Hello, God. Welcome to My Classroom

Are You Living Your Dream?

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on June 4, 2012

Some of my students don’t have dreams. They’ve given up on life and exist with little drive or determination. It saddens me to see young teens who have lost all hope, and I spend much of my time encouraging them to care.

Thankfully, many of my students do say they have dreams. Some want to go to college. A few aspire to play professional sports. I have a few musicians and a one who hopes to grace the stage with her acting skills. But do those students really pursue their dreams? They talk about them, but are they doing what’s necessary to make them come true?

My dream is to write. Not necessarily publish a book, although that would be incredible, but to feel successful as a writer. But do I really pursue my dream? Annie Dillard says, “The way we live our days is the way we live our lives.” I say writing is my dream, but is it reflected in my daily actions?

No, I have to admit it’s not. Do I make time every day to write or edit? No. Do I immediately jot down great ideas? Nope. Do I observe the world around me soaking in inspiration for future scenes or blog posts? Not always. Do I put all my written work out there for others to see? Not even close.

But why? Why do I sometimes live as though my dreams don’t exist or aren’t important? The answer is simple. Fear. I’m stalled by fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, and fear of failure. These fears can lock away my creativity and cripple my productivity.

Rejection stings horribly. My writing is my stress, my joy, and my tears. My hours of time. And someone has the nerve to reject it? But once the ache fades, I’m able to regroup. I remember and am inspired by others whose work has been denied. For example, Kathryn Stockett received 60 rejection letters for The Help. So I focus on the positive…if I’m receiving rejections, at least it means I’ve put my work out there for others to see.

When I write, I share my soul in ink or on screen. How can I stand to have someone ridicule my work? Or laugh at my dream, implying I’m not good enough and will never succeed? I have to let those comments go and give up the frustration. Otherwise, I’m allowing naysayers to hinder my dream.

One thing I know for sure is I’ll fail if I don’t pursue my dream every day. I know if God wants me to share my words with others, He’ll open doors for that to happen. But I can’t just type on my computer and expect those doors to appear before me. I have to make strides towards those doors and be prepared to walk through them before He can either open or close them. When I listen to Him, accept the opportunities He presents to me, and I strive to learn and improve so I can put my best work in front of others, that’s when I’ll know what success looks like.

Do you have a dream? Does your daily life reflect it?


8 Responses to 'Are You Living Your Dream?'

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  1. Paula said,

    If God has planted a dream, a passion into your heart, you can’t get away from it. Writing to communicate God’s hope is the dream He has given to me. Don’t give up! After years of writing around everything else in my life, I’m awaiting the release date of my first novella. God’s timing. It’s perfect and right. Though you may feel you haven’t accomplished much at the end of the day because you have little writing to show for it, God may have had other things for you to do like letting a story brew in your mind or allowing you to get a spark for exactly how to finish a scene.

    • Thanks, Paula! One encouraging comment can release a great word count for the day! Good luck with the novella…I’m sure it will be a great release!

  2. Tag Kilgore said,

    Linden: Keep writing no matter what! Tag

    • Thanks, Tag. My fingers keep typing away. Maybe not as often as I’d like, but summertime is coming! I hope I can focus on it a bit more while I’m off school.

  3. I have a dream and my daily life tries to squash it! It is so frustrating trying to give time to my dream when I feel like I lose 3/4 of my life to my day job and the other fourth to staying fit and the endless errands and responsibilities you have to fit in around work.

    But no matter how little time I get, I spend time every week on it and try to keep pushing forward. 😎

    • You describe my situation very well. Work, kids, household, church responsibilities and activities…they all add up to time. I’m trying to condition myself to thinking of that time as “research” for my writing. As long as I capture the ideas when they hit me, I’m doing something for my writing even if it’s a small part.

      Keep taking those steps! With God’s help, we’ll both make it!

  4. Susan Dize said,

    It is so helpful and encouraging to me to know that there are others out there that feel the way I do. As someone who is just beginning a dream, it eases my fears about publishing my work to know that professionals such as yourself are feeling the same way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beautiful words! Not only are you living your dream, you are enlightening and encouraging others to do the same!

    • Ignore the fear and go for it! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment of such kind words!

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