Many bloggers are contemplative during January, looking back and looking forward…I want to use this post to say THANK YOU.
Thank you to everyone who has supported my writing and my blog, and to all who’ve taken time to comment on my pages, or review my book!
This time last year I began getting to know some amazing writers and readers online: Blogs, Twitter and Facebook…and I’d like to share a post I wrote a year ago (before I knew many of you!). Thank you for believing in me!
The Future belongs to Those who Believe in the Beauty of their Dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt had it exactly right…the future really does belong to those who believe in their dreams…
How many of us started out with huge dreams…the kind that stretched far, far beyond what we can see? How many of us played in the woods building forts and defending them from intruders and dragons, or by the ocean building sand castles and trenches? Were you so lost in books that you felt the Famous Five were your best friends? Did you skirt the local park with dark glasses searching for villains and opportunities to spy or use your magic super powers? Did you build Lego towns and fill them with adventure? Did you play ‘Pooh Sticks’ or race paper boats down the river? Did you draw fantastical pictures and wait at night for them to come alive? Were your stories so magical you slipped into them when you dreamed at night? Did you make mud pies and feed a family of dolls and teddy bears? Did you dream? Did you have dreams so strong you were sure you would achieve them?
I did…I knew exactly what I wanted as a child… I wanted to own horses, to spend my days galloping across mountains and valleys… I wanted to live by the ocean and swim in the sea every day… I wanted to write and see my stories published… I wanted to draw and paint and illustrate… Yes, I had dreams…
To be truthful, some were just childhood imaginings, fun, playtime. I was never going to live in the forest and defend my homestead from dragons…
I had ambition, as a child I wanted to write and draw, and I did, making books from A5 paper…I devoured Cicely Mary Barker’s ‘Flower Fairies’ and made up my own, stapling pages together and inventing rhymes to go with them. I bought tiny A6 notepads and wrote stories, lost in a world of my own. I drew, sitting on my bed with a sketch pad, my tongue protruding as I concentrated on my art, sketching for hours.
My dreams grew with aspirations and ideas as I got older, just as my art did. From the crude pencil drawings of a ten-year-old, to more sophistication at thirteen and more mature at nineteen. My dreams grew up…but not always in a good way. I became cynical and reserved in my dreams, trying to think of things that could actually happen, things that weren’t too lofty for me to achieve…and perhaps that’s just where I began to lose them…
I began to doubt myself, my ability and question the reality of the things I once wanted. Was I good enough to illustrate, or to write something that people, real people, would actually want to read? That doubt, along with the realities of life, leaving school, getting a job, getting married and having children, stopped me from pursuing those things I’d dreamed of all my childhood.
I don’t blame anyone, I just let life take over and my dreams faded like an old masterpiece hung on a wall that no one does more than glance at, left to saturate in the glare of every day sun.
I could have been more than the sum of what I am right now…that does make me sad…there is so much more I could have achieved. It was when I was thirty that I decided I could become more, that those old buried dreams deserved a second look. And I began to write.
Self-belief has taken a lot longer…however, slowly over the years those shattered dreams have come alive, my writing has fed my aspirations and words that I thought would never interest anyone have become the tool for rebuilding those dreams.
So, yes, it’s true I have never found myself dwelling in the woods defending my little wooden fort from all things evil, but those dragons I used to chase off in my imagination, now live on paper. I believe in them, I believe in me…and that’s where it all starts…the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams…I intend to believe in mine.
What an inspiring post! I use to take my friends on "Goonie" adventures, imagine incredible worlds, and of course I always had a sketch pad on hand. It's can be so difficult to hold onto dreams but we must. It's one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. I'm happy you were able to reclaim yours. 🙂 I think many creative people have those moments of self-doubt, but we have to keep pushing forward.
I'm soooo pleased I met through writing. And I love this post as it's the forst time I'm sfinding bits out about you. . . . like . . .. I never knew you could draw; what a fab talent/skill to have. Your horse sketch is stunning. I believe in you chickidee and you really do inspire me. xxxx
Ps I should learn to read what I write before posting. Excuse the errors caused by fingers slipping;promise! xx
This is such a great post! My childhood was all about adventures, books, art and words… hanging onto those things as an adult has helped me through many difficult 'real life' moments, and I'm so glad you were able to find your way back to them too. I think self-doubt is vital as a creative person, because otherwise, what would drive you to try and get better at what you do? The trick is not to let it take over – easier said than done! I really enjoy your blog, Lisa, and I look forward to seeing where you take it in 2013.
Thanks Amanda, Dreams are so important, a character from my book says "It's those silly dreams that keep us alive." and it's so true, without them there's nothing to strive for! Your art inspires me too!
Aw thanks Lizzie, I'm meeting so many lovely people and you're one of them! I was mad on horses and I drew them all the time, I was always reading or drawing and I wanted to be an illustrator, but my writing turned out better than my drawing in the end!…and don't worry about the spelling…it's cold out and gloves make your fingers slip, you were wearing gloves weren't you? 😉
Thanks Emma, and yes you're right, we do need negatives and positives to make us strive to be better! Sometimes I think my writing is all about sliding back into my childhood and reclaiming it, just love the fun and imagination!
It is so easy to be supportive of someone who is so talented, willing to take chances with her writing, find unique approaches to standard stories, and with everything she writes, shows how much she loves the process. I liked your writing and then…the girl pulled her mary-jane shoes up underneath the leaf. I will never forget that image and I knew you were well on your way, Lisa. It also is easy and a pleasure to be supportive of someone who is so kind and so generous. When you leave a comment for someone, you take the time to say something meaningful, and the writer knows you have truly read their story. I can't wait to see what's ahead for you, Lisa. I'm thrilled that I 'met' you in time to go through this journey with you. Happy New Year!
I'm privileged to know so many of you, Jo-Anne you've been wonderfully supportive and one of the most influential with your encouragement. Your comments mean a great deal to me and I always love seeing your name on my blog. I love leaving encouraging comments, especially as I know how much it means to know that your words have reached someone.I can't wait for more writing challenges this year!
Aww! Thank you!
What a beautiful post, Lisa! I'm so happy you reclaimed your dreams and believed in yourself enough to share your stories with the world. 🙂 I loved Beneath the Rainbow and feel so blessed that I got to experience that story through your imagination and words. You are a wonderfully talented writer and I can't wait to see what you come up with next!
That means so much to me Sophie! It's finding other writers, like yourself, that really gave me the get up and go…so thank you! It's lovely to know when your writing touches someone, much appreciation.
You're beautiful, Lisa, one of those people I don't even have to meet in person to love because your stories are just as palpable as you would be. The writing world is lucky to have you and I hope you never leave it.
I would put you in the same category Afsaneh, I adore you and this writing community, it's a wonderful to find somewhere to belong!