Wild Dreaming: More Questions to Transform Your Writing Life by Rochelle Melander

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore. —André Gide

Last week, you reflected on the past year—what worked, what didn’t work, and what you learned from each experience. In addition, you thought about what you’d like to do more and less of in the coming year. If you have not had a chance to ponder those questions, you can find them here.

This week we’re dreaming forward, imagining what we might create in the coming weeks and months. I’ve been listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estes audio CD, The Dangerous Old Woman: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype. She encourages: “stand in your danger.” I’ve been mulling over that phrase. It seems to call us—wise women and men—to step into that place that both scares and transforms us, the place where magic happens. According to Marianne Williamson, it is this place of light and power that terrifies us and transforms the world. Howard Thurman talked about it as the place that makes us “come alive.” Whatever phrase you use, I think that we will do some mighty powerful dreaming if we stand in our danger when we dream. Here we go!

Take your journal and a bunch of colored pens and get out of your house. I like to do this kind of dreaming in coffee shops and art museums, while listening to inspiring music on my iPod. Forget about your past and what it has prepared you to do. Stop worrying about the training and experience you don’t have. Ignore the critics—especially those who live in your brain and spout nonsense when you write. Take no notice of the publishing prophets who proclaim that the end of everything is near. Disregard any voice or noise that says: “you can’t” or “it’s never been done before” or “you don’t know enough” or even “you don’t have the talent, time, or money.” Let go of all of it—all of the ideas and information and crap—that holds you back.

Ready? Now sketch out a single dream or many. Write up as many wild ideas as you can imagine. You can mind map, draw pictures, or scribble your ideas in your journal. Stand in your danger—that amazing place that both scares and enchants you. In my book, A Generous Presence: Spiritual Leadership and the Art of Coaching, I listed a bunch of questions that help us think outside the box of our lives. They might help you as you dream:

*What would you do if you had nothing to lose?

*What would you do if money were no object?

*What would you do if you didn’t care what people thought?

*What would you do if you knew you would not fail?

*What would you do if you knew you had one year to live?

(p. 298)

Try doing this exercise multiple times in the next weeks. Each time you dream, you’ll be able to imagine dreams that live further from your comfort zone. If you need variety, try dreaming in different ways:

*craft a vision board or a collage

*write a story about your imagined adventures

*create a website or social media profile for the future you

*collect ideas on a Pinterest board (you can now create private boards)

*write a wish list of people you’d like to connect with, projects you want to create, events you’d like to attend.

Happy dreaming, writers!

 

Resources:

Inspiring music and sayings on my Pinterest board, Inspire: http://pinterest.com/writenowcoach/inspire/

Find writing inspiration here: http://pinterest.com/writenowcoach/writing-inspiration/

Stand in My Danger poem by Clarissa Pinkola Estes https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=140654712649683

 

 

 

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