Last weekend, I taught at a writing conference. Conferees, clutching their proposals, streamed into the appointment room. Some slid in the door and plastered themselves against the wall. Others danced in, anticipation and excitement apparent on their faces. Still others bounced from one appointment table to the next like a pinball hitting obstacles, searching for words they wanted to hear, words that didn’t involve learning the craft, re-writing, or a different approach to their topic. But no matter whether novice or seasoned, each writer came with the desire to fulfill a dream.
What is your dream? Maybe your dream is to visit a location on the other side of the world, climb a mountain, run and finish a race, or win a contest. Most of us have goals we want to accomplish, dreams we long to see come to fruition.
Following are elements inherent in following and fulfilling your dreams:
Many dream, but few follow through because they aren’t willing to sacrifice comfort or ease and do the hard work of which dreams are made. Fulfilling dreams requires focus, planning, effort, and persistence. When dreams go unfulfilled, often it’s because the dreamer felt the sacrifice too great or gave up when the requirements became difficult or took longer than expected.
At writing conferences, it’s easy to spot those who likely will not fulfill their writing dreams. They are the ones who are unteachable, who feel their concept perfect and their manuscript is publishable “as is.” They are unreceptive to suggestions, out of touch with reality, and determined to plough through obstacles immediately.
Every dream requires some level of learning and the ability to realistically analyze and access what’s involved. Those who think they already know if all are unlikely to reach their goals.
In over twenty years of writing for publication, I have found writers are impatient. New writers especially don’t want to go through learning the craft of writing, understanding the publishing process, building a platform, and waiting for a traditional publishing opportunity. Many treat writing and publishing as something to cross off a check list, a project to be completed as quickly as possible.
Often, dreams move on leaden feet. Accepting a time frame different from what you imagine is part of the process. Be observant and receptive in the waiting. Determine if you need to make adjustments, altering your concept, direction, or timing. Learn to wait well.
One of the pitfalls of dreaming is getting stuck in the “I’m going to” phase and never moving to the “I’m taking action” phase. We can dream and plan and propose, but if we never act, dreams never become reality.
Sacrificing, learning, waiting, and acting are only part of the dream fulfillment equation. Do your part, but also trust God to move behind the scenes in ways we cannot see or anticipate. No matter how much effort you put forth, if your plans are not God’s, you’re in for a rough ride. God is the one who clears the path for forward motion, in his timing.
“May he [God] grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!” (Psalm 20:4 ESV).
Do your part, but also trust God to move behind the scenes in ways we cannot see or anticipate.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.