Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just Keep Dreaming

I like the Disney-Pixar movie, Finding Nemo. I've watched it dozens of times with my grand children. Probably the most memorable line for me is Dorie's philosophy of how to reach her goal, how to accomplish her dream, how to succeed in getting where she needs to go.

"Just keep swimming."

Lately I've been reading a lot about "dreams." Wherever I read the term seems to rise to the surface like sweet cream in chilled raw milk. So, I've been thinking about the writing dreams the Lord has given me, and where I am on my journey to accomplish those dreams.

First I dream of seeing my PBs all shiny and new flying off the shelves of bookstores and landing in the hearts of children. I'm not one for emphasizing the "realities of life" in my books. I emphasize what is good and beautiful and funny and poignant. I want the stories I labor over to be "encouraging words" to their young readers, and to the adults who love them.

My dream is that children (and adults) will cherish my stories because they speak good and positive things to their hearts.

Secondly, I dream of the day when the things I pen supplement our income regularly. I don't mean making huge amounts of money. But I would like to be consistent and thus, produce a consistent, though modest, income.

Not such huge dreams, are they? Not grandiose. Not deserving of a double spread in TIME Magazine. But they are the dreams God has put into my heart for my writing. These dreams demand that I do two things: trust God to bring them pass, and "just keep swimming."

Author Ron Savage said:

Never let go of your vision. Listen to the opinions of teachers and friends and agents and editors and publishers but listen closer to your own voice. It is your job to bring your vision to someone. It is not your job to bring their vision to someone. That is not what art is all about.

"Never let go," he said. If I may borrow his words and, by extension, relate them to myself I see this truth:

When I know, without doubt, in my heart that God has given me a dream to pursue, don't let go. Don't wear down. Don't grow weary. Don't give up or give in. Hold onto God's dream for me and/or my work. Just keep swimming.

God's Word says this in 2 Corinthians 4: 16 (NIV)

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

Each "thanks, but no thanks" slip or email, each critique, each seminar or workshop or class, each small victory of publication in some unknown periodical, each freebie column, each donated poem are steps toward the dream God has given me. Steps toward fulfillment of His promises to me. Steps toward God's idea of success for my life and for my craft.

I just have to keep my eyes and my heart fixed on God's dream for me, and just keep swimming.

I join Beth Moore in praying: "Help me keep my eyes firmly fixed on You to see Your vision and with unshakable resolve, follow Your leadership."    [Voices of the Faithful, Beth Moore, p. 264]

Dear Reader, are you stuck in the mud right now? Or are you still swimming? Care to share?


Linda A. said...

Hi Jean,

I keep swimming but sometimes I do get tired. Yesterday, I got another rejection on a story that I sent Spider. I was still so elated over a recent check for writing Christian curriculum that I didn't let the rejection bother me too much though. Thank goodness for successes to cushion the blows. God is there when I need to lean too. I am blessed indeed.

Thanks for sharing the sweet philosophy.

Linda A.

Sarah said...

I will keep dreaming ...

Delighted to meet you today. I hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing place to dip my toes.


quietspirit said...

I stay in the fray, but in my own way. I write for the Drama Ministry at church and for the non-profit I volunteer for. I am waiting for two devotional mags to let me know if I can write for them.

Cheryl Barker said...

Love your phrase "just keep swimming", Jean. That's what I've been doing for several years now and hope to continue to do until the Lord leads me otherwise. Let's dream on, huh?

wordwranglernc said...

Girlfriend...I'm swimming, but slowly. And sometimes I think I'm just treading water! :)

I needed to read this today. Thank you for always sharing what is on your heart. You never know who is going to need to hear it!