It’s hard to chase dreams when you’re stuck on pavement. By that, I mean we all have dreams and hopes that we’d like to accomplish that maybe extend outside of parenting, outside of marriage, outside of the home. Heck, we could even have dreams that get us back inside the home, just sayin’. The stuff of dreams is great, but for me, and I think a few of my friends, there’s always a dark part to those dreams. Doubt. It’s ugly because it knows exactly where to attack all those lovely dreams. Doubt seeps into the pink clouds and makes them an ominous grey. So what do we do about that?
It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood. It’s all about community, as I’ve said before. Communities like Facebook groups and Google+ communities are really great for finding a small group that you cull from the vastness and swarms to call upon when you need that talk. You know, the one where they say #yougotthis.
— Cathie Couch (@CatherineM_92) August 29, 2014
Meet Cathie Couch. She’s actually a real live person at my job-piece and she’s fablastic. We decided she would be called Cathie Couch because a Facebook quiz said she should be a therapist. And that’s valid. But I’m thinking I should call her C2 because that’s cool. So while I didn’t know find this gem in an online community, she’s my kinda crazy, and that, for me, in real life? RARE. Keep those eyes peeled, you never know where you’ll find a kindred. And she knows all about writing, Scrivener, books, plays Words With Friends (if you do, hit me up, I’m all about it), loves Eddie Izzard, Absolutely Fabulous AND (everyone kneel) Lord of the Rings. Oh yeah, and she’s Catholic. WHAT?! YUP!
Walk it out. This week, I entered a little link up where we were asked to write up a short story. I have never done anything other than write a blog post, and this outline stuff I’m doing for the novel. Now, this short story could be picked up by a publisher (read – get paid) and included in an anthology. When I fouind out about it, I was exhausted. It was late at night and my immediate response (in my head was) ha ha, yeah no. I can’t. What can I write about? I don’t do that, I don’t even know a lot about Theology of the Body (which is what it was supposed to be inspired from). I turned off the light, rolled over and went to bed. Knowing full well I could deal with it when I was rested. I walked the kids to school the next morning and extended the walk a bit on my way home. I was walking and talking, as in, out loud, the dialog of the piece I.actually.wrote. and linked up. Get the creative juices flowing and the blood going. Take a walk. Who cares if the random neighbor things you’ve lost your marbles because you are speaking to yourself in a Spanglish accent as an old man? Even if it’s not picked up by the publisher, I just kicked that grey cloud in the neck.
Assets and Liabilities. I tried to come up with something better on my own, but Erin beat me to it. If you write down your dreams on one side and all the doubts on the other, you will come to find that the doubts are silly, and fizzle like hot air in a child’s balloon. Don’t believe me? Here’s a real list I came up with for why I don’t think I can write a novel. Seriously, real talk people. Taken right out of my black book aka journal:
I’m afraid to write this story because:
- I don’t yet know what it is
- I don’t know if I can sustain it
- I’m afraid it’s going to be awful and my dream of writing will be sh**.
- I’m older, if this doesn’t pan out, what’s left?
- I don’t have the craft skillz down (yes, I wrote that with a z in my book)
- People will see I’m not as smart as they think.
- I don’t want it to make me crazy
- Sadness that creeps in because I feel the story too much.
And then I read this from my gal-pal Rhonda
So maybe we can add, print this out and put it on my desk to this list.
Let the beat hit ’em. As in, music. When I’m in the car, usually I’m praying, or listening to a writing podcast. There are those times when I just need to let the music play. The better the bass, the better I feel. Lately, it’s been all about Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Third Eye Blind and Red Hot Chili Peppers. If you know the words, and can sing along, you get lost in the lyrics and those grey clouds just drift away into the background like a nice Bob Ross paining. Remember him?
Hug the innocent. When the doubt starts to creep into my periphery, or when I sense the cracks in my dreamscape, I head over and hug my boys. They are always happy and eternally optimistic. Hugging them keeps the baddies away for me. This could work with animals too. Dogs, I love them! They love to pant around your legs, or keep your feet warm under their belly. Aren’t your feet always cold? Innocence. Hug it.
Prayer helps. Something about praying for someone else, anyone else to get the focus off of myself works. Tomorrow, I’ll be asking for your prayer requests as we do here on the first Saturday of the month, so if you are in need of some, just pop in and leave a little sumthin’ sumthin’. I prefer taking the person’s name and thinking of them over a decade. Sometimes, if I know them a little better, I will choose the mystery I pray for them before hand and think of their situation, their lives and loved ones and surround them with pink clouds of prayer and good intention.
Keep dreaming because eventually, and with time, the pink will beat the grey. Or maybe they’ll find a way to complement one another. I kind of like the gray to stay, just as an accent. Gotta stay grounded, right?
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And just in case you missed it, I have a giveaway going on for a signed paperback and an ebook copy of Erin McCole Cupp’s “Don’t You Forget About Me”. I reviewed the book with Tiffany from Life of a Catholic Librarian. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it!
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