Monday, May 27, 2013
Wake Up and Dream
Let’s take a few minutes a do something I love to do…dream. We do it as children and then later teach our children how to dream, yet we forget to do it ourselves because we are practical grownups. Well, too bad. You’re with me now. I don’t participate in such things. I dream. I always have. I always will. I’m a perpetual 15 year old. We cannot achieve it unless we believe it, and you cannot believe it unless you first dream it.
Dream of having the choice of picking what type of celebrity you wanted to be. Which would you choose? Would it be a world class singer? Maybe someone who had just won American Idol? Do you seek the fortune and fame they would receive? The instant record deal? Every door you walk out of, you are swamped by fans wanting your autograph? You have a team of people around you, assigned to you, taking care of your needs, making sure you’re comfortable, making sure you’re happy. You cut that first, much-anticipated album. It goes gold because everyone wants it. The money comes in. Money like you’ve never seen before. You go on tour. Buses. Private jets. Mansions. The opposite sex clamoring for you. The same sex clamoring for you. All this because you have one of the best voices in the world and you were in the right place at the right time.
How about a politician? Not as glamorous you say? You have the looks, the smarts. You can charm anyone with your words and how you use them. You’re surrounded by smart people who have a plan to get you where you want. They have connections. Rich people with vast wealth who can finance you. You haven’t done much really, but already people are gathering around you. They want to be around you, to touch you, be your friend, work for you. You’re going to be powerful. Picture yourself as the essence of power in a few short years. Teams of security around you, hustling you here and there. Even people you know can’t get near you. You’ve made it. You’ve become one of the most powerful people in the world.
Don’t like either of those? What about an actor? You worked your craft and was ‘discovered’, gaining your big chance in a big movie with a small part. You stole the show. You aren’t a secret any longer. You have a different agent now. A publicist. A new contract. New scripts coming in like crazy. Realtors lining up to show you homes. The opposite sex lining up to show you…never mind. You’re suddenly going to parties of people you’ve never met or hardly ever heard of. Everywhere you go, there’s liquor, drugs, press, the opposite sex, the same sex, and autograph seekers. This is your life. You’ve made it. You will now get married to another actor every eighteen months until you retire.
I know I sound cynical about those professions above. I think they’re fine professions if that is what you choose and have the talent for them. As long as we are dreaming and are being honest, my ‘dream’ profession a novelist. Why? Simple. First, you have the fame without the fanfare. I am the type of guy that would not want all the people in my face. I want to be able to walk down the street and not have anyone know who in the world I was. That is my idea of being a celebrity.
Another aspect of writing and my dream ties all this together. Look again at the professions above and what we all love to do. I have incredible admiration for singers. I wish I could carry a tune. I do, but I can’t. The fact is the singer above, in spite of their talent and abilities, will not be a star and achieve their dreams unless there is a person or persons in the background who writes what they sing. Someone has to create the incredible music and lyrics for that person to make history. That does not happen without a writer.
A politician does not rise to power and stay in power or lie when they are in power without the written word. Incredible speech writers have to pump out speeches for their bosses rather quickly, catching the moment with just the right emotion and using the personality of the politician. That takes talent. Not just any writer can do that.
Actors can’t possibly win awards or even earn their millions per picture without scripts. Why does one movie do well and another flop with the same great actors? Could it be the writing? The story? The actors bow and sign their autographs, but the words are not theirs. They only borrow them.
What we do, even as poorly as we sometimes do it, is pure art. We are dreaming, but we are closer to that dream than most will ever achieve.
This country, as a side note, is missing a simple, but powerful point. The greatest single thing our young people can learn how to do WELL is…WRITE. We, as parents and teachers have to educate our kids on how to DREAM and how to WRITE and how to WRITE ABOUT OUR DREAMS.
My dream? It’s simple, really. I’m walking down the street and someone calls out in a pleasant voice, “Hey there. Aren’t you? Yeah, you are…you’re the guy that wrote that cool novel I loved so much. Would you mind signing my Kindle?”