Writer: Feed Your Dream!

This post was written by writer Kathy Lynn Hall. Enjoy!

Don’t be deceived by the fairytale visions of your writing dream. It is not sweet, nor patient, nor kind. It demands attention and care … or it WILL die.

Think of it as a plant; not a bit akin to that droopy houseplant you’ve ignored to the point where it’s lost its leaves, but more like Audrey II, the ravenous, flesh-eating potted plant that constantly demands “Feed me, Seymour!” in The Little Shop of Horrors (I recommended the 1986 version of the play, great musical numbers and the deep voice of Levi Stubbs for the plant).

Oh, it starts out small and seemingly innocuous, but with any encouragement at all, it takes over your mind and heart, if you’re lucky. But here’s the catch. You must take care of your dream. Like Seymour in the play, you must feed it your life’s blood. You can’t walk away and ignore it, because you literally gave it birth. Dream BigNow you have the responsibility to feed it.

Whatever your intention when you put your fingers to work spilling words onto paper or computer screen – a novel, a string of novels, a how-to book, poetry, whatever – you must fill up your inner self in order to nurture the vision.  So here are a few hints about how to feed your dream:

  • Take time to play. At the heart of most of us is a small child who delights in fun and frolic. What is your favorite form of play? Maybe it’s having an adventure. Perhaps, you love to jump into a pool or run along the surf. Just taking a child to the park can pull you into that state of enjoyment. In pursuit of pleasure, you will find ideas and moments that generate sentences.
  •  Immerse yourself in nature. The solitude of a quiet spot among trees, or along a creek, or maybe a picnic area in the middle of the desert may have the effect of soothing your savage beast. Connection with wilderness can let loose your own wildness, that part of you that rings true in your compositions, that relates to things beyond the scope of man.
  • Spend time in your dream. Roll around in the idea of it. Do you want to be on a talk show someday discussing how you had the idea for your great novel?  Envision the stage, the intent look of your favorite host, the audience clapping and your serene responses to each question. Do you just want to see your first book in print? Well, sketch out some cover ideas or reserve the exact spot where you will display a copy in your home.
  • Set aside hours to accomplish it.  We writers all have the best of intentions to map out our schedules to include daily spaces for authoring. But more often than not we fall short of our own expectations. As hard as it is (believe me, I know) you must devote yourself to this goal, even if it means that something else suffers (like less sleep!) because at the end of the day, time spent writing is the meat and potatoes of making your dream come true. You have to write to be a writer.
  • Lastly, invest in your dream. I’ve known several people who call themselves “wanna-be” writers or refuse to say that they are writers simply because nothing they’ve written has ever been published. So what? The fact that you write makes you a writer, not someone else buying your work. Believe that you are a writer first, and then announce it to the world by purchasing some business cards with that title (or wordsmith or scribe – whatever works for you). Don’t be shy, pass them out with pride. When you run out, buy more. Also, purchase the books or tools that will help you achieve your goals. You do not have to justify this. It is okay to spend money on your dream. You are not taking it out of the mouths of your children or depleting your retirement account. You ARE investing in yourself and the vision you have for yourself. Do it now.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that once you’ve fed your dream it will quiet down. Oh, no. It will keep on demanding nourishment. Expect it, deal with it and be glad for it, because who really wants a wimpy, depleted, uncared for houseplant after all?

Kathy Lynn HallKathy Lynn Hall is the proverbial Jill-of-All-Trades, having been everything from an executive to a cab driver and pig farmer to newspaper editor, all of which provided her with an existence filled with adventures such as homesteading in Alaska in her early years, climbing into Cessnas countrywide to do swimming pool counts from the air and later pursuing corruption as a small town reporter. Visit Kathy at her websites Red Mojo Mama and In The Writing Groove.

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18 Responses to Writer: Feed Your Dream!

  1. Anne R. Allen March 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Taking time to play is so important. That’s where the creative seeds start to sprout. Great tips!

  2. Sam Edge March 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Good information. I am new to the online, writing, blogging, freelance world; although, I am a veteran writer. It can be overwhelming there is so much information out there. I look forward to your future posts Molly.

    • Molly Greene March 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      Hi Sam! So glad you found my blog and I hope you find lots of information and inspiration here!

  3. Kathy Lynn Hall March 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Hey, Molly – thanks for having me! I really appreciate it and hope you get good feedback.

    • Molly Greene March 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Kathy, thanks so much for your generosity in sharing this post with us. Just as you said, it’s so important to find ways to keep the creative juices flowing. Thanks for the reminder to get out and play!

  4. Robyn Jones March 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Dreams must be in the air because I just wrote a post about them. Of course, this one was so proactive! The part about setting aside time to write, I’m going to read that part a few more times so it will sink in. I love having business cards, but I’m still pretty shy about passing them out. Luckily my mom stalks anyone who looks like they read my genre, then she chases them down and gives them a card. Moms. Thanks for the tips and encouragement!

    • Molly Greene March 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      I love it! Robyn, will your Mom chase people down for me and give them MY card, too?

  5. Laura Zera March 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Kathy, just reading your bio is life inspiration in itself! Except for the pig farmer part. I’m from British Columbia, and we associate terrible things with pig farmers (e.g. mass murderer-type things…). Nice to see you on Molly’s site.

    • Kathy Lynn Hall March 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Laura – That’s hilarious (to me, probably not to you) but I really enjoyed raising pigs. They are far smarter and cleaner than people think! Piglets are really fun, too – until they reach puberty – then watch out (just like people). 🙂

  6. Pat March 5, 2013 at 12:58 am #

    Good tips…so many that I already follow that Kathy’s list makes me feel like I am on the right track. Kath’s bio makes me want to read her life story…what an incredible journey from pig farming to homesteading in Alaska! Thanks for introducing us Molly.

    • Molly Greene March 5, 2013 at 9:13 am #

      Thanks, Pat! Maybe Kathy will write her memoir – wouldn’t that be a great read?

      • Kathy Lynn Hall March 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

        What a great compliment – but I can’t write my memoir because I use too much of my real life in my novels. In Red Mojo Mama (my first) it was widowhood and pursuing corrupt city council members. And the deceased hubby is modeled on my own real life dearly departed. See! Can’t do it. 🙂 Molly – how fun is this?

        • Molly Greene March 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

          Well Kathy, you’re going to have to keep writing more fiction until you use up all that good material, right? So when does the pig farming book in the series come out?

          • Kathy Lynn Hall March 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

            I’ve completely neglected that as a story line – I’m going to have to come up with something soon. My first pigs were Olive and Stan – good characters for a book called “Hog Heaven”.

            Okay now don’t anyone out there steal it!

  7. Vikki T March 5, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    Great post Kathy & Molly 🙂

    I needed reminding of this!


  8. La'Resa February 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Thanks! This is what I needed. Great blog!

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2014 at 9:22 am #

      Thanks so much and welcome!