Do you have dreams?
Not middle-of-the-night visions, but goals for your life?
If you’re reading this, you probably know that my biggest goal is to be a traditionally published historical novelist. There’s a lot that I can do to make this dream come true. I can write; obviously, I won’t be published if I don’t write anything. I can revise and edit and make my novel the absolute best it can be. And then I can query agents, as I’m doing now, and wait until just the right one comes along to take my work and whisk it off to a publisher.
Of course, that “right one” might never come along, which might be utterly out of my control. I could do everything humanly possible and still never see my book on a shelf at a library or store.
Does that mean I’m foolish to have this dream?
I’ve known people who don’t cling to dreams because it would be too heartbreaking if they didn’t come true. I’ve also known people who don’t dream because they believe it breeds discontent with what you have at present.
But not me. Let me dream. Dreaming is good for the soul.
Perhaps dreaming does breed discontent, but discontent is what pushes us for more. And dreaming breeds hope.
Hope drives me every day to write another query letter. I believe that one of them is going to bring back a positive response and that my book will be published. It has happened for thousands of people, so why not me?
And even if dreams don’t breed hope, even if they are a little foolish, they breed connection. On rare occasions when the jackpot got stupidly high, my dad would buy a lottery ticket, and then we’d all sit around the dinner table dreaming of what we’d do if we won. My dad knew the chances of winning were miniscule, but he always said the dollar he spent on the ticket was well worth that dinner conversation. Those winning-ticket dreams weren’t built on the hope that we would actually win, but they drew us together and gave us a reason to talk and connect.
My dad also said that the most intimate thing you can do with a person is to share your hopes and dreams with them. It fosters connection, and maybe even gives you a common goal. Dreaming together is even better than dreaming alone.
So I’ll ask again. Do you have dreams? Have you been afraid to dream? I hope not.
Dreams are seeds, and gardens are beautiful.