Waking up can be challenging. If you are in the middle of an incredible dream, or just completely in a deep slumber, one of the last things that you may want to do is to get up and start the day. My dad used to say “Don’t sleep your life away.” I don’t really think that’s what I would do. I think it had more to do with the fact I didn’t want to awaken from a very cool dream that gave me a sense of peace and happiness. Waking up just meant I had to face the reality it was just a dream.
There’s a fine balance between dreaming dreams and making them come true. In order to make any dream come true you have to find ways of making those dreams become a reality. A really good friend of mine gave me a sweet gift for my birthday. She gave me a journal that I could keep by my bed in order to jot the dreams that I have down while I’m thinking about them. It really seems to help. I used to try to remember all my dreams without writing them down. That was a gigantic mistake.
I’ve heard for years to make an outline of my ideas. Logistically speaking it makes a ton of sense. So how do you create an outline when you don’t really know how to get your thoughts sorted into just a few phrases? In short, to steal a line from Nike, “Just Do It.”. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But you need a guide.
I like to write out the main plots of what I dreamed. If I can remember the smaller details, I’ve started jotting those down because nine times out of ten I will forget the small things. In my mind, I still envision outlining for grades in elementary and junior high. The biggest difference is that I don’t get a grade for what I jot down but it’s the discipline that helps to keep me focused.
After you get the idea down, what is the central theme of your dream/s? Are there lessons that need to be learned from the dream? Or is there just an incredible story of wonder and excitement that you want told? How long should the story be? Do you have a way to tie up loose ends? And what is the time frame that you want the story told in?
Asking these types of questions can help you to pinpoint what is and isn’t important in your writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a proposal, a research project, a story, or a blog. Organize your thoughts. I’m working on that skill constantly. The only way to improve is to keep trying.
None of us are perfect. We all have ideas that can seem great at the time only to be frustrating later. Use sticky notes or note cards to jot ideas on. Some folks like to do everything on the computer while others like a more traditional approach. Try different ways of organizing your thoughts. Creating things for our professional and personal lives doesn’t have to be a chore. It can open up new portals of possibilities. It can also generate ideas that are worth sharing.
- Don’t make it hard. I read another blog where the writer said to give yourself only a few choices in your writings. The reason behind this is that the more you have to choose, the more difficult it is to make the decision. One of the most critical mistakes that I’ve experienced is when my brain is going 1000 miles a minute and it has so much on my mind that I can’t sort out my thoughts and everything is jumbled. It can feel overwhelming and confusing. The beautiful part is that if you can take a breath, focus, and stay calm, many times, you will be able to start sorting out your thoughts and emotions. Sometimes it takes stepping back before you can step up.
- Focus. It’s pretty much a given that when we lose focus we tend to be all over the place with a project or assignment. Focusing helps to pinpoint a task and achieve success.
- Create your outline and go from there. Once you get an outline, then you can add or subtract from pertinent information that will help you strengthen your task.
- User precise words. Being redundant and rambling can spell disaster. Don’t repeat everything. I work on this all the time.
- Test everything. One of the biggest lessons that is given when you take web development classes is to test everything. Nothing is ever truly perfect. There’s always ways for things to have glitches. By testing out what you are doing, you are giving yourself better information to present a stronger project.
- Last but not least, have fun. You don’t have to be perfect to create an incredible piece. You just need to have fun, pay attention and be true to yourself.
Dreams are just a way for us to see beyond what we normally do. My point is simple. Change begins with dreams. We have the power to incite those dreams into fruition. Our actions do have consequences but they also have positive reactions that stem from what’s inside of us. My challenge for all of you is to turn a dream into a reality. Be the positive points of change that you believe need changing. The only thing you have to lose is time.