Friday, December 30, 2011

Dream a Little for 2012

This post originally appeared at Meanderings and Muses, the wonderful blog of Kaye Barley. Because it's almost 2012, and a lot of people are thinking about what they want to accomplish next year, I thought I'd re-post it here.

Happy New Year.


One day, I quit dreaming—and it took me over forty years to figure it out.

At some point, it became easier to turn my back on a dream, to let it fade, then to not be perfect each step on the way toward making that dream a reality. (Perfection is really a stupid concept, but that’s another topic.)

What I had, when I quit dreaming, were flat goals. Goals that belonged to other people. Goals I committed to for some reason: to keep my job; to make a loved one happy; because everyone else had a similar goal. They weren’t wrong, they just weren’t mine.

A few weeks ago, while writing my morning pages (if you haven’t read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, what are you waiting for?), I recognized the little girl who used to dream (with a certain amount of fearlessness) had stopped, and I began work to get her back.

I heard this as recently as last week: “Unless it’s specific, with a timeline, it’s not a goal. It’s just a dream.”

Just a dream.

A little belittling to dreams, if you ask me.

I’m not saying my life for forty years consisted of dull days and a series of tasks. Far from it. But I am saying I missed the richness—the possibility—dreams provide.

How do you keep a soul in your goals? Inspiration in your perspiration?


I’ve decided a dream is a little like a new idea for a novel. I toss it around for a while. Turn it over. Is it something I can build a whole story around—a life around? If it feels good, grabs me, then I begin to plot it out. Or, for those of you are more of a “live life by the seat of your pants” kind of person, dive in until your dream begins to take shape. If the idea has staying power, it’s full speed ahead.

The best goals begin as dreams. The best dreams are your dreams. Dreams that fill your soul. They demand you go after them. It’s your pursuit that makes the dream stronger and turns it into (gasp!) a goal.

Before you kick yourself for not accomplishing everything on your list in 2011, consider whether those things were your goals or someone else’s. And before you begin to contemplate what you would like to have happen in 2012, dream a little.

CR: Just finished reading an ARC from Debbi Mack. It was terrific. Be looking for Riptide in February!

It's all better with friends.


  1. Peg, this is still one of my favorite posts--and so timely for the upcoming year.

  2. I'm honored that you like it. Thank you.

  3. Your posts always hit home with me. Thanks!

    BTW, I got Write Away for Christmas. Been too busy to delve into it but I'm excited to get started. I have my hi-lighter ready.

    Hope you and yours had a great Christmas and that 2012 is the year you get your 3 book contract.

  4. Thanks, Jess. And my very best wishes for a fabulous 2012 for you too!

    I can't wait to hear what you think of WRITE AWAY. I loved it.

  5. Sigh. The blog helps me relax a little. Just posted it to facebook.
    Excited that one of my dreams came true this Christmas. For ten years I had been first release, Shades of the Orient, just came out in Dec. Yeah! A DREAM COME TRUE! I never gave up on the dream.

  6. Awesome post! Happy New Year, Peg! Hope 2012 is full of dreams come true :)

  7. Stephanie, congratulations on your release. Fabulous!

    And Nissie, I can't begin to tell you how many times you've brightened my day this past year. I'm so grateful for Drew . . . he's how we met!

  8. Thank you so much, Peg! Knowing that I might in someway make someone's day a little better makes MY day better. I'm grateful for Drew, too. Very glad I met you and made a new, wonderful friend this year! I'll have to mention it to him next time we speak. <3