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Beat the Dream Smashers: A Pre-BEA Pep Talk

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There are people “out there” who will say, “Forget your dreams.” Maybe you’ve heard them already. There are some who chuckle at your determination and mutter or even shout, “You’ll never make it. You can’t compete against the big publishing houses.” They’ll tell you, “Dreaming gets you in trouble.” They’ll taunt you with “Get real” or “Grow up.”

These are the dream smashers. These are the people who say, “You can’t write a complete sentence, why do you think you can publish a book (or write a book, or create poetry)?” “Create a marketing plan for your company? Don’t be silly.” “Become a novelist? Who are you kidding?” “You’ve tried that stuff before and you’ve given up. You’re bound to fail. Again.” “You don’t have a degree–you’ll never make it.” “You can’t write and work.” “Do it at YOUR age? Come on!”

Dream smashers are powerful, even when they whisper behind our backs. They’re so convincing that, unless we keep our dreams alive, we buy into the lies. When that happens, we lose focus, we become weak. Our energies to create and succeed sputter and grow dim. It’s a dismal picture, isn’t it? And if you’re over 10 years old, you’ve probably met one of these people; maybe you live or work with a few of them.


A Chain of Creativity

The great news is that you can beat the dream smashers by never, ever believing them. It’s all too easy to become convinced that you will fail, that you’re not smart enough, that your skills aren’t strong and that you’re destined to lose. So how can you counteract this powerful, negative message? Here’s what I do….

Everyday I thank God for my creative talents; you may want to attribute your gift to a Universal Power or a Spiritual Force. You may want to stop, yes, right now, and give thanks to those who have helped you, who have recognized your worth.

Regardless of the name or term we choose to use for this energy, I believe we are born to be creative and to deny that is to deny our own beings, to deny our Creator. I’m certainly not willing to do that and so I use and share these talents with joy, energy, and power, in the same gentle way that they were given to me. I share my creativity and the more I give away and encourage others, the stronger my dreams become. Do you feel this way too?

Let’s take a look at our dreams. Dreams–the desires to learn new skills, improve an attitude, kick a habit, or develop an innovative way of working or thinking–are intangible to start. In the beginning, dreams can be crushed far too quickly. Don’t let this happen. Right now, your dream may seem too silly, too crazy, too wonderful. Yes, even too big. That’s OK. That’s the way it’s meant to be.


Dollars & Dreams

I believe we must dare to dream, believe, and take risks. If necessary and should we tumble, we can dust off our egos and backsides and recapture our dreams any way we can call forth. Every creative person I’ve ever talked with knows failure; it comes with the job. But to overcome setbacks, to chart new courses, to capture and polish ideas to share with the world, that’s success. There’s no price tag or monthly projected income figure for these feelings. We can’t place a dollar amount on our accomplishments. Your book, your publishing company, or your marketing program may never make millions. However, let me tell you, when you see your dreams become reality, price tags mean little. That’s where dreaming will take you and what happens when you put your dreams into action.

I believe in the power of dreams and the difference they make. I believe in YOUR dreams.

Hold on to the ones that can become something wonderful. Release those that just don’t fit anymore. Like tie-dyed clothing, love beads, poodle skirts, and spiked hair, sometimes trends and even dreams change as we change. Be flexible. Consider alternatives. Be ready to incorporate a new dream when an old one needs a transformation.

Sure you’ll have disappointments. And you’ll face failure. We humans wrestle with that all the time. Yet in the darkest hours of the darkest days, it’s those dreams that keep us breathing and walking forward.

As you become a bona fide, card carrying, everyday garden-variety dreamer, take a giant step further. Dare to be the person who encourages others to use the power of dreams. Be one of those incredible people who knows how to share this gift.

Be a miracle maker, mentor, and role model. What if more people in our industry took time to share their talents, their dreams, and their time? Let’s fuel a trend and do just that.


Eva Shaw, Ph.D., is a motivational speaker, mentor, and author of more than 60 award-winning books. Her online writing classes are available from 800 universities and colleges worldwide and her latest books are “Writeriffic: Creativity Training for Writers” and “Shovel It: Nature’s Health Plan,” which a Washington Post reviewer called “the most illuminating book I have read on the therapeutic effects of gardening.” Shaw’s books are available through Writeriffic Publishing Group (toll free 866/244-9047) and distributed by Independent Publisher’s Group. For more information, visitwww.writeriffic.comandwww.evashaw.comor calll ad/434-6445.

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