By ND Richman
Good advice comes from those who’ve suffered through their mistakes and aren’t afraid to tell others about it. I believe this makes me somewhat of an expert, so here’s some advice from an aspiring author:
"Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall at last unveil."
- John Ruskin
Big accomplishments start with big dreams and only by keeping your dreams alive will you achieve them. A big dream inspires you. Perhaps it’s your cover on a best seller list or movie screen, a lineup of adoring fans at the book store signing, or seeing a child’s face light up as you sign their book. Whatever dream inspires you, embellish it, have fun with it, and ride the wave of inspiration your dream brings to you.
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
― Alexander Pope
Expectations only serve to drive disappointment. Avoid them, or at the very least temper them. Ungrateful reactions to bad reviews are sparked from expectation. Don’t expect a good review. Don’t expect a positive response to your query. Don’t expect your family to love your book. Don’t expect a great critique. And don’t expect to reach your dream. A dream is not a promise of things to come, only assurance you’ll enjoy the journey.
In the absence of expectation you will be grateful for whatever you receive, and look upon all things in a positive light.
"Rome was not built in a day."
Writing is a long term game and though it’s imperative to dream, it’s equally destructive to fixate on and measure success against your dream. Your dream is a long term goal predicated by critique groups, courses, social outreach, writing, and revision, revision, and more revision. Take joy in the learnings these activities brings you and understand your dreams will never be reached unless you’ve mastered each of the steps required to achieve it.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun."
- Albert Einstein
Fun is an activity that creates joy in your life. Fun relaxes your mind, discards worries, and empowers the spirit. Fun activities are different for different people. Fun may be writing, having a drink in a crowded bar, hiking, running a marathon, or giving a speech.
Fun is powerful.
I wrote my first manuscript with no concept of point-of-view, protagonist, ‘ly’ words, sentence structure, or voice. If I had worried about these things it wouldn’t have been written. I wrote it for fun; now, it is an award-winning novel.
Do you want to create an empowering dream, become more patient, and have more fun? Consider the advice imparted by William Henry Davies in the following poem.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
ND Richman is the author of the Boulton Quest series, which he wrote with his son, a reluctant reader, in mind. He says, “I set out to write a series of books that captivated from the first chapter and pushed the reader through with a solid plot, relentless action and adventure, and humour.” The series’ success with kids, parents, and grandparents suggests that he has definitely achieved that goal.