What is Your Writing Dream?

I had the chance to sit down with an aspiring high school writer yesterday and “talk shop.” This young lady was visiting her aunt, who happens to be a dear friend of mine. My friend asked if they could have a hour or so of my time so her neice could ask me questions about what it was like to be a writer for children and what it takes to be successful. Since I love young people and I love talking about what I do, it was a treat for me- not to mention there was really good ice cream involved!

We started in right away talking about what she was working on. I could see she was a little shy, and I wanted to quickly get below the surface so we could make the most of our hour together. So after she talked a bit about her book, I asked her, “What is your dream?” She looked a little bit stunned, so I asked the question again but more specifically, “What is your writing dream?”

And her answer was simply, “I want to be a writer.” We went on to talk about what that looked like, and I shared a little of my journey, about getting into a critique group, joining SCBWI and building an on-line presence. Things that are the essential building blocks to getting started in this business. A gave her a few books I don’t really use anymore to help her get started, and I sent her on her way- hopefully with some perspective about what it means to “be a writer.”

On my way home and throughout the evening, I thought about the very question I’d asked her, “What is your writing dream?” and I realized I hadn’t asked myself that same question in a long time. I could have answered it easily 25 years ago, and it probably would have sounded something like what my young friend said.

“Throes of Creation,” by Leonid Pasternak

But what about the dream? The spark that makes me passionate about what I do and keeps me sitting down for hours every day crafting new stories and working on revisions between other writing jobs. Is the dream anything close to what I envisioned all those years ago?

I think it’s important to get back to dreaming as writers. It’s so easy to get caught up in the social media-writer-challenge/educational-and-marketing-opportunity life that is the world of writing these days. We forget that it’s the desire to tell a good story and give something of beauty and value to the world- that God-spark if you will- that got us started in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong! Writing is a business. And like any other business, it needs feeding in order to flourish. But getting too far away from your original, starry-eyed dream of writing may begin to diminish your creativity.

So, what is your writing dream and what are you doing to keep that dream alive? Slowing down and answering that question honestly may be just what you need to add some joy to the journey!

Sensibility- Writers are dreamers. Let your mind wander this week to where your writing dream was born.

Sense Find balance between the business and creative side of writing to keep story ideas fresh and flowing.

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”

― C.S. Lewis


How has your writing dream evolved over the years?


Enriching Your Writing Life

Thanks to so many of you for commenting on my new and improved blog, Sensibility and Sense. And thanks for joining me here for conversations about the writing life from right where we are. You’ll notice at the end of each post I provide a two-sided take away- the sensibility and the sense. Think about it as two little truth nuggets “to go;” a gift for stopping by even if you don’t have time to read and comment on the entire post.

Today I want to talk about setting aside writing time. You’ve heard it on every writer blog, author website and at every conference: “You must write every day in order to be successful.” And after more than 20 years in this business, I absolutely agree. In order to be your best-writer self, you must write something every day. But if you’re in the middle of raising kids and helping your husband finish his education and get his business off the ground, like I was many moons ago and still am, some days writing time is hard to come by. So, rather than beat yourself up for not working harder (which parents who are also writers often do), or beat yourself up for writing when the floors need vacuuming and dinner is waiting to be cooked (which writers who are moms are very prone to do), let me suggest changing the mantra from, “you must write every day,” to, “do something every day that enriches your writing life.” But what does that look like?

Enriching your writing life may be as simple as taking your kids to library story time, digesting as many picture books as you can while you’re there, and then checking out a bag full to read during the week. It can also be keeping a small journal or notebook with you and jotting down things you see in the lives of your children and their friends that might make an interesting story. It might just be taking a walk and clearing your mind of clutter so great ideas can come pouring in, or having a conversation with another lover of children’s books about the latest award winner. How about opening a file on your laptop before you put in the next load of laundry and jotting down a few thoughts before the dryer buzzes? Daily writing-life enrichment comes from so many places if you’re paying attention. Because in this hard-working writer’s opinion, writing is as much about being an expert observer as it is about being a gifted storyteller.


  • Sensibility- Your love of reading and writing is a wonderful gift. Nurture it by finding ways to feed it every day.
  • Sense- Nurturing writing looks different for each person. Accept where you are on your journey and find practical ways to enrich your writing each day, even if you don’t have time to sit down at your computer and get in the “zone” for three hours.


What are some ways you enrich your writing life on a daily basis?