Here’s the Emerson quote: Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
And here’s the prompt: Write down your top three dreams. Now write down what’s holding you back from them.
You know, there’s an old quote that’s attributed to Joseph Campbell. Campbell, if I remember correctly, wound up regretting that he said that. According to wikipedia, because people used that quote as a justification for hedonism, he’s later reported to have grumbled “I should have said ‘follow your blisters.'” So, to realize success – which I will hereby define as being able to provide food, clothing, shelter, + a little extra for some fun, your dreams – your bliss or whatever – needs to coincide with the needs of the marketplace.
Yes, I’m a capitalist. But as Danny Elfman said, “There’s nothing wrong with capitalism.” (YouTube link)
And yes, I’m perfectly aware that Elfman may not espouse that view today.
So, what are your dreams?
Mine are to write well enough to be able to support my family with my writing. I’ve been reading David Mamet’s The Secret Knowledge today, and it’s some of the best writing advice I’ve ever seen. Of course, it’s also an interesting take on education, writing, politics, etc. I don’t know that I’ll ever be as good as Mamet. And that’s okay. I don’t have to be. I just have to be good enough to sell. And while that may not be the most predictable thing in the world, it has the virtue of being very clear of when you’ve gotten there. Good enough to sell enough – that’s my goal. How to get there? Pffft. Write. Write more. Edit. Polish. Submit. Self-publish some. All that jazz.
Second dream – I’d like to lose about forty pounds. I’m up from last year (last year I would have said I wanted to lose twenty pounds. It’s been a stressful year.) I’ve joined a gym this year, and I’m going a couple times a week, so I’m taking baby steps toward that.
And last but certainly not least, I’d like to own a house. The wife and I currently reside with her grandparents, which has worked out pretty well. They’re getting on in years, and aside from technical troubleshooting I’ve also done a little legal work for them. The wife cooks, Queso entertains, etc. But we really want to get out and on our own. See dream #1. I don’t know that my writing is going to get me to House Ownership status on a schedule any of us would like it to be, so there’s going to be some other work done – lawyering and whatnot, I imagine. The other day I asked someone what I should be charging as a new attorney and they quoted me a figure. So, I suppose add one more dream there – I’d like to get paid what apparently I should be worth in the marketplace.
That would be nice.