If there could be one thing about myself that I probably attempt to hide more than any other thing, it’s quite possibly my tendency to dream big. It might also be my love of places like Disney World…but that’s a discussion for a different day.
It’s the truth though, I tend to dream big, and I actually find myself rather embarrassed about it. Back when I was doing a lot of stuff on the stage, I found myself dreaming about all of the Hollywood movies I could star in, and starting developing my plans for moving out west in order to follow through on those dreams. When I realized that my options as an actor, considering my looks and size and all that, were small, I started working on crafting movies, thinking that my talents behind the camera would be epic and all of a sudden I’d find myself the next star of Sundance.
These weren’t just vague dreams of imagining myself walking down the red carpet or anything. No, I actually spent large amounts of time trying to decide whether I would give in to the allure of the awards ceremonies, or if I would just be one of those people who avoided such pomp. I would work through interviews in my head, just thinking about how such conversations might play out. I would think about whom I might want to collaborate with in the future as my popularity grew. I, in effect, would plan through the majority of my life, should things work out the way I envisioned.
It’s silly stuff…believe me, I was aware even at that point. But, it was also one of many things that helped me realize that storytelling was the real art form that I should be pursuing. You see, I enjoyed acting and directing. I found them fun. But I never felt as though I really knew what I was doing. I constantly found myself looking for validation, and I believe that’s possibly one of the reasons that I spent so much time thinking about the other trappings of such a life…those were the things I could actually imagine. I wasn’t thinking about the types of projects I wanted to work on, I wasn’t thinking about what I’d do to forward my career, I was purely thinking about what life would be like, should I become successful.
I hardly believe I’m the only person to have ever done this, not even to the level I’ve done it at… That doesn’t mean that I get any less embarrassed when I think about how juvenile these thoughts about my career really were…even when I type it here. I’ve toned down the above paragraph from reality slightly and am still considering cutting it out completely.
But that’s talking about the past…If you were to read that, you might get the impression that I’m trying to make you think that I don’t have such stupid thoughts anymore…If I said that, I’d be a pretty damned big liar. I do sometimes thing about the idea of meeting greats within the field, getting to chat with them about their work, maybe working on some sort of collaboration. I think about sitting on set as my books are made into movies. I still think about the trappings…
However, as opposed to how consuming of thoughts they could be when working on my previous creative pursuits, these amount to little more than random daydreams. I do dream big on a regular basis…but my big dreams aren’t…well…they aren’t quite as big anymore. I find myself now dreaming about the days where I can sit behind a table at a convention with my author friends, shooting the breeze as we wait for people to come by and check out our wares. I dream about quitting my job so I can spend my days full time working on my writing, so my productivity could increase (as well as possibly having more opportunities to just hang out with my family). When I dream about my future as an author, there is really one major center piece to those dreams which is quite a far cry from the dreams I would have about acting, directing, music, and whatever else I got into. I’m actually writing.
And even those pieces where I’m not writing, although they’re usually still there, even if just as a little side thought, they still aren’t about stupid things like fame (which, interestingly enough, no matter how much I might have dreamed about the things that come with fame, fame always (and still does) frightened me), they’re about things like finally being able to get together my little farm, about having the time and energy to build things in the garage, about, well, to be honest, they’re a lot about the things I could be doing instead of my day job…
My biggest dreams today still involve things like selling my books to a publisher so I no longer have to be as concerned about marketing, or selling the film rights to my stories so I can see them played out on the big screen (no matter how much they ‘ruin’ them).
But there’s really one dream that rises above all that…the dream to write. Which is pretty cool, because I’m already doing that.
I dreamed big for years because I wasn’t aware of what I actually wanted to do with my life. I knew that I wanted to do something creative, something that wouldn’t be easy, but I just couldn’t quite figure out what that was (even with the fact that I was always writing little stories and whatnot). Now that I’ve figured out my goal profession, my dreams mostly rely on how to make it a reality, how to make it legitimate.
The first step, in my opinion, is to reach that goal of selling 30 books in 30 days…a goal that I’m still really darned close to. A goal that, once attained, means I have to set a new one. A goal that, to be honest, is quite possibly one of the smallest ones I’ve had for a very long time…A goal that might be the first one I’ve reached in just as much time.
Dream big, but know why you’re dreaming it.
And have fun out there!