If someone asked you, “what’s your BIG writing dream?” what would you say to them?
Would you tell them about your actual BIG writing dream? Or would you dim it down with some compromised version, because you have no idea how you’d ever make that happen and you don’t want the person who asked you to think you’re out of your mind or just really delusional for thinking you’d ever have a shot at a dream like that?
I used to answer that question by saying I want to make a living off my fiction. But that wasn’t quite it.
Yes, that’s a part of it. But that’s a compromised version of what I actually want. I never wanted to share my BIG dreams with anyone, out of fear that if I didn’t make it happen, I’d be judged or would have to hear “I told you so.”
So I kept the BIG dreams a secret and didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t talk about it, not even with the people closest to me. I just thought about it over and over again in my head.
And when I’d see other people achieving my BIG dream, I’d get triggered by their success and feel resentful and like it should be me. Instead of seeing it for what it really was: evidence that my BIG dreams are possible.
Because if it can happen for one person, it can happen for more than one (remember the story about the 4-minute mile?).
I didn’t used to have a lot of faith in my BIG dreams actually coming true. I used to think they were pipe dreams or things that other people can achieve, but not me.
So I only allowed myself to go after dreams I knew I could achieve or didn’t have resistance to achieving. Mediocre dreams that were a small fraction of the bigger dreams I had living inside me.
Writing and publishing a novel. That was always a dream I had from when I was 13 years old. And while that was a pretty significant dream and achievement, I never had resistance to it. I always knew at some point it would come true and I would have a novel out in the world.
I believed it, from day one.
I may have had a lot of struggle and resistance to doing the work required to achieve the dream, sure. But I never doubted that I’d make it happen. I always knew one day there would be a novel in the world that was written by me.
But my BIG dreams… the ones I only thought about in my head or whispered out loud to myself when no one was around…those I didn’t even allow myself to want or spend too much time fantasizing about.
Because I not only had a ton of resistance to believing those dreams were possible for me, but I also had no clue how I’d make it happen. And so by not allowing myself to want what I really wanted, I could play it safe.
If no one knows about your BIG dreams, then there’s no pressure to actually make it happen. You’re let of the hook. You no longer have to worry about whether you’ll achieve your BIG dream… because even if you don’t, no one will know.
The problem with that way of thinking is that it caused me to play small, for such a long time. I’d sit on the sidelines, watching all these other writers achieving my BIG dreams and wishing it was me.
But I wasn’t doing the work. I wasn’t even allowing myself to fully want the BIG dream, even though deep down they were always there.
The BIG dreams have been there since I first started writing stories at age 11. My stories and story ideas have always come to me like little scenes in my mind; like bits and pieces of a movie playing in my head.
And that’s what solidified my BIG dreams.
But I never admitted it to anyone. I never said it out loud other than to myself. Because I didn’t believe it was possible for me. And I didn’t want to be seen as a failure in other peoples’ eyes in case I didn’t actually achieve it.
So I played small. Doing the bare minimum. Giving myself permission to procrastinate and make excuses and not write consistently.
Until a year ago when I realized something major… the only competition in life is with YOURSELF… and FUCK what anyone else thinks.
Most people are sitting on the sidelines in life, afraid to get on the field and play the game, because of the reasons I just mentioned (and a whole lot of other ones). And do you know who those people are who say things like, “I told you so” and “see, I knew you couldn’t do it” or who would judge you or make fun of you for not achieving something?
They’re people who never allowed themselves to want their BIG dreams. They’re people who have shoved their BIG dreams so far down they’re buried for all of time.
And they’re dead inside.
They just go through the motions, trying to make peace with the mediocre existence they’ve settled for. But they’re miserable.
Because they have these BIG dreams inside that they’re not allowing themselves to want, to go after and especially achieve. And they hate themselves for it.
They hate themselves for caring what other people think, for feeling trapped in a life that doesn’t fulfill them, for not taking action on what they want the most.
And yet they still don’t do anything about it.
Yes, thankfully some of these people wake the fuck up at some point in their lives and finally decide to go for it. That’s when you see people like Susan Boyle or the 90-year-old first-time novelist bursting onto the scene later in life.
They finally made their dreams bigger than their bullshit, as my mentor would say.
A year ago, I gave up my bullshit. I decided that I was no longer going to sit on the sidelines, watching other authors achieving my BIG dreams. I was going to get in the game and achieve with them too. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
So, what are my BIG dreams?
> To be a New York Times Bestselling Author of both fiction and nonfiction.
> To have my novels and screenplays turned into big-screen Hollywood movies, with famous actors and actresses playing my characters, and I get to make cameos.
> To write and publish hundreds of books—both fiction and nonfiction—everything from novels to memoir to self-help.
I’m no longer hiding from these dreams. I’m actively pursuing them. I’m writing about them every single day in my journal like they’ve already come true. I’m visualizing what my life would be like if these dreams were already true. I’m taking aligned act-as-if actions.
And I’m finally allowing myself to believe that’s possible for me.
Now, I’m creating this belief. It’s not something that was already there. I’m intentionally putting it there by reprogramming my mindset and removing any negative thoughts, beliefs or barriers that could get in the way.
But as I’ve seen happen with so many other beliefs I wanted to have that I programmed into myself… once you do enough mindset work and take enough aligned act-as-if actions, the belief will be there.
And once the belief is there, the dream showing up in your physical reality is not far behind.
So, what are your BIG writing dreams? Share in the comments if you dare…
Write with a purpose, live with intention,