Write Your Dream but Don’t Kill the Creativity

Do you have a dream?  Has your dream been with you for just a little while or, as in my case, most of your life?  Does this dream consume you, or is it something you pick up once in a while when not otherwise distracted with this thing called ‘Life’?

Moonstone Beach California (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

I’m California Dreaming!
Moonstone Beach California
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

My dream has always been to be a published author.  But like so many of you busy raising a family and working,  trying to find the time to write proved darn near impossible.

I  never seemed to be able to get my writing off the ground; I take my hat off to all you writing mums of young children out there. I don’t know how you do it.

Years ago, I dabbled in a couple of writing courses just to ‘test the waters’ and see if I was up to the task. The first one I attempted was a children’s literature course.  I started it at the same time that I fell pregnant with my third child, my daughter.  Unfortunately, five months of severe morning sickness put an end to that. I never went back to it but the dream never went away.

Now, 20 years later, I still can’t believe that I’ve had a few articles and a short story published in magazines. Along the way, I somehow managed to gain that illusive self-belief that I could at long last write the book which I’ve wanted to write for over 30 years.

It’s not an easy story to tell, a memoir of a painful time in my life, but I’ve started it, I keep telling everyone that I’m writing it, and I know exactly what I need to write.

But something has gone wrong.

Every morning when I wake up, I’m assailed by some dark force that hangs over me, trying to steal my dream.  It tells me this: “You can’t write this book so give up now. Nobody will want to read your crappy book.   Who cares about your story?  Publishers aren’t interested in books like yours.”

This is not uncommon, I know that.  All part of the process, I do understand that too.  I also know we must swallow a healthy dose of self-belief and that ultimately we have to write what we feel led to write. But what if fear of failure and rejection hangs over you like a lead weight, threatening to steal your creativity, to sabotage your dream? What if we start to believe the lie?

Allow me, if you will, to tell you a little story about my son.

My younger son was determined to become a guitarist.  When he was sixteen, I helped him buy his first second-hand electric guitar from a school friend.  From that moment on and for the next few years, also while studying for his GCSEs and then A Levels, he spent hours up in his room, night after night, practising as he taught himself to play.

He had learnt piano as a boy but had never played the guitar before.

By the time he finished his A Levels, he wanted to apply to Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM), an acclaimed music college in the UK.  It’s all he wanted to do.  He had a dream.

He was accepted on audition, despite the fact that he had never had one single guitar lesson.

My son chasing the dream in his school days (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

My son chasing the dream in his school days
(c) Sherri Matthews

He completed his Professional Musicianship degree, but something wasn’t right.

He told me that the course killed his creativity, because he couldn’t pursue the music style he wanted: he was compelled to play music that held absolutely no interest for him.

As a result, after he graduated, he stopped playing his guitar for a while, but he did eventually go back to it.

He still has his music dreams and practises and writes his music, jamming with friends, but he hasn’t given up the day job.  Part of him wishes he had never gone to BIMM.

Is it the same with writing I wonder?

Can you start off fired up, knowing what it is you want to say, to write, with your own way of writing it, only to suddenly start to doubt that way of writing and fear that you will never fit the mold?

We all know that we need to study magazines to apply market analysis so that we can write for the market.  Is it the same for books? Is it possible to write in our own unique style and still be a successful author these days? After all, nobody wants to end up on the slush pile.

Stripping all this away, I’ve realised that we are left with the simple fact that when we feel like this, we need to just get back to basics.   Back to remembering what our dream was in the first place.

My son’s dream was to play electric guitar and write music to share with others.   I want to write a book that will touch the souls of those reading it.  Does my son hope to be in a successful band one day?  Of course.  Do I want to be a successful, published author?  Absolutely.

But if we lose sight of our reasons for pursuing these goals in the first place, then surely we are on a sure-fire path to disaster?

What I do  know is this:

Once the idea for the story is conceived, it grows every day, getting bigger and bigger until at last it reaches bursting point.  You’ve waited all this time, nurturing it, caring for it lovingly, excitedly awaiting the moment that you can at long last deliver it.

Except now you say that you can’t face the hell of birthing this monster, the pain of what you must go through to get to this point.  Yelling, “I can’t take it anymore!” is too late.  You have no choice in the matter.

Face it: this baby is coming, like it or not.

Much like when I was in labour with my daughter.  It was stop-start, stop-start.  My obstetrician was due to leave that day for his holiday in Hawaii.  I didn’t get to the hospital until early evening, and things had slowed down by then for some reason.

At about eight o’clock that night,  the doctor casually sauntered into my room wearing a Hawiian shirt, sunglasses and carrying a suitcase.  Well, maybe not the suitcase, but you get the gist…

The baby is born, here with her brothers (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

The baby is born, here with her brothers
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

He wanted to send me home since things ‘weren’t progressing’. I said, “Not bloody likely, I’m not leaving until I have this baby!”

As I held my daughter in my arms shortly after,  the pain of  only minutes before disappeared like a vapour, forgotten as of no consequence. I knew that it was her time to be born that night.

Perhaps I need to remember this when it comes to writing my book.  There will be an outcome, when the time is right.  I have no choice, it is simply a process that I have to go through.

Am I scared of failure? You bet.  Scared of rejection?  You better believe it.  Dreading the pain?  Yep. Any time you feel this you have to take courage and face it head on. This is what I tell myself all the time.

So next time I am assailed with thoughts of giving up, I will square off in front of those wicked thoughts, rise up and tell them in no uncertain terms,

“Not bloody likely!”

It’s all about staying power. People, we can do this.

‘No sooner is your dream conceived then your mind is suddenly filled with all the reasons that it may not work.  In spite of this, you must forge ahead and dream, otherwise you will spend the rest of your life fulfilling the dreams of others’. UCB

 

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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73 Responses to Write Your Dream but Don’t Kill the Creativity

  1. Rachel says:

    You really pour out your heart and soul in your blog posts so I don’t doubt that you’ll write a great book. Self-doubt is important I think and helps to prevent most of us from becoming egotistical monsters. It can be over-bearing at times and when it happens to me, I just make a point of saying to myself from a third person perspective, “I love you and it doesn’t matter what other people think”. It sounds a bit silly I know but you have to think well of yourself and it really does work. Of course there are times too when do things that are wrong and we just have to accept that.

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    • Sherri says:

      That’s a great point Rachel, thank you, about having self-doubt to prevent us becoming egotistical monsters! It is good to know that this is a healthy thing to possess, so long as it doesn’t completely take over and totally quench the dream! We do have to prepare ourselves for when things go wrong, absolutely, while also keeping our self-belief going as strongly as possible. Keep calm and carry on as they say no matter what 🙂

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  2. jennypellett says:

    You have put down in black and white everything we, as writers go through. Whether it’s a book that is your goal, a short story or flash fiction, each requires blood sweat and tears. To what end? Why do we do it? Depends if you want to be the next JK Rowling or are happy with getting through to a satisfactory end. There’s always self-publishing. I’ve had endless discussions with my writing splinter group about writing for yourself versus for the market. I do believe there is a formula to writing for mass appeal but I also feel that if your writing comes from deep within rather than as part of a process, then you are in danger of killing off genuine creativity. I can sooo understand your son’s predicament with his music: I’m sure art students go through the same thing when technique overshadows creative inspiration. He’s right to leave it alone for a while to let the dust settle and return when he can on his own terms.
    Apply that to your writing Sherri, and see what emerges. Time will tell – it’s not a race, and you’ll know what feels right when the time’s right.

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    • Sherri says:

      Funny that, my daughter went to art college (just before she was diagnosed with Asperger’s) and it had the same effect on her! My son succeeded in doing what he wanted to do by going to BIMM and I know it wasn’t a waste, despite his despondency at the time. I think he’s beginning to see that more clearly now (he is 25 next month) and I know that music will always be a part of him no matter what.
      As always Jenny, I highly value your writing insight and feedback and I found your comment very interesting indeed. I don’t belong to a writing group, you are my writing group, so it’s great to read what you think of all this! You are so right, it’s not a race and timing is the all important thing isn’t it? No doubt there is a process for mass appeal. I just don’t think I can write like that. But, you just never know..perhaps I will write the next 50 shades of yellow, or hot pink, or something 😉
      Meanwhile, I will continue with this labour process and keep creating as best I can and thank you for your great advice 🙂

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      • Denise says:

        Jenny just articulated what I was feeling. This is my writing group here too… not in terms of conventional suggestions and criticisms, but the discussions and the communications with everyone here has sparked a new understanding of what writing is for. And I think a lot of people here would want to read your story. It sounds sentimental, but is it enough to think that people here would *want* to read what you write? I am thinking of your post in response to the Opinionated Man. That was moving and inspiring and people would respond to material like that. And therefore is it enough to think that that is a kind of start, and there would be others out there?

        I would not find it satisfying enough to write for myself. But for me the idea that I could write for a few people and they would enjoy it is enough.

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        • Sherri says:

          This is so interesting Denise that you would bring up Project O, since originally I was going to go into more detail about this book I’m writing in this post but decided not to for some reason. I did indeed touch on it briefly in my Project O post. In a nutshell – English girl meets American GI, both from broken homes, he has a drug habit, she doesn’t, he takes her to America for a visit, they fall in love, talk of getting married, he tries to clean up his act, but fails. They split up, get back together again, he falls ill with leukeamia, they get a quickie wedding in Las Vegas, he dies 11 months later at the age of 21. It is a love story that is far from saccharine sweet against the backdrop of late 70s England and America when the world was a very different place. Part of me doesn’t want to write about it because I will have to revisit a painful past but I have to believe that others will want to read it and then I can forge ahead. What you say here tells me that they will and I can’t thank you enough for saying that.

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          • Denise says:

            A woman from our village has just had a book published called The Girl from Station X. It’s a memoir of her mother’s life. I think there is an appetite for recreating how things were – details of different times and places.

            In fact I had weird a dream last night that I went to a launch of the Station X book in our village shop. But I ran away and stole a milk float out of someone’s garage. After I’d been round on the milk float I couldn’t remember which garage to put the milk float back in.

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            • Sherri says:

              Ha ha! That’s so strange – about the milk float I mean! Even stranger, as we had a bottle of milk stolen from our front door step this Tuesday, first time ever…are you trying to tell me something Denise lol 🙂
              That is really encouraging about the woman from your village having her book published. Thanks for sharing that. In fact, I have a funny feeling that I may have read an excerpt from this book, the title sounds very familiar. In You magazine maybe?

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  3. xbox2121 says:

    I have a hard time commenting on this one Sherri because I cant relate to the writing part, I struggle to write a correct paragraph. I can say from experience that to fulfill a dream of any type it takes pure dedication and will power. Sometimes at the cost of other things in your life. In the end you are the only one that can make that decision.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Bob, I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and comment on this post! Dedication and will power are the two very big things that writing like this takes, indeed anything in life as you so rightly say if it means fulfilling a dream. I think this is my struggle at the moment. I know that I can’t ‘do it all’ and so something has to give. Hopefully the cost won’t be too high…

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  4. Oh, Sherri, do I ever understand. My memoir is exactly about this struggle. The subtitle is “becoming a writer, despite everything.” Really, it’s about becoming ourselves, despite all the forces that want to shape us into a different mold, one more useful for their purposes.

    I think that writing (or music, or art)–the pursuit of using talent and training to produce skilled work–are the journeys some of us choose to follow toward the goal of becoming authentically and honestly, the person we were meant to become.

    I can assure you that it’s a beautifully meaningful journey. I believe in you! And I’ll do whatever I can to encourage you to keep pursuing your dream.

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    • Sherri says:

      Tracy, your have such a lovely way of putting things and I’m so glad that everyone reading this understands what I was trying to say! It really is about becoming the real person inside, as you put it, the authentic person, while pursuing the dream. It is a very personal journey and so much more than just the act of ‘writing’ – or making music, or producing artwork. I
      know it will be a beautiful and meaningful journey with the support of you and all my friends here and I so very grateful for your amazingly kind encouragment.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Tracy for your lovely, kind words of encouragment. I’m so glad that you and everyone reading this understands where I’m coming from and also very humbled that you believe in me! This journey really is about becoming the ‘authentic’ person inside, while pursuing the dream. I think this is part of the struggle, but I so want it to be a beautiful and meaningful journey! I know it will with you and all my lovely friends here as we walk side by side together along this writing path.
      I do remember reading about your memoir on your blog and I know you have some story to tell. I know it will be a powerful read 🙂

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      • My problem is, I hate having to do P.R. involved in promoting a book, and I haven’t done it yet. I’ve got to do it, though. Working on building up my resolve.

        The problem is, I’d rather just keep writing, now that I’ve found my process and writing is so much easier.

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        • Sherri says:

          Ahh, that old PR Now I can see that you weren’t joking about needing a PR agent! I can’t even begin to imagine how that must be, having not reached that stage yet. Seriously though, if there is anything I can do to help promote your book please let me know, I would love to help any way I can…

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          • Thank you, Sherri. I’ll definitely let you know when we develop a plan (or rather, when my husband develops a plan–he knows a lot more about promoting than I do…) and we’ll bring you on board!

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  5. mumblypeg says:

    Never let anything or anyone rob you of your dreams Sherri. Beleive in your amazing gift. I feel sure your tenacity and focus will bring your work to birth with all the creativity you possess. Keep going girl!! lots of love M xxx

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much M. It is a birthing process but one that has to be completed from start to finish for the end result. Your wonderful support is always so very much appreciated :- ) xxx

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  6. tieshka says:

    Sherri, yet another great post- exposing your vulnerability to everyone. I know life is great at getting in the way of realizing our dreams. It seems like now is your time to finally pursue your dream. Be patient, work on it – little by little- and when the creative juices are going it will be easier some days. AND the end result will be successful because you have then accomplished what you have set out to do- be published. Cheers!

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    • Sherri says:

      Tieshka, your encouraging and positive words here really spur me on, thank you so much! Maybe it is because I feel this is the time that I’m starting to panic, thinking, oh now, but it can’t be, I want to but I will fall flat on my face! Time to stop thinking that and, as you so rightly say, just take it one step at a time and work towards the goal, the dream. Cheers right back at ya 🙂

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  7. Thanks for sharing the story about your son, Sherry. It certainly puts things into perspective. Write your story. Write it for you, write it for your children. Don’t worry about who may or may not read it. It’s obvious by your posts you have a story to tell and you find great joy in writing.

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    • Sherri says:

      Jill, thank you so much for sharing your perspective about all this. As we were just saying about writing from the heart, and this ties in with that really, it really is about writing as the words lead and not letting the weight of fear of failure get in the way. Writing is indeed a thing to be enjoyed and shared 🙂

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  8. Steven says:

    Can so relate to your son’s state of mind re his music: applying boundaries – educational or otherwise – to something which shouldn’t have them always stifles creativity. I’ve similar views to my GCSE Art lessons; to that end I’m relieved I didn’t make it to University. I’m glad he didn’t get completely put off by it though.

    As a bipolar I do have this voice for company quite often, with most of the things I do. Sometimes it can get the better of me but on stronger days it’s just a case of LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU (yes, out loud!) to drown it out… and pushing on with it determined to shut it up. Your writing is really captivating, for somebody who struggles to keep attentive to text, so you must be doing something right! As others have said, your passion is tangible and that overbearing self-doubt has no business here. You definitely can do this! 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Wow Steven, you never fail to amaze me with your point of view and perspective, both here and in your writing on your blog, the wonderful way you write. I tell you what, thank goodness you didn’t go to University to do art, because your art is incredibile and it would have been a sin for your gift to have been killed dead by the constant stifling of your natural creativity. My daughter’s GCSE art teacher let her do whatever she wanted because she refused to be pinned down. At the time she was obsessed with Japanese Manga type art. In that respect she got away with it but when she went to sixth form college and did her BTEC in Art & Design it was a different story. As for my son, yes, he hasn’t been put off entirely but for a long time he didn’t even touch his guitar. Here he is still paying the student loan for years to come….
      As for you struggling with bipolar, well, I can’t even imagine what that must be like, I’m ashamed to say that my knowledge of it is somewhat limited. I hope that you are in a better place now…and all that to say, I am quite blown away by your comments about my writing and don’t really know what to say, so what I will say is thank you so very much, this means a great deal to me 🙂

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      • Steven says:

        Haha, I should have been more like your daughter and less submissive to my GCSE tutor (still looking forward to seeing some of this art by the way ;)). Mrs. Carter and I didn’t always see eye to eye… I remember her chasing me around the room at one stage because I was trying to get out of finishing some clay work I was forced to do which went terribly wrong (I don’t do 3D…) Was kept after school but me and a friend bundled out of the fire exit when she wasn’t looking! ;). A Levels were much happier times though, perfect balance between direction and freedom I felt. I basically lived in the Graphics room for two years.

        I won’t get started on tuition fees other than to say they are a madness for what you get, especially these days. £9k a year for a couple of hours lectures a day if you’re lucky? Did your son ever consider dropping out?

        My pleasure RE the comments, the amount of engagement and support you get on here tells me I’m far from the only one. I look forward to any new posts and of course look forward to this book!

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        • Sherri says:

          Steven that’s so funny about your art teacher, oh happy school days eh? I can just picture the whole scenario of you and your friend slipping out the fire exit like that! Good for you!
          So glad that A Levels went much better for you 🙂 My daughter’s art teacher was very eccentric and yet I think he picked up on something different about my daughter (we didn’t know she had Asperger’s then) and he let her work with her creativity so she was lucky in that respect.
          Yes, I am trying to pursuade her to let me post some of her art…watch this space 🙂
          My son did consider dropping out many times and didn’t finish the final year due to cost and the loss of all interest in his music. He still got his degree somehow, not sure how he managed it…
          You are a star, and once again, your lovely comments never fail to bring a huge smile to my face.
          Have a lovely weekend…now I need to get typing 😉

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  9. Hi Sherri,

    Fire me an email at themirrorbooks@gmail.com if you’re interested in my experience – have had my manuscript back from the self publisher’s editor for about a week. A bit long for a comment and I do not wish to clog your post.

    As for your aspiration, do it for the right reason and then follow your dream when the time is right.

    Cheers.

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  10. Life and Other Turbulence says:

    Stick with it! I reluctantly started working on my own painful memoir almost 7 years ago, with heavy encouragement from several writing mentors. And, I’m finally coming down the home stretch, hoping to have the first draft fully completed by year end. Why’s it taken so long? I had to take long emotional breaks through the really tough stretches, and then find a way to get back to that mental place where I felt I could continue to push through and move it forward. I will likely never pursue publication. I’m not interested in what other people think of it, quite frankly. It’s my history and my past, most of which was buried deep inside my emotional vault until an unexpected turn of events blew it all wide open, forcing me to divulge to my children a painful history I’d never wanted to share. I know you can persevere too…you write so beautifully. And by forgetting for the moment about what other folks will think of it, simply write it FOR YOU. By doing that, there IS no rejection factor, but there is a real strong possibility that a publisher will find it to be beautifully written, just like all of your other writing projects. I say: YOU GO GIRL!

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    • Sherri says:

      I know from reading your blog that you have battled with writing your memoir and it has been a labour of love, putting it mildly – that great British understatement right?! Thank you so very much for sharing your very personal thoughts here, I so appreciate it and can certainly resonate with them. Sometimes things happen in life that bring us to the point of having to tell those nearest and dearest about things we never intended to but perhaps it was always meant for these things to be revealed, all at the proper time. Who knows where our writing will end up? It just has to be done and I certainly will ‘go girl’ thanks to your wonderful encourgement 🙂

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  11. Steven said it well, when I first started writing poetry, I felt handcuffed in my creativity by how many different styles there were in traditional prose, sonnets and the like. One day I heard a voice when frustrated…and it just said keep it simple, and most will understand it a lot easier, for it is always the message that moves hearts and souls! I thought of Picasso and wondered what he thought about all that was said about his paintings…and what is said about them now. Your post is genuine and written from your heart, you kept it simple and it touched me…and it was easy to embrace. Thanks Sherri, you have a gift…keep sharing it! P.S., I have been writing since 1971, a few thousand of them…but I chased after the green and material things, and put the gift to the side. When I became disabled and could no longer work, I asked God to help me find a joy, and He lead me back to what He gifted me long ago…I just started sharing in 2010, after no longer worrying who would like my poetry, because of its simplicity. It’s not perfect, yet neither am I. So anytime is a good time, like the Nike commercial says, ‘Just Do It’. Thanks for visiting my blog, know I enjoy yours also! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Wendall, you have blessed me so much by visiting my blog and your wonderfully encouraging reply here, thank you so very much. I am very inspired and heartened by your message, thank you for sharing your powerful story. Your time came and it came with such joy. This is precisely what I loved about your poetry when I visited your blog – the beautiful and gentle simplicity bringing a powerful message. I can’t be doing with heavy, complicated poetry that I can neither understand nor be moved by. I will take your message to ‘Just Do It’ to heart, and that I will indeed do! You have a wonderful weekend too 🙂

      Like

  12. Write, please write, you have a gift!!

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  13. Lesley Dawson says:

    Sherri, this is an excellent post and one I really needed today. Keep writing your book. I agree with the above poster – you have a gift for writing and it would be such a shame not to share it.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Lesley, I’m so glad that this was a post you needed today and I hope that it has encouraged you too. We are all in this together, I’m really learning this now! Thanks so much, as always, for your wonderful support.
      I shall return to your words and all the other amazing comments written here very frequently, I just know it!
      Have a lovely weekend 🙂

      Like

  14. rmudge says:

    Keep pushing toward your goal. I think we all get stuck in this weird trap of believing that we are too late or too old to chase our dreams. Achieving our dreams is not a straight path to success but rather a winding road full of mountains, valleys, quick sand, dark forests and dead ends. I think we just have to keep trying and keep taking chances. The more shots we take, the more likely we are to hit the bulls-eye. I really hope that you are able to push through and find success.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Robin, I really appreciate your very kind encouragement. I love what you write here, and you are so right. It is this panic which seems to take over at times, in just the way you describe. A feeling of needing to rush ahead, yet feeling crippled at the same time, so much so that I just freeze and then can’t do anything. A vicious circle for sure! Got to keep pressing in and not give up until we hit the bulls-eye. Then the pain and exhaustion will all be worth it! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

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  15. Pat says:

    I have no doubt, Sherri, that soon you will be a published author. Sometimes, we just have to live longer so we have more things to write about. I could see the energy build as you wrote this post. You have the passion and it will be perfect when the time is right and you see it through.

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    • Sherri says:

      Pat, thank you so much for your lovely, kind words of encouragment. There is certainly nothing like life experience to have plenty of fodder about which to write! I am only just learning this now. I have wanted to write about so many things for so long and it is only now that I can see this becoming a reality. Perhaps, at the end of the day, what I really need to do is to get out of my comfort zone and, as Wendall above said, ‘Just do it’!
      I hope you are having a great weekend 🙂

      Like

      • Pat says:

        I think you’re doing it and out of your comfort zone. You know what they say — when you’re out of the box, it’s hard to get back in (maybe, it just me that says that — hahaha). Have a great Monday! 🙂

        Like

  16. Beautiful honesty that will resonate with many. Writing is how I breathe so I relate in many ways, S.

    It is so funny how this happens a lot with me and my readers: just when I think of visiting someone, I get his/her tap to make it that much easier to hope over. =)

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  17. You are a great advocate for doing it the way your heart tells you, not what the ‘how to get an agent’ handbook tells you. You are so right about how conformity kills creativity. It’s a concept we accept as a given when it’s applied to totalitarian states or great swathes of history, but somehow we can’t see the harm it does to us in our own little corner.
    I’m also a believer in holding firm to your dreams. Great post, Sherri. Reblogged.

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    • Sherri says:

      What a great way of putting it, but then you always do that. I have been tremendously inspired by your blog and your writing story as you share it with your readers, particularly when you shared your friend’s recent publishing success story…talk about staying power!
      Thank you so much Jane and also for the reblog, wow, I’m quite staggered 🙂

      Like

  18. Reblogged this on Jane Dougherty Writes and commented:
    A great post about sticking to your dreams whatever the obstacles.

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  19. …brilliant piece,,, absolutely brilliant… 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Seumas, I have read your blog and I thought your recent ‘open’ letter to publishers was absolutely brilliant so for you to come and visit my blog and then reblog my post truly humbles me. What more can I say other than thank you so very much.

      Like

  20. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    … for all the self-publishers out there… if you’ve ever had a a dream of success… this is for you … my friend Jane Dougherty’s great piece on ‘staying after what you dream’ . ,,,

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  21. Lesley Dawson says:

    I found this quote in my emails today, Sherri, and thought of you when I read it: ‘
    ‘Talent is a gift that brings with it an obligation to serve the world, and not ourselves, for it is not of our making.’ — Jose Marti
    So keep on writing! 😀

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    • Sherri says:

      What a beautiful quote Lesley, thank you so much for sharing with me, I shall write it down and keep hold of it. Thank you too so very much for your encouragement which I can always count on and yes I will indeed keep on writing. You too 🙂

      Like

  22. Sherri, I loved this post!
    I’m also still smiling at your comment about signing up for a course on writing for children. Many years ago, my mother signed up for a by-mail course on writing for children. She wrote and sent in a great story but didn’t hear anything for months. Then the director wrote and sadly informed Mom that her teacher had died in an accident, and she gave mom the name of a new instructor. Mom sent the story to the new instructor, who within a few weeks died of a heart attack. Mom hoped her story hadn’t caused the heart attack.
    They offered to give her another teacher “soon,” but Mom wrote them back and suggested they not push their luck. They refunded her money.

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    • Sherri says:

      Marylin, I can see why you had to smile when you read this! What is it with children’s writing courses?! My goodness, the story you shared here about your mom is unbelievable, you honestly couldn’t make it up could you?! The way you wrote it actually made me laugh out loud! Just out of interest, did your mom ever have any joy with her story after all that?
      So glad you enjoyed reading this, thanks so much 🙂

      Like

  23. quirkybooks says:

    Hi Sherri. I started a Writing for Children course in 2008 and I still haven’t finished it yet. I did the first assignment that covered 4 modules and I still have 10 modules to go. I haven’t done any work for it for a long time. I can complete it whenever I want and I have branched out into a lot of non-fiction writing that I thoroughly enjoy. I still like writing rhyming picture books for 3-5 years and the course has given me confidence in my writing abilities to pursue my writing dreams. The following year I had my first non-fiction article published. That was paid work.

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  24. Marlene says:

    Dreams are powerful, yet fragile. They need to be nurtured with fierce positivity, determination and action. Despite that, they have incredible staying power. Good luck with your book! I look forward to buying and reading it!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello Marlene, yes, how right you are about nurturing our dreams, and their ultimate staying power. They just don’t go away!

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and reading this post, this means a great deal to me, especially that you have shown such an interest in reading my book, wow! Now, I need to press on with it!

      I do hope you will visit my ‘summerhouse’ again 🙂

      Like

  25. Pingback: ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ – My Son’s Way Back | A View From My Summerhouse

  26. karinvandenbergh says:

    Hi Sherri. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and can relate with everything you say. I am not a professional writer. In fact I’ve only started to discover this voice about a year ago when I started my blog. God, I was so scared to push that button, especially because I ventured to write in a language that wasn’t even my native tongue but that’s the voice that came through. Now, I’m so glad I did because I’ve already learned so much from it. The inner critic can be strong and loud but eventually there’s nothing more painful than an untold story..especially our own.
    This is a quote I included in my very first post “Just another Impulse” :
    “It’s impossible”, said pride
    “It’s risky”, said experience
    “It’s pointless”, said reason
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart
    And we all know that we must listen to the heart, don’t we ? Given the wonderful blog and many fans you already have I’m positive you will put this book endeavor to a happy end. Wishing you lots of courage and creative inspiration.

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  27. Sherri says:

    Hi Karin, and firstly may I apologize for not replying to your wonderful comment earlier, I have no idea why I didn’t but I am so sorry. I have had quite a few computer problems lately so maybe that was part of it, and I am just now catching up with everyone. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here and for your very kind wishes. I don’t take this lightly, you can be sure of that!
    I agree with you so much, it really does come down to what the heart says, and yes, ‘give it a try’ is what matters. You are very brave starting a blog in a language that isn’t your natural one and I admire you tremendously. Keep going and I very much look forward to taking a look at your blog. I also hope that you will visit my summerhouse again soon! Blessings to you and I wish you the very best in all your writing endeavours 🙂

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