There used to be an old blue house next door to my parent’s lakehouse, abandoned before my parents moved in. It was an interesting cobbled-together house with three roof lines and a long balcony that stretched out over the boat dock above the water. After some investigating, we discovered that the house belonged to a father who built it for his disabled daughter, so he could wheel her out to look at the sunrise. The house sat empty for a long time, until the windows sagged and cracked, until the front door popped off its hinges, until a family of foxes moved in. The city came and slapped an orange sticker on the windows stating it wasn’t safe to enter.
And then, someone bought the house.
He had big dreams. At first, he tried renovating the house, trying to save its cobbled-together charm, but the house had sat empty for too long. A year later, he came by with a bulldozer and leveled the house, with plans to start from scratch.
The pieces of one man’s dream for his daughter sat broken apart into big blocks of hazardous rubble for two years. The new dreamer disappeared.
He came back a year later at the insistence of the city and removed the bigger pieces of rubble and glass.
That was three years ago, and his property has since been taken back by the wild. Weeds, vines, and trees have all grown over the leftover debris. The boat dock slowly rots away under the blazing sun and rough weather. And still, the dreamer stays away.
I asked my mom about this on a recent visit to her house, and she said, “I think he’s just a big dreamer. He wants to retire here someday, but you know what? By the time he gets ready to retire, that dream of his is going to need so much work that I doubt he’ll ever make it happen.”
With his track record so far, I have to agree.
But what she said struck me. How many of us are “just a big dreamer?” How many of us plan to follow our dreams someday, when it’s convenient, when we retire, when we have more time?
How are you doing on pursuing your dreams? If you dream of being an author, are you sitting around, waiting for the rubble to clear, waiting for someday to happen, so you can build?
I guess the real question is, are you a dreamer or a doer?
The father who built the house, he was a doer. And if I had to guess, his life wasn’t easy. He didn’t have a lot of time on his hands. What he had was an adult, disabled daughter who required round-the-clock care, and a dream that he relentlessly pursed until that first morning when he wheeled her out on that long, awkward balcony to catch the sunrise. I bet you it was the most beautiful sunrise they had ever seen.
He didn’t wait. He acted.
Don’t wait to build your writing dreams. You don’t want to finally get to the moment when you have enough time and realize you’re too tired. Too many people let their dreams become a memory, a regret.
I want more for you. I want you to do, to act, to build. I want you to fulfill your creative purpose because you know what? The world needs you. Not tomorrow, not in a year or ten years or twenty. Now. The world needs you now. Right. Now.
Today’s the day. Write the first word, finish the book, pitch, query, fail, get rejected, but don’t give up. Don’t you give up.
And when you get ready, your writing tribe is here, waiting to meet you and celebrate with you as you pursue your dreams.
The world can’t wait to see what you do with your creative, beautiful life.