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I was thinking about reaching for dreams and goals, and it led to this inspirational doodle.

When I was younger, I used to think of reaching for a dream as reaching for a goal. The other day I mentioned that I went through a phase of trying to build a writing career. I knew it was going to be the most challenging thing I had ever done in my life. I’ve always had a great respect for people who make a career out of writing. Many professional writers dedicate their entire lives to their craft. I knew competition is incredibly fierce. I had experience building a career in art, which is probably just as fiercely competitive as the writing field, so I had a bit of an understanding of what I was up against.

There came a time when I decided that traditional publishing was probably not right for me. I believe it happened when I came to the realization that in order to continue to pursue traditional publishing, I would need to start writing in a different genre that I didn’t have a sincere interest in writing. I spent three years writing one novel, educating myself at writing workshops and conferences, manuscript critiques, and viewing free online classes available at i-Tunes. (For those of you who don’t know, entire courses from Yale University and other schools are available for free online at i-Tunes – it’s amazing! Everyone should check it out – many of them have full video, and it’s like sitting in on the class).

What I learned in the process of trying to reach my dream of a writing career was that I didn’t need to actually get a novel (or anything) published in order to reach that dream. I believe dreams should not be about reaching goals. If I have a dream of becoming a writer, it’s really all about writing, the joy and pain of writing on a daily basis. It’s not about all those other things that people might associate with writing, such as fame, fortune, and endless accolades. People might think that my failure to achieve those things is a failure in attaining a writing career, but I don’t see it that way. The dream is really about writing and creating art, and I don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to do that. Just by starting that novel, I had already reached my dream.