Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Whip your dream into shape

June Challenge: What to do when your story isn't cooperating

Robert Frost once said, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No joy in the writer, no joy in the reader."

The dude is right-when chasing a dream there is gonna be a complete mash-up of joy and tears.
Chasing a dream is like life. You can plan all you want but sometimes crap happens. Let's be honest, going for what you want is life is a big risk. One that is thrilling, scary and at times, draining.

What I am learning is the end result of your dream isn't what matters. Sure, publication, an Olympic medal, whatever you pursue is incredible. But that moment is a little bit away. Right now you have to focus on the what you can do within the next 24 hours to reach your goal. The trick is to focus on how you chase your dream. Pursue your passion with absolute purpose.

When I first started writing a typical day went as this- Listen to music, begin thinking of the emotion in the story, curse loudly, write for 2 hours, curse again, stare at the computer in absolute angst for 5 minutes. When I finished stewing, I began the process all over again.

Now, granted I still curse (to my momma's dismay) when I make a mistake. Now, I am taking a cue from the athletes I research- have a short term memory. When you chase a dream you are gonna make mistakes. And you for sure are gonna get frustrated. How can you not get frustrated when you are hungry for success. You want the dream more than anything.

I've learned the trick in pursuing your dream is all about the short term memory. Learn from your mistakes and forget the losses and rejection.

Because in truth, anything you have to do to get to your dream is worth the struggle.


Robin said...

Great advice! Thanks! I've decided to take my oldest to her first writers' conference. Kinda scary, but a step in the right direction. Today we're finishing the scholarship application and getting it in the mail. One step at a time.

MANDY said...

I guess it is one step at a time. But each step, be it huge or tiny, makes a difference. There will be days where nothing seems to be going in the direction you want it, but you will be rewarded in the end. However, for writers, like athletes who train for years, the end is not tomorrow, or the next day, or even the day after that. The reward could be years away. Keep going, keep writing, keep digging into those emotions....for your gold medal will come one day soon.

shelly said...

Great post! As always. Are you considering a postion as a life coach for writers?

Self Sagacity said...

Hello Russo. The toughest thing to overcome is the losses and rejections during the journey to success - could apply to anything right? A goal, a book, a blog...haha.
You're right, I read your advice to mean the same as "do not be distracted by your failures or shortcomings, but to go forth with determination and persistence." Yay! This post came at the right time for me, I have just conquered a major goal in my life and I cried for the first time the tears of joy!

Janiel Miller said...

Shelly! What a great idea! Wouldn't Russo be great at that? Russ, you should totally think about that.

Self-Sagacity (love this name), Congratulations on conquering your goal. That is wonderful! Life looks so fresh after such a thing. Happy for you. :)

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Hi, Russo! Thanks for your random comment about the Oprah Winfrey quote. That sure brightened up my day :) I love this post about chasing a dream. It hit right to my core.

Kelly L said...

Great post - well written!
I've Become My Mother
I've Become My Mother facebook

William Kendall said...

Very nicely said!

Romina Garcia said...

Such an inspirational post. Exactly what I needed to read right now. x

GSS said...

What an awesome blog, so happy I found them.
New Follower, I hope you can follow me back, (please)

Maegan Langer said...

I so love that Robert Frost quote, and I so love this post! It's true that if you're not enjoying the writing of the story, readers probably aren't going to enjoy reading it. I'm in a frustrated phase (again). Maybe I need to do some work on erasing my short term memory so I can get back to chasing my dream.

Janiel Miller said...

I LOVE the concept of having short-term memory-loss when it comes to losses and failures. It's not like focusing on them can change them anyway, right?

Thanks, Russ. Great post.

Ashley said...

Great post and great advice. You inspire me to get back to working on my creative writing.