I’m indebted to my daughter for coining what I think of as our family motto. “Dream BIG–It could happen.” She came up with this exhortation when she was about eleven years old, and new to the world of horse shows. She and her first horse, a venerable Crabbet Arabian trotting past his quarter-century birthday, garnered a national award in the discipline of dressage.
To be eleven years old, winning national recognition for any accomplishment is a big deal, though not for the recognition. The take away for Beloved Offspring was that hard work, team work, luck, and persistence could result in enormous dreams coming true. Not every dream, not every time, but some dreams…some really, really big dreams. She had waited years for that horse, and spent hour after hour riding in all kinds of weather, showing in all kinds of weather, and try-try-again-ing against much more mature and experienced competitors.
Dream BIG–it could happen. With this thought in the back of my mind, I’ll move on to describe a third significant moment from 2015.
I scheduled my first 2015 trip to Scotland hoping to meet two personal goals. First, I wanted to hear Dougie MacLean perform live. More on that another time, but the concert was wonderful. Second, I wanted to begin investigating the possibility of earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from a Scottish University–or an M.Litt, as they call it.
This is a Big Dream. I haven’t had a Big Dream for quite a while. Becoming a published author, oddly enough, was not a big dream. I wrote twenty books without any aspiration to become published, and only tossed my hat in that ring because my family kept bugging me. Then too, pitching an editor wasn’t much effort, and the first editor I pitched offered me a contract.
But to spend a year doing nothing but rambling around Scotland and writing? That’s a huge, enormous, gigantic dream. It will not come true though, if I never take steps to make it so. I’ve been all over the internet researching programs, and I have some idea what I’d focus on for my year of writing. I found a university in central Scotland that seemed to have a lot of what I wanted, emailed the appropriate professor, and ended up having a lovely conversation with him that only made me more hopeful that some day, I can be among the program’s students.
And so I moved closer to making a dream come true. The meeting clarified what my next steps need to be, what hurdles might be higher than I thought, which ones more tedious or daunting. This dream will be exorbitantly expensive, but I also think it could be endlessly rewarding. I love to write, I love Scotland–it could happen, right?
And best of all, while I was chatting up the professor I learned something wonderful: The school has a PhD program in creative writing, which gives me an even bigger dream to ponder.
Are you nurturing a dream, however grand or modest? Are there first steps you can take toward making the dream come true? To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of Daniel’s True Desire.