The Dream Do Live Post

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 48 Comments


There are three parts to writing success. 

First, you've got to dream it. Dream big. Dream small. Size really doesn't matter. You just have to give yourself permission to dream. 

Don't let the shoe dropping stop you from being a dreamer. 

I'm not sure if there is an actual shoe drop theory, or if it is something my family made up, but the shoe drop theory is when you intentionally limit your dreams so that when the other shoe drops-- as it can do-- you won't be disappointed.

You may be more familiar with its sister philosophy-- don't get your hopes up. In this theory, you protect yourself from rejection and failure by never expecting anything good. That way, you will never suffer the pain of reality.

But then you will probably never succeed either, because it's very difficult to work toward a dream that you won't even allow yourself to imagine.

Second, you've got to do it. You'll never write anything if you're not putting the quill to the parchment. That's an archaic way of saying...you can't write a book without writing words.

Write some words. Even if they're all crap. Crap is great fertilizer. Let it grow something good.

Third, you've got to live it. Success doesn't happen by accident and there is no shame in hard work. Writing will have to become a daily part of your life, whether it's actively writing, reading, studying, or networking with other writers. You have to be ready to invest the time and live the writer life.

Now, go shake off the numbness in your wrists and get back to work.

(This post was brought to you by my insecurities, inner pep talks, and butt kicks from friends.)


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DA Cairns has a new book out. I read the excerpt and I must say, it sounds intriguing! 

BLURB
Angus has battled an obsession with sex throughout his adult life. Although outwardly a model husband and father with a respectable life and a well-paying job, he has a shameful secret life which he has become highly skilled at hiding.

Cassy is married to Angus and has no idea about his secret life. In fact, with her own worries she has been pulling away from him, emotionally and physically which is making his behaviour worse. Although she does not know it, Cassy is fanning the flames of an inferno which threatens to destroy their marriage.

Lovesickness: the eternal bane of humanity, the inescapable affliction which we simultaneously crave and fear. For Angus and Cassy, already in the thirteenth year of their marriage, the painful journey to true happiness has only just began.

Lovesick is a brutally honest and confronting story of love, sexual obsession and hope.

BIO
Heavy metal lover and cricket tragic, D.A. Cairns lives in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, where he works as an English language teacher and writes stories in his very limited spare time. He has had over 50 short stories published (but who’s counting right?) He blogs at Square Pegs  and has authored five novels, Devolution, Loathe Your Neighbor, Ashmore Grief, A Muddy Red River and Love Sick Love which is available now from Rogue Phoenix Press.


EXCERPT:
Love Sick Love

She seems agitated, and although I know she is a nervy, jittery type of character, I sense heightened tension on this occasion and naturally so. I feel it too. She’s watching me furtively as I return to her with a schooner of beer in my hand. I offer it to her, and she smiles. Her actions are quick but indecisive. As I settle, I detect reticence.

“Is everything okay?” I ask. “Is this spot all right?”

Her nodding head juxtaposes her words. “Maybe over there is better.”

As she scurries to the other side of the room, I follow, exploding with anticipation. She sits in one chair, then moves before I can join her, and I’m just about to sit down when she moves again.“Are we playing musical chairs?”

The meaning of the question, and its allusion to childhood games eludes her, and by the time I have settled she’s moved again and is now sitting on a stool directly in front of me. Our knees almost touch, and she leans forward, wide eyed as though she has something exciting to say. I wait, but she retracts, averts her eyes, then quickly glances back to me.

“Talk to me,” I say. “What’s on your mind?”

I study her face and note her blemishes and the lines which quietly assert her maturity. She’s in her late thirties, thirty-eight maybe, but she looks younger. Her expression changes rapidly through numerous emotional displays, but I can’t read anything except uncertainty. She wants to speak, but either won’t or can’t.

“I want to be with you. You like me too, so there is nothing to stop us,” I say.

“Except you are married.”

There is no conviction in her tone. No reproach. It is a statement of fact, which is perhaps not as meaningless to her as it is to me.

“Okay,” I say, cautiously. I’m convinced if I play this right, I can seduce her and make her my secret lover. There is an element of moral ambivalence. “Let me explain why I am chasing you when I’m married.”

She looks away, and sips her beer. I have nearly finished, while her glass is nearly full. My head and heart are also beyond capacity, verging on chaotic inundation. I’m going to justify my adulterous intentions, or at least attempt to.

“My wife and I have been married for twenty years, and we’re friends. We get on well most of the time, but our marriage is really more like a business arrangement. We both work and have little time together. Time we do have is taken up with shopping, and cleaning and visiting, or arguing about money or our children. She’s unwell. Mentally. She’s been diagnosed with depression, but I think she’s bi polar as well. We’re often at odds over little things. She tends to be very negative and critical. She’s miserable actually, and at lot of the time she makes me miserable.”With the painful realization I’m slandering the woman I love—or perhaps once loved— and have committed to spending the rest of my life with, I pause and take a mouthful of beer. Lying too, with frightening ease. Cassy isn’t sick and we haven’t been married for twenty years; not even close. Chao-xing’s watching me intently, fascinated I suspect. I don’t want to speak ill of my wife. Actually, I don’t want to talk about her at all, but some of this is necessary so Chao-xing will understand where I’m coming from, and not think badly of me. Adultery is a bad thing to do, but I’m not a bad person. I blame circumstances. Years of neglect and sexual frustration. I blame my wife though I would never say that out loud. I don’t want to blame her but am less inclined to blame myself. The uncomfortable truth is I can’t help myself. I’m out of control, but rationalization is a better option than accepting the facts.

“I need some fun and excitement and I need sex.”

Chao-xing is typically unruffled by my directness, but she moves seats again, shifting to my right where she reclines as though tired. She’s staring at me, examining me, interrogating me with her eyes.

48 comments:

  1. And we appreciate the pep talk!
    I'm a realist, but I'm a positive rather than a negative realist.

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    1. I decided pep talks are a better way for me to go. I need them myself!!

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  2. Wonderful post! That's right! We can't be what we want to be if we don't get started. Write. No matter if the words don't always run together smoothly or show us the picture we want to see the first time. Practice makes perfect. Happy IWSG Day!

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    1. I was up until the wee hours last night stringing together words that may or may not be keepers. But it felt good to be getting those words, the story, out of my head and on paper. Er, well, on the hard drive.

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  3. This line is so true and helped to elicit a morning giggle: Write some words. Even if they're all crap. Crap is great fertilizer. Let it grow something good.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Elizabeth!!!

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    1. I have spent too many months kicking myself. Enough is enough. We are our own worst enemies and have to quit.

      BTW, I got your sale copy of your book from your newsletter. It sounds like a good one!!

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  4. Great advice, Elizabeth. I definitely need to figure out how to carve more time out regularly to write for me.

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    1. I finished a book on notepad on my iphone. Usually, the block to writing is my own brain. Once I have a story that has germinated and ready to get set to paper, I can find time, even if it's just minutes.

      But if you have no time to write...don't count out the germination/daydreaming process. Time spent driving is writing time as long as you're plotting. Just watch for traffic.

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  5. Haha The numbness in your wrist. Exactly!

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    1. I dropped my coffee creamer this morning. Some days they are number than others. Sigh.

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  6. So true - "But then you will probably never succeed either, because it's very difficult to work toward a dream that you won't even allow yourself to imagine." Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. We get so "realistic" sometimes, we lock our brains up. Dreaming is good.

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  7. I always say if I'm going to dream I might as well dream big. I know I won't accomplish everything, but I'll dream as much as I can and do as much as I can.

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    1. Even if the dreams never come true, the dream is fun in its own right. I don't know why I decide to limit myself to reality at times. That's no way to live!

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  8. What if I'm positive something will be negative, I'm still being positive, right? lol

    Very true, writing away day by day has to come due. Or getting really far ahead and then taking it easy here and there.

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    1. You sound like my husband. He's one of those. We often have a battle of the realities. I like mine buffered with large doses of hopefulness, he prefers pragmatism.

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  9. Love the pep talk and I cracked up about crap being good fertilizer. I should have huge crops of books very soon then. :D

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    1. I should get buttons with the slogan. I've found from doing writer's conferences and book fairs that the fear of writing crap stops so many hopeful writers. I think we need permission to not have to be perfect at all times.

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  10. I'm usually pretty positive about things until the second after I do whatever I'm positive about. Then I tend to brace myself for the negative, so it won't hurt as much if things don't work out. Heh.

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    1. Same here. I understand reality. I know that, logically, the odds are not in our favor and that rejection is part of the process. But that's just reality. It's the same all over. Getting rejected or not hitting the mark doesn't mean we suck. It means we have to regroup and try again.

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  11. That's a strong sample read from Cairns on a difficult topic!

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    1. I thought so too. I told him he took a very potentially unlikable character and made him human. I was intrigued.

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  12. I love this line --> "Crap is a great fertilizer." It made me laugh and it rang very true. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. I always imagine that somewhere in all the crap, there will have to be some little shoot that could grow into a keeper.

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  13. Thanks for the pep talk, Elizabeth. I needed this. Crap is a good fertilizer. LOL!

    Happy Holidays, Elizabeth!

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  14. I hope for good things but I don't necessarily expect them. I just do my best and see what happens. The pep talk is great for this time of year. I think of the New Year as a reboot where we all get another chance. Here's to a good one!

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    1. I say dream as big as you'd like, just don't start writing checks too early.

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  15. All dreams count. All dreams matter. :) We have to do what we can so we live that dream.

    GREAT POST!

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    1. And honestly, aside from the money, if the dream is to write stories...we're doing that. Pause every now and then and appreciate it.

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  16. I love your third point. Success doesn't happen by accident. It surely doesn't. And yes, you do have to invest time, lots of time. You have to live the writer life and grow into becoming that writer you want to be. You dream it. You see it. You wake up knowing that is it. That is where I am going.
    Thank you for an encouraging article.
    Wishing you all the best and a successful crossover into 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Same to you, Pat. Hopefully, it is a prolific and successful year for us all.

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  17. Currently working on a large batch of fertilizer. :)
    Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! and a swift kick in the pants for awesome writing in 2018! (meant in the best way)

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    1. Much appreciated, Tyrean!! I need kicks and I need them often. :)

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  18. I've got tons of fertilizer and am expecting much, much more.
    Lovely post!

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    1. If only I could sell the fertilizer by the pound...

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  19. Love a good peptalk! Thank you :-)

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  20. Great pep talk and kick in the pants. Need both. Best wishes for a great 2018.

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  21. My favorite self-defeating cliche is "hope for the best but plan for the worst."

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    1. I tell myself not to do it, but then I think the same way.

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  22. Such great advice, Elizabeth! You're right... you've got to do just do it. Put pen to paper and write whatever comes out, doesn't matter if it's any good or not because it's the starting that makes all the difference!
    Suzy xx
    www.suzyturner.com

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    1. I think we make things complicated by setting up high expectations that are daunting to our muses.

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  23. I am all ears and open to hearing about living the dream right now. Thanks for the pep talk!

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    1. If anyone deserves to live the dream, it's you. Best of luck for 2018!

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  24. I heard the shoe drop story differently. Don't remember clearly, but something to do with staying in a hotel and the guest is told to not make too much noise because of the guest below him. He forgets and drops his shoe, then he remembers so is quiet as a mouse. Meanwhile the guest underneath is awoken by shoe number 1 and spends the rest of the night waiting for shoe number 2 to drop.

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    1. I never knew that story! I've grown up with the idiom, and had no clue where it came from. I just knew that waiting for the other shoe to drop was to wait on a negative thing.

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