This is a two part post.
Part One…I want to tell you about After Writer Dreams, an utterly fantastic motivational blog for writers.
I met Margaret Nystrom online while participating in writing challenges hosted by Ezra & Beth Barany. Toward the end of the session, Margaret posted an open offer to feature books by any published authors in the group on her website. The first thing I did was click over to her website. Wow! I was immediately impressed by the wealth of information and inspiration I found there, but then I clicked on her post for Day 1 of July Camp NaNoWriMo and just about fell in love with her (in a non-creepy way, I swear).
So, of course, I sent her my book information. And, yes, Margaret was kind enough to feature the NSLA cover with a link to my website. But that’s not why I’m posting her links here. Seriously, After Writer Dreams is a wonderful resource for writers. Check it out!
Part Two…Dreaming BigI have this fantasy version of my writerly life that is very near and dear to my heart. The fantasy has grown and evolved over time, but certain elements remain constant:
- Mega-bestselling novels that entertain readers and leave them panting for the next one. (This one, obviously, is a given.)
- A picturesque home, usually a brightly painted Victorian “Gingerbread House” like these on Martha’s Vineyard…or this house from Practical Magic.
- A bright, airy, colorful, uncluttered writing space
- A library filled with fabulous books and a cozy reading nook
- A loving husband/partner who supports my writing
- At least 2 adorable fuzzy pets…possibly more.
- A closet full of custom designed dresses…preferably chosen/approved by Tim Gunn.
- A friendly neighborhood cafe where I meet up with other writerly types to write, write, write on a regular basis
Heretofore, the above elements shall be known as THE DREAM.
Now, I’ve told you this because I want to ask you this…Did you see the CBS Sunday Morning article on Cassandra Clare that aired last Sunday (8/18/13)? If not, you can click here to watch it online.
When I first saw that article, my reaction was electric. I could not sit still. I was jumping up and down squealing like a total nutcase. That woman is living my dream! (Actually, she is living her dream, which bears a striking resemblance to my dream, but let’s not split hairs. It’s THE DREAM!)
This makes Cassandra Clare my latest personal inspiration. (Disclaimer: I am aware that there’s some controversy out there on the Internets regarding the…um, originality or lack thereof, in Ms. Clare’s writing. I have no opinion nor interest in that controversy. The point is that she is a real, living, breathing author who is living THE DREAM and, therefore, proof that it is possible.)
You know what? There is a big difference between motivation and inspiration.
Motivation is taking action to avoid or stop something bad. When I’m hungry, I’m motivated to eat. When my pants are tight, I’m motivated to exercise more. When I hear the talking heads on TV blathering on about some financial crisis, I’m motivated to turn off the TV (or at least change the channel). When Zoey yowls and jumps on me, I’m motivated to get up and feed her.
Inspiration is THE DREAM. It is the dazzling, magical realm of possibilities. Inspiration makes it possible to push forward against the odds and do something that makes your heart sing…even when you can’t remember the last time your heart sang.
What is your dream? Do you ever let yourself write it or say it out loud? Does thinking about your dream inspire you to take action? Or does it leave you feeling empty, sad and lost for the lack of it?