Dreams Don’t Die
The dream didn’t start out as a love of writing, but it did start out with a love for words. Before I could read, my mother told my siblings and I stories and read to us every night. In my mind, there was nothing more exciting than when she opened up a book and took us to faraway places. Fairy tales and bible stories that introduced me to characters bigger than life.
As soon as I could read, the world became even bigger and by the time I was ten my favorite pastime was scouring through the pages of books at the library. One of my fondest memories is of the panel truck that used to come to our small school in Minot, Maine every two weeks. That truck was our library. I would anxiously await my turn to climb up those three steps and get lost inside that small world of books for fifteen minutes and then I would climb out with as many bound treasures as I was allowed to check out.
I learned incredibly early that a skilled hand could put together words and create a world one could get lost in, and by the time I was twelve I was smitten with telling stories and writing poems. Even when I tried a hand at learning the guitar, all I wanted to do was make up my own songs. I love words and I love stories, and I love putting these together on the page and creating characters that live and breathe and struggle with all of life’s problems.
In my twenties I began to get some of my poems and articles published and then I wrote a novel.
Broken, Blocked, and Bleary
During the frantic editing process heartache struck. Something jammed inside me and I couldn’t write another word no matter how hard I tried. I couldn’t even journal. The depth of my writer’s block lasted for the next twenty-three years. I honestly believed I would never write again.
I had encouraged both my children to journal and write stories and I read ferociously to them in hopes they would also have a love of books and words and the creation of worlds on paper.
My son began to write in his early teens, and soon he wrote a book, then another, and another, and he began to push and prod and needle me to write again. But I was stuck.
But when my grandchildren were born, I wrote each of them a lullaby. It was a start, but, still, I couldn’t write them down. I memorized it, and even though the oldest is now ten, we still sing them together.
I went back to college and got a master’s in professional counseling. I had a new career, and although I pondered writing non-fiction articles, I didn’t. I still refused to use my creative side; it somehow felt too far away to grasp.
A Loving Nudge
But my persistent writer son wouldn’t stop nagging me to pen something. “Just write,” he’d say. “It will come if you just start.” That was unimaginable to me at that time, but small ideas began to play around inside my mind. Thoughts began to generate when I listened to the world around me, watched people, or dreamed. It became easier to entertain them and allow them to visit me for a while, but I refused to put them on paper or screen.
Until one day I decided to just write a tiny summary of a story I had inside my head. It was, maybe, a paragraph. The next day I wrote a longer summary, then a longer, and eventually I had a novel. Even when I didn’t feel like writing and wanted to quit, I continued until the words flowed like a violent waterfall.
I don’t dare stop writing because now there are so many stories crawling around inside my head, I’m afraid if I don’t write them down, they’ll feel hurt and shrink away and I’ll forget again what they look like and lose them forever. Strangely, I did realize they never ran away from me, but I from them.
Dreams don’t die. Parts of us do. Never give up. Your passions and hopes are all still in there waiting to be discovered.
Have you ever gotten lost along the way and forgotten your own dreams? I would love to hear how you rediscovered your dreams.