Tip #2: Don’t Be a Dreamer!
Posted by Bruce Hennigan
We all have dreams.
I had a friend years ago who has since passed away, sadly at the age of 38 from lung cancer. He was one of the most creative people I have ever met. Every day, he would call me at work and start off our conversation with:
“Bruce, I have this great idea!” At which point he would share with me what really was an incredible idea! I would get excited about his idea and as the day progressed I would begin to unpack the idea and come up with ways to make the idea a reality. By the time evening came, this idea had become more than a gestating thing for me.
The next morning my friend would call me again and I would be ready to share my thoughts about his idea and how we could bring it to fruition. Instead, he ignored my suggestions and informed me. “Never mind about that idea, Bruce. I have a better idea!” Whereupon he would regale me with another great idea!
Frankly, after a few days I was exhausted. Such wonderful ideas! Such powerful dreams. You see, he was a dreamer. Every day, he would wake up with a new dream to fulfill. And, as the years progressed, I realized I followed the same pattern with my writing.
I keep a small notebook by my bed or in my pocket. In fact, years ago I purchased a lighted notebook card holder. You pull the pen out of the top and the light shows up the card. That way, whenever I woke up in the middle of the idea from a dream with a great idea for a story, I could write it down so I would not forget it.
Of course, today our tablets and smartphones fulfill that need. But, my point is I would have dozens of ideas for books and stories every day. In fact, I would start writing on a novel idea and get about three chapters in and wake up with a new idea. I would move on to that novel and work on it for a while. The results was an never ending parade of partially finished words. I was a dreamer but I never finished anything!
Another tip from John Maxwell was pretty simple. “Bruce, there are two kinds of people in this world: dreamers and those who make their dream come true. You have to focus on one dream and make it happen! Dreamers move from one grand idea to another but never finish anything. Work on one dream at a time until it is done!”
Best advice for my writing ever! Immediately after that, I sat down with some of my short children’s plays and compiled what would become “Montana Holmes’ Adventures in the Bible”. I finished five short plays, compiled them, put together a book proposal, researched the writer’s market for drama, and sent my proposal to five publishers. The collection was accepted by Meriwether Publishing (Contemporary Drama Services) and released in 1995. The collection of plays stayed on the top sellers list for years!
If you want to become a published author, you have to finish that novel. It’s not enough to have a great idea for a book. You have to make it your number one dream and work and work until you make that dream come true! It doesn’t hurt to have dreams. I still write down my ideas. But, I don’t let them distract me from the one thing I really need to do. I keep the main thing the main thing!
Don’t be a dreamer. Make your one, best dream come true!