? A romantic escape through fields of tulips? A die-hard thriller? Maybe you want to win the Pulitzer. Or see your book made into a movie. Or maybe you just want to be published. No dream is too big or too small. But how much time are you giving it? Do you persevere or do you let your inner critic tell you it can’t be done? Are you dedicated or do you procrastinate? Do you have determination or have you let your dream die?

“To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.” The quote by Anatole France sums up the writer’s conundrum. It’s not enough to have an idea. It’s not enough to want to tell a story. You have to take action. Put the idea on paper. Flesh it out. Play with it. If you don’t write it down and share it, then your dream stays safely hidden in its cocoon, available only in your imagination. But to breathe it into life . . . Well, then. You’ve created a miracle.

Today, promise yourself that you will foster your dream. Today, you will nudge it along. Today, you will write some piece of it. Then do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Soon your dream will be alive and well, not just in the recesses of your brain, but in the hands of your readers.

Someday I’ll write a successful romance. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe after I finish my trilogy. I’m not letting that dream die. So I ask you, what’s your dream?


Nanette Littlestone is a freelance editor, writing coach, and author who has worked with both fiction and nonfiction for 20 years. She specializes in helping authors to use their passion to achieve their own unique voice and message. For more information, please visit

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