In Others’ Words: Hopes & Dreams

“Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate. Isn’t that true?”
~Amy TanThe Hundred Secret Senses

I’m teaching four workshops at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference this week — each one themed to The Princess Bride movie. (That’s another blog post.)

One of the best things about attending a writers conference? You’re surrounded by people pursuing their dreams. The air is filled with expectancy and hope. Yes, I know there are times when those 15 minute appointments don’t go as planned. When an editor or agent says “no thanks” to your article or book idea.

But that obstacle doesn’t mean an end to your dream. It just means that particular meeting wasn’t your door marked “Enter.”

Keep dreaming. A “no” isn’t the final answer. Catch you’re breath.  Remember why you started imagining your dream — whatever it is. And then dare to share that dream again.

In Your Words: What are you dreaming about? When you get discouraged, how do you keep your dream alive?

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22 Comments

  1. May 22, 2012, 5:12 am   /  Reply

    “Discouraged” literally means to cut the heart out of, like the ancient Mayans did of living victims. “Encouraged” means to build up the heart, like David encouraged himself in the Lord and involves conscious choice. I’d love to finish my current novel well and have it accepted. I’m also asking God to keep my grandchildren safe and happy. I’m encouraged that the farm we’ve wanted to have for so many years is now a reality. That helps me believe other strong requests will become reality, too.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:14 pm   /  Reply

      Dee,
      Thank you for expanding the meaning of “discouraged” and “encouraged.”
      And thank you for sharing your dreams with us.

  2. Karen S. Elliott
    May 22, 2012, 5:26 am   /  Reply

    Most writers’ conferences I have attended have given me a fresh spark. I agree, it’s great to be surrounded with that energy.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:16 pm   /  Reply

      Enjoying even more energy today, Karen. I love connecting with writers of all levels — but especially new ones! 🙂

  3. May 22, 2012, 5:50 am   /  Reply

    I’m so excited you have this wonderful teaching opportunity. You’ll be an inspiration for your audience.

    I’m living my dream as a published author, but I have another dream so deeply etched in my heart. When I get discouraged, God whispers to my heart through a verse, a song, or words of wisdom from others. He’s drawing me close as we walk this weary road together.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:17 pm   /  Reply

      You are such a talented author, Lisa, I love reading your novels. And I pray that God continues to refresh your heart and your dreams.

  4. May 22, 2012, 6:00 am   /  Reply

    Wise words, Beth. Just because our dream may not play out exactly as we had planned doesn’t mean it’s not possible. I just discovered that in Scotland and blogged about it today, as well. Our posts seem to do that from time to time. 🙂 Blessings as you teach this week!

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:17 pm   /  Reply

      Can’t wait to go read your blog post, Donna.
      And welcome home!

  5. May 22, 2012, 6:02 am   /  Reply

    I dream about characters and their goals…can hear Michelle Lim’s voice in my head: What’s your character’s goal for this scene. And I dream about my stories reaching others and giving them hope.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:18 pm   /  Reply

      Such wonderful dreams, Pat — both fictional and real life.
      🙂

  6. Patti Mallett
    May 22, 2012, 6:19 am   /  Reply

    What fun the conference sounds! And lucky the writers attending your sessions, Beth!!

    To keep my dreams alive, I remind myself that obedience to God outranks rejection. That my job is to do what He has called me to. The rest is, ultimately, in His hands. There are two things God has clearly called me to: nursing home ministry and writing. Both bring GREAT JOY, and both can be difficult. It’s this wonderful truth that keeps me going in all areas of my life: God equips us for what He calls us to do.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:18 pm   /  Reply

      May God bless the work(s) of your hands, Patti.

  7. Jeanne T
    May 22, 2012, 6:37 am   /  Reply

    Such a great post, Beth. And I loved the reminder that just because you may hear a no in one place (i.e. as a result of a 15 minute appointment), doesn’t mean give up, it just means “that particular door was not marked, ‘enter.'” Such a good thought.

    For me, with my writing dream, I remind myself that God gave me this story (not someone else), and He’s given me people to help me bring it to life and support me in the process. I seek to focus on the Giver of the Dreams, not just the dream.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:19 pm   /  Reply

      Love your focus, Jeanne — the Giver of the Dream.

  8. May 22, 2012, 7:17 am   /  Reply

    This week, I was discouraged when I saw some fiction writers shut down a person seeking info about writing a memoir. “Turn it into fiction” was their best advice, because there’s no market or there’s no place for first time writers. I understood why they shared the advice, but it struck me that no books would ever be published if everyone took that to heart. I shared a memoir blog and craft book. While their comments discouraged me a bit, as I said to them, I’m writing a memoir using the best technique I can, but I’m writing a memoir because it’s true.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:20 pm   /  Reply

      Pursue your passion, Stacy — and don’t let others douse it with their words. And cheer on others as they pursue their passion too.

  9. May 22, 2012, 7:32 am   /  Reply

    My kids keep me dreaming. My oldest asks me all the time, Mom when is your book going to get published? As for verses, all of Psalm 37 is awesome, here are a few highlights:

    3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
    4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
    5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

    There’s a few songs that encourage me too, but especially this one:

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:20 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you for sharing, Michelle.
      🙂

  10. May 22, 2012, 7:40 am   /  Reply

    Dreams are a tricky, beautiful thing. They can either bring us great joy or great sorrow. I have so many dreams that range from the mundane items (new hardware for my kitchen cabinets) to grand and life changing (being a published author) – and then there are those that are deeply etched into my heart and have more urgency, the dream that my children will grow to know Jesus Christ as their all in all, that they will make wise decisions, treat others kindly and seek to live a life devoted to God. In order to have all my dreams fulfilled, I shouldn’t focus on the dream, but on the Dream Giver – the true Author of Life. He is the One who will open and close the doors to my dreams, based on His eternal needs.

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:21 pm   /  Reply

      Ah yes, the Author and Finisher of our Faith …

  11. May 22, 2012, 8:50 am   /  Reply

    My ultimate dream is to be doing something with my life that feels purposeful. That feels like I’m doing something to further God’s kingdom and show others His love. I believe He’s given me the gift of writing. It’s something that, if used appropriately, can have a direct impact on people’s hearts. So I really want to be a published author, writing from home as I stay home with my kids (which don’t exist yet!).

    It takes a lot of prayer. It brings a lot of doubt. But if God chooses to take me there, I’ll be so ecstatic. If not, I know he’ll give me something else just as satisfying (obviously I can’t see now what that would be).

    • Beth Vogt
      May 22, 2012, 1:22 pm   /  Reply

      Anchoring your heart to God and His will … that will that always helps me stay the course too, Lindsay.

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