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,
P.S. Doors to my upcoming workshop: FINISH Your Damn Novel—30 days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration and getting-writing-done for writers who have started a first draft or the revision of a novel and want to FINISH, open on Friday March 24!! If you want IN on this workshop, get on my email list here so you’re the first to know when the doors open (you’ll also receive a free copy of my eBook, The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula).
That’s a question I ask myself A LOT. What would I need to believe to create the reality I want to see?
Because your thoughts and beliefs create your reality.
So if you want to achieve something or have something show up in your life, you need to be directing your thoughts and beliefs toward that goal or that thing. And the more you do that, the more your brain will accept it as real until one day it actually will become real.
You’ll be able to see it, hear it, touch it, maybe even taste it and smell it (depending on what it is). It will have manifested in your life.
The more you give your time to directing your thoughts and beliefs, and focusing on the things you want to create, the easier and faster you’ll see these things show up.
This whole ‘thoughts become things’ may seem crazy when you first hear it. It’s contradictory to everything you’ve been told about life and how the world works.
But even as contradictory as it sounds… there’s this weird feeling in you that, it may actually be true. Because when you hear it, your ears and your brain perks up. It resonates with you.
Or it might scare the fuck out of you.
Because the idea that you’re in control of what shows up in reality and that your beliefs and thoughts create the reality that you see around you… that puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.
You have to actually take control of yourself and your life.
The whole ‘thoughts become things’ scares me at times, too. But I’ve practiced it enough now to know that it actually DOES work. And it’s INSANE at times when stuff shows up in your life after you’ve thought about it.
And the Universe is always giving you little signs and signals to tell you that what you’ve been thinking about and focusing on is showing up. I see signs of my dream life ALL the time.
Lately I’ve been writing in my journal that my novels get turned into movies. This is my ultimate dream for my fiction—to turn my novels and my stories into movies on the big screen, with big-name actors and actresses. And of course, I get to help with the screenplay and have a cameo in the movies 🙂
Now no one would know that I’ve been writing about this in my journal unless I told them, right? (I haven’t told anyone until right now.) And yet the other day, a girl in my free Facebook group posted the craziest message… she had a dream that she was on the movie set for my novel, SoundCheck.
HOW CRAZY IS THAT??!!
OK, maybe that’s too woo-woo for you and you’ll brush it off as coincidence or random. It’s totally fine if you want to do that.
But here’s what I know: coincidence doesn’t exist. It’s not random when things happen that you’d usually call a coincidence.
It’s a sign, a signal from the Universe that what you’re asking for is unfolding. All you have to do to continue seeing signs and signals, is to KEEP GOING.
So I ask myself all the time what beliefs (and thoughts) I’d need to have to see what I’m asking for show up in my life.
When I look at this novel-to-movie dream, some of the limiting beliefs that pop up for me are:
- No one I know has ever done this
- What makes me think my stories are good enough to be on the big screen?
- Being a Hollywood screenwriter is a pipe dream
- There’s too much competition for me to achieve this dream
- Millions of other novelists have this exact same dream—to see their novels as movies on the big screen—what makes me think I’ll be one of the novelists who actually does it?
Thoughts and beliefs like that are NOT going to help me achieve my goal of having my novels turned into movies.
That’s why I have to ask myself what I’d need to believe in order to create what I want to see, so I can dig out those limiting, negative beliefs and thoughts that are going to hold me back.
When I think about the beliefs I’d need to have to align with my novel-to-movie goal, I think of:
- Nicholas Sparks, Sophie Kinsella, JoJo Moyes, Stephenie Meyer, Kathryn Stockett… just a small handful of novelists who have seen their novels turned into movies. If it can happen for them, it can happen for me.
- I know my genre and I know my readers and I know my stories would make awesome chick flicks
- You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to… even this
- There’s no such thing as competition because no one else can ever be me
- Shared dreams are powerful connectors between writers, and it motivates and inspires them to know what’s possible for one writer is possible for another
Beliefs and thoughts like that are much more likely to get me to my end result of seeing my novels turned into movies.
And that’s why I spend time each day creating and crafting my reality, exactly as I want to see it. First by writing about it in my journal as if it’s already my real life; and then visualizing it and feeling as if it’s already real; then going into my day acting like it’s already real and taking action in alignment with the belief that it’s real.
I taught a workshop locally last weekend all about my Bestselling Author Mindset Formula, and after I explained my daily mindset practice to the group, one man raised his hand and said that what I’m doing is a self-hypnosis exercise that focuses your brain.
And that’s really what writing your reality and crafting your thoughts and beliefs is. It’s reprogramming (or self-hypnotizing) your mental computer to focus on, think about and believe what YOU want it to.
Not what society has told you to think and believe. Not what you were taught to think and believe. Not what you see other people thinking and believing.
But what YOU want to think and believe.
That’s what matters. That’s the only thing that matters. Yes, action is involved too. You’re not gonna create your dream life sitting on the couch watching Netflix. You have to take daily actions that align with your goals.
But you knew that already.
What’s hard is getting yourself to take the actions and take them daily and consistently, like you know you need to be. And that’s where the beliefs come in.
Because when you believe something is already true, you’re much more likely to take action and do the work. When you believe it’s possible for you to have, do and be something, you’ll turn off the Netflix and get to it.
But when you have beliefs and thoughts that contradict the goal you have, that’s when you’ll use Netflix (and procrastination, and binge-eating, and wasting time on Facebook) as a way of sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the work.
Which is why you’ve gotta get your mind to your goal before your life will get there. Beliefs create thoughts which create actions which create results.
Want to hear the best part?
You can get wherever you want to go in your writing life, by starting right where you are right now. And by consciously deciding that you will direct your thoughts and beliefs toward the outcomes and results you want to see in your life.
I really challenge you to take this one on. To spend 5-10 minutes a day consciously directing your thoughts and beliefs to where you want to go. Do it first thing in the morning if you’re able to. (Here’s a book and journal that can help you do this.)
Direct your thoughts and beliefs every day for the next 90 days. Report back.
Share With Us
What old belief(s) are you going to let go of? Create a new belief(s) and share it in the comments.
Want to reprogram your beliefs and thoughts so you can align them with the writing goals you have? Grab a free copy of my eBook–The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1 here.
Every writer I come across has big dreams. Not all of them will admit to it. Some will tell you they just want to write and publish a book for themselves, so they can say that they did it and if they never sell a single copy, that’s OK.
But you can see a fire behind their eyes when they talk about it. You can tell there’s a whole lot buried in there that wants to come out and see the light of day.
Except you’ll never see it, because some writers just aren’t willing to step up and claim what they want.
But you’re not one of those writers. I know this, because if you were, you wouldn’t be here right now reading this.
No, you’re a writer who has big dreams. Who wants to be a New York Times bestseller and see your novels turned into movies on the big-screen with big-time Hollywood actors playing your Protagonist, Antagonist and love interest. And you’ll get to help with the script and have a cameo in the movie, as well as walk the red carpet at all of the movie premieres all around the world.
Or maybe it’s just me?
Either way, here’s one thing I know: you can have ANY writing life you want. ANY.
If you want the kind of writing life where writing is a hobby and you keep your day job, you can have that. If you want to write full time, you can do that. If you want a writing life as massive as someone, like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, you can have that too. (Yes, REALLY).
It just comes down to a few things:
- Are you willing to believe it? Belief is the number one thing needed to make a dream come true. If you don’t believe or can’t believe in the writing dream you want for yourself, it will never happen.
- Are you willing to show up every day and do the work? If you’re not, you’ll never have the writing life you dream of, and I can tell you that with one-hundred percent certainty. Dream all you want, but when it’s all said and done, the successful writers are putting in the work, day in and day out.
- Are you willing to write your own rules and create your own reality? An important question, because if you’re not (and that’s OK), it’s gonna be pretty tough to achieve the dream writing life. And the reason is you’ll get stopped by or stuck in the societal norms of being a writer that tell you things like, you can’t make money; being a writer is a hobby, not a real job; writing is hard and takes a long time to be successful at; you’ll never make it to #1…whatever limited things you believe right now. Those things will hold you back and keep you from the success you really dream of. So you have to be willing to step outside what other writers believe and create a new normal for yourself.
Hey, if it was easy to have the dream writing life, everyone would have it. It takes work–both internal and external–to make it happen.
But it CAN happen.
Literally anything is possible in today’s world, so long as you believe it is and then act like it every single day.
And just ’cause I love examples, here’s one for ya: let’s say you want to sell 50 books a month. That means you need to find 50 people a month wiling to pay money in exchange for your book. As long as the book is available digitally and easy to access (like on Amazon or BN.com), it can totally happen. And pretty quickly, depending on the work you put in.
There are billions and billions of people in this world. A very large percentage of those people are online. And you only need to find 50 of them. Fifty out of billions and billions? Seems pretty doable, doesn’t it?
And that’s the thing I love the most about being an authorpreneur in the digital age. The internet has dropped all barriers between the creator and the consumer and you can connect with people from all over the world and sell your books, services, products, etc. to the people who want and need them most.
This puts you in the driver’s seat, giving you total control of your writing destiny–where you end up and what you create along the way. Empowering, isn’t it? Kinda makes you want to sit your ass in a chair and write something right-freaking-now.
So it’s true, you really can have whatever writing life you dream of. But you’ve gotta believe it and act on it every single day.
Share With Us
What are you going to do today to move closer to your dream writing life?
When it comes to getting what you want–in life and in your writing–it all really comes down to two things. Two little things that can make or break you. Two things that will determine exactly how successful you’re going to be.
Those two things are: your priorities and your habits.
Your priorities and habits are your keys to success. If your habits are supportive of your goals and your priorities are aligned with your writing dreams, there’s no stopping you. You are set up for inevitable success.
But if your habits are sabotaging your goals and your priorities are totally out of whack, guess what? You’ll never get where you want to go with your writing. Not ever.
Never. (And I never say never, but I’m saying it.)
It’s impossible to reach the level of success as a writer that you dream of if you don’t align your habits and priorities with your dreams. It can’t happen.
And the reason it can’t happen is because you won’t be taking the actions you need to take or making the choices you need to make to get to your dream writing life, because your habits and priorities are not working.
This was something I had to personally look at recently, as I take my writing career to the next level. I did a journal exercise the other day that was insanely eye-opening.
It can be scary to flesh it all out on paper and see it written down. Because then you can’t not look at it.
Sometimes it even seems easier not to look at it. To just live your life, never taking a minute to look at what you want and where you’re at, to see if it’s matching up (hint: if you don’t already have what you want, it’s not).
I avoided it for a long time… until I realized I had to look at it. I had to write down what I want, and then make a list of my current habits and priorities, to see if it was a match.
And, well, what I found did’t come as a huge shock: my priorities and habits don’t totally align with where I want to go with my life, my writing and my business.
For example, in my “what I want” list, I wrote down that I want “to be healthy and fit.” But when I look at my habits and priorities, they don’t align with that goal. Right now I don’t exercise regularly and I’ve fallen into a bad habit again of eating a lot of junk food.
If I say what I want is to be healthy and fit, you can clearly see that will never happen with the habits I have in place currently. Instead, I need to have habits that support the goal, such as doing 30 minutes of movement every day, no exception, and eating a 90/10 balance–90 percent healthy, 10 percent whatever I want.
Habits like that would support my goal of being healthy and fit.
So, now it’s time to turn the spotlight on your writing priorities and habits. The only way you can make a change is to see where you’re at and where you want to be, to determine the gap and what your next steps are.
Grab your journal or notebook. Set a timer for 10 minutes and go to town writing down exactly what you want for your writing life. What does your dream writing life look like?
For example, mine has me publishing a minimum of two books a year, having my books turned into movies, being a multi-bestselling author, and having millions of readers all over the world.
Once the timer goes off, flip to another page (or even at the bottom of the same page if there’s still space), and make two lists. List one is what your current priorities are. List two is what your current habits are related to your writing.
Be honest when making these lists. No one will see it except you, and by looking at exactly what is, you’ll know where to go from there. Just don’t kid yourself.
Now compare the two lists against the write up about your dream writing life. Do the habits and priorities you currently have align with getting you to that dream life?
If yes, congrats. You’re part of a very small percentage of writers who are showing up consistently and doing the work. Make any needed tweaks and keep on going.
If no, you have some work to do.
What To Do Next
I want you to make a list of what you think your habits and priorities would be if you did have your dream writing life. So if that life was already your current reality, what would you be doing on a daily basis?
Would you be skipping your writing sessions? Would you be putting other less important things before doing your writing?
Nope. If you had your dream writing life, you’d be writing every day. You’d be spending more time writing than watching TV or doing other meaningless things that won’t get you where you want to go.
Now it’s up to you. You can either keep doing what you’re doing (and not get where you want to go) or you can take a look at “what is” so you can realign and get on track to reaching your dreams.
A mentor of mine recently said, “success is a daily practice.” And it blew my mind when she said it because she’s so right. Success isn’t one of those things you get and then you just have it. It’s something you have to work at every single day.
And the foundation for success is your habits and priorities. Get those aligned to the writing life you dream of and watch magic happen.
Are you ready to align your priorities and habits with success? Grab my free training (short audio + worksheet) on Aligning Your Habits and Priorities to Success here.
“The only limitations we encounter in life are those
self-limiting ones we place on ourselves,”–Anonymous
By Jennifer Blanchard
Have you ever wanted to enter a fiction contest? Learn how to write a screenplay? Write a novel?
What stops you?
Do you think you can’t do it? Do you “know” you can’t do it? Do you think you need to know more about the subject first? Do you believe that you have to be an expert in order to write?
Whatever it is that holds you back, know this: Your limitations are self-imposed.
That means, whatever you tell yourself is what your limits are.
For example, if you keep telling yourself you can’t do it because it’s “too hard to write a novel,” then you will never be able to write a novel because in your mind it will always be “too difficult.”
But if you start to realize and accept that your limitations are self-imposed, you can then begin to overcome the barriers that keep you from writing (and chasing your dreams).
Look at it this way, if your best friend came to you and said, “I’m going to write a novel!” would you encourage her? Would you support her and be the voice of reason for her if she started to doubt herself?
Or would you start to impose limitations on her and tell her she needs XYZ before she can write a novel? Would you talk her out of it before she even attempts? Would you tell her that her dream is impossible?
Of course you wouldn’t! You’d be supportive and most likely her biggest cheerleader.
So why can’t you do that for yourself?
You need to start thinking of yourself as your own best friend. And you wouldn’t set limitations on what your best friend can achieve. You wouldn’t talk badly about your best friend. You wouldn’t make your best friend feel like her dreams are worthless.
So stop making yourself feel that way!
You are a smart, talented writer…and the limitations you supposedly have are only limitations because you say they are.
But once you let go of any self-imposed limitations you have put on yourself, something amazing will happen: You will finally see that you can have anything; you can be anything; you can do anything.
Become your own best friend–When you become your own best friend, you realize that the way you’ve been treating yourself all these years (placing limitations on yourself; saying you can’t do things; talking yourself out of your dreams) is absurd. If you wouldn’t treat a friend or family member like that, why would you treat yourself like that?
Start to consider why you’ve imposed these limitations on yourself–Is it because you’re afraid? Is it because you think people will reject you?
Figuring out why you’ve imposed limitations on yourself is the first step to removing them.
Change your self-talk–This step is extremely important! If you’re ever going to truly remove the limitations you’ve imposed on yourself, you need to change the way you talk to and think about yourself.
I’ve mentioned this before, but one very helpful way to start changing your self-talk is to come up with a writing affirmation. Something simple like, “I am a brilliant writer,” or “My writing is amazing,” will get you started on the path to self-acceptance and self-encouragement.
Begin accepting yourself for who you are and who you’re not–So you’ll never be Stephen King or Joyce Carol Oates or Flannery O’Connor…so what?! You get to be you instead, which is the best thing you can possibly be.
You are unique and bring a different perspective to the world, so why would you ever want to be anyone but who you are?
Sure, self-acceptance takes time. It’s not something you’re going to have overnight. But when you stop telling yourself you can’t do it, and start telling yourself you can do anything, you will finally lift the barriers that hold you back from doing what you love–writing.