As writers, we know that, in order to achieve our goal of publication, we have to lay out a plan of steps first. If we miss a step, then that goal is going to remain out of reach. Following those steps is what keeps us on track to that wonderful dream and keeps us on an even keel…most of the time.
Turns out that applies to EVERYTHING.
True story. Even in the “real world” – that place that exists away from our pads of paper and computers – breaking dreams down into steps makes them achievable. Crazy, right? It’s easy to talk about doing something, or wistfully mention something to a significant other over a bowl of ice cream, or glimpse something on television/in a magazine/online and think, “I want to do that.” The words fall out of your mouth and disappear into negative space.
UNLESS YOU MAKE A PLAN!
I’m just as guilty – believe me. I had a list of places I wanted to visit rattling around in my head, built up from the past twenty years (at least – and, no, I will not disclose my age). I’ve checked off a whopping two of them. While binge-watching “The Amazing Race” with my fiance’ about a month ago, we both started making those fateful remarks of, “[insert city or country here] would be amazing to visit.”
He finally looked at me and said we should make a list of everywhere we wanted to visit and make a plan to go to at least one every year. Considering that we already have two lists of Work to be Done On and Around the House that continually get misplaced and pushed off, I wasn’t keen on the list idea. (Sidebar: lists are great and all, but if they are not staring you in the face every day, they are not going to get accomplished) I then suggested the globe.
Voila! Our cork board globe and push pins was born! That picture is our actual dream vacation globe. The red pins are where we’ve already been (together). The blue pins are where we’ve planned to go this year (one is potentially going to be scrapped depending on what COVID-19 decides to do; the other two are our honeymoon locations). And all of those green pins (and you can’t actually see all of them) are where we want to go…and those keep multiplying as (mostly he) we see/read about new places.
It’s made our dreams reality and given us a concrete plan to follow. It’s also made it fun and given us a conversation piece to have around the house. Instead of driving ourselves crazy with always saying, “I think it’d be great to go there,” we can just take out a pin and pop it into the globe. And when we finish one trip, we get to move on and decide the next year’s and change pin colors.
It’s making a dream fun and attainable!
It also grants me a moment of peace when I’m tied up in a scene I can’t make work or finding myself frustrated that queries are getting rejected. I can look at that globe and find determination to keep going. Yes, it’s a goal and dream for the two of us, but it’s one for me, too. What new articles can come out of a trip somewhere I’ve never been? What new ideas, characters? It’s sanity on multiple levels, and that ain’t a bad thing!