Dreams—Tips From The Greatest Showman

by Jeanne Takenaka, @jeannetakenaka

Who has seen The Greatest Showman? Can I just say it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while? One of my favorite aspects of this movie is how Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum dreams. He kept an optimistic spirit, even when “bleak” defined his life. He infused light into the dark times.

Barnum needed to earn money to support his family, but got fired from his job. His daughter’s words kindled the dream for what would one day become his circus. He worked for his dream. He didn’t know exactly what he needed to do, so he started somewhere. He tried things. Some plans failed. Others succeeded.

P. T. Barnum kept dreaming. In the process of bringing the “misfits” of life together, he created a safe place. A place of acceptance.

His dream was not without opposition. Protestors shouted outside his building, becoming increasingly dangerous.

The thing is, Barnum persevered. He kept working toward his dream to bring smiles to peoples’ faces. He purchased an amazing home for his family.

He chose to see the possible, rather than the impossible in his situation. Even when things were at their worst, he held tightly to what he hoped to achieve.

He worked hard. He didn’t give up after a mistake or a setback. He figured out how to make it better.

He discovered what was most important. The dream was amazing. But the people who came together as a result of the dream being realized? They were what made his dream worthwhile.

How does all of this apply to us? As writers, most of us have dreams. We want our words to touch hearts. Our books to be published.

But, this road? It ain’t easy. We can take a few notes from The Greatest Showman to help us walk our paths toward fulfilling our dreams.

1. Determine to keep a positive outlook. Even when the rejections come. The contest scores tank. Remember why we write.

2. We all make mistakes. Figure out what’s not working with our writing and learn how to make it better. Talk with a mentor. Research online. Read books. We never have to stay stuck where we are.

3. Don’t fear opposition. We have an enemy who wants to defeat us. People who want to discourage us. We need to remember that God gives us our dreams. He will enable us to fulfill them in His way and time.

4. Remember there’s more to a dream being fulfilled than our words being published. Choose gratitude for those who help us along the way.

God is the Dream-Giver. His vision for our dreams may look different from our vision. We need to seek Him first. Ask Him to guide us as we work on our stories. And then walk on the path He leads us to.

What about you? If you’ve seen this movie, what did you like best about it? How do you keep your dreams alive?

Tweet: How do you keep your #dreams alive? Dreams–Tips From The Greatest Showman by @JeanneTakenaka via @NovelAcademy #writing #encouragement https://ctt.ec/i67yo+

~*~

Jeanne Takenaka writes contemporary fiction that touches the heart. She won My Book Therapy’s Frasier award in 2014 after finaling in the contest in 2013. She was a Genesis 2015 finalist in the romance category, and she finaled in the Launching a Star Contest and the Phoenix Rattler in 2012. An active member of ACFW and My Book Therapy, Jeanne blogs about life and relationships at http://jeannetakenaka.wordpress.com. A graduate with an M.A. in education, she resides in Colorado with her husband and two exuberant boys who hope to one day have a dog of their own.

Write Like an Olympian

by Kariss Lynch, @Kariss_Lynch

It’s time for the 2018 Olympics, and with the opening ceremonies, I will be retreating to my living room as I watch a few weeks of athletes chasing their dreams amidst massive adrenaline rushes. I literally count down to the Olympics every year. I’m drawn to the stories of these individuals, and I love watching our flag raised high and the national anthem play after each of their victories. But I think what I love most about the Olympics is that on some level I relate to these athletes, maybe not in skill set but I do in drive, and I think there is something we as writers can learn from them.

  1. Discipline

It is no small feat to stand on an international stage. Before these athletes get their one or two shots to compete, they are training tirelessly, often for years leading up to the big event. That training often entails injury, early mornings, long hours, lots of pain and sweat, and maybe even discouragement. But I imagine when they stand at the top of the mountain about to ski down or grip their partner’s hand before they glide onto the ice, all the time spent is worth it. We will never see our publishing dreams come to life without hours of discipline. These are the hours no one else will ever see, and these are the hours that will shape us the most.

  1. Dreaming

I am a dreamer by nature, and I imagine many of these athletes are, as well. Making our dreams a reality requires intentionality, something these athletes do not lack. It is clear to me that many of them don’t just show up to these games to compete. They show up because they love their sport. Likewise, I will need taste victory if I fail to dream with intention and get so caught up in the discipline and task that I forget why I started this journey in the first place – because I love story.

  1. Daring

It takes daring to lead in innovation, scores, and skill in a sport. It takes a willingness to try the things others won’t, to know your body and its possibilities and limitations and push until you see victory. It takes character that races forward in spite of fear, obstacles, and insecurity. Daring embraces the challenge and perseveres. I want to be like that with my writing. I want to be the innovator, the creator, the encourager, and the challenger of the status quo. I want to know the stories God has given me and write them without fear, and I want to encourage my readers to live boldly.

I am constantly inspired by these athletes, and I want to be that source of inspiration to readers. I want to watch these games, cheer for Team USA, and then grab my computer and write like an Olympian. Who’s with me? USA! USA!

Tweet: Write like an Olympian by @Kariss_Lynch via @NovelAcademy https://ctt.ec/6jaIH+ #writing

Tweet: 3 Tips For Writers to Write Like Olympians by @Kariss_Lynch via @NovelAcademy https://ctt.ec/P203z+ #writing

~*~

Kariss Lynch writes contemporary romance about characters with big dreams, adventurous hearts, and enduring hope. She is the author of the Heart of a Warrior series and loves to encourage her readers to have courage. In her free time, she hangs out with her family and friends, explores the great outdoors, and tries not to plot five stories at once. Connect with her at karisslynch.com, or on Facebook, Instagram, or Goodreads.

 

5 Tips for Keeping Your Dreams Alive After Disappointments

by Jeanne Takenaka, @jeannetakenaka

We all have friends who share their dreams coming true online. Whether they’ve been signed with an agent or gotten a book contract, these are joyful steps forward toward the fulfilling of a dream.

But what about when we take those steps and meet with . . . disappointment?

The first time I received a pass for a book I’d spent hours on, disappointment hit harder than I ever expected. I questioned if I was even meant to be a writer. And all those old lies screamed doubt across my heart. My mind went everywhere from giving up writing altogether to submitting to a different agent, to “Why in the world did I think I could write and publish a book?”

I needed to address a number of heart-issues before moving forward on this journey.

These are a few steps I’ve taken to walk through disappointments:

  • Take time to feel the disappointment . . . but don’t stay there.
  • Look at the validity of the feedback, and remember to see the positive. It’s easy to focus on the negative things that were said about these “babies’ in word form. If you’re like me, you only see the negative things that were shared, and your eyes skim past the positives that may have also been conveyed. Stop. Find the positives and remember we’re all works in progress.
  • Talk with a friend if you need to regain perspective. When I got my “‘pass” on that manuscript, I needed the encouraging words of a friend who is further along on this journey. She helped me see the big picture perspective I had been missing.
  • Take a little time and then get back at it. When we determine to keep working out our dreams, fear loses a battle.
  • Remember that God has given each of us a calling to write. He never asked us to do it alone. We need to trust Him and move forward in fulfilling it.

Achieving a dream is never as easy as we think it will be. Timing often looks different on God’s calendar than it does on ours. We will face times of disappointment and discouragement.

When we yield our dreams into His care, He will bring His vision of the dream to pass in our lives, in His way and His timing.

I’m still moving toward seeing my dreams become reality. I will face more disappointments, but I won’t walk through them alone. And this truth gives me the needed courage to keep moving forward.

What about you? What tips have helped you face disappointment and come out on the other side? What keeps you moving forward on this writing journey?

Tweetables:

Tweet: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Dreams Alive After Disappointments by @jeannetakenaka via @NovelAcademy #writing https://ctt.ec/5a651+

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~*~

Jeanne Takenaka writes contemporary fiction that touches the heart. She won My Book Therapy’s Frasier award in 2014 after finaling in the contest in 2013. She was a Genesis 2015 finalist in the romance category, and she finaled in the Launching a Star Contest and the Phoenix Rattler in 2012. An active member of RWA, ACFW and My Book Therapy, Jeanne blogs about life and relationships at http://jeannetakenaka.wordpress.com. A graduate with an M.A. in education, she resides in Colorado with her husband and two exuberant teenage boys who hope to one day have a dog of their own.

What I did when my life and writing got out of control…

I know I’ve mentioned that when I started writing, I lived in Siberia. I had four kids, I was teaching ESL, going to the market every day and carrying home our food in a backpack, washing cloth diapers by hand (yes) and trying to learn another language. My plate was pretty full.

But I had this dream, see, the one that kept me sane late at night when Hubs was away, when the kids were in bed. I wanted to be a novelist. I didn’t know how it would happen, I just followed the nudge. Followed what brought me joy. Followed my talents and skills and passions to see where they would lead.

Nearly twenty years later, I’m a full-time novelist, written over 60 books, and run an academy for novelists. And I’m a wife, mom, grandma and I try to be a participating, good servant in my world. But it can be overwhelming, I admit it. (She says after feeding people for a week of Christmas festivities.)

For years, I struggled to find the right planner—one built for the creative mind, the spiritual person, an entrepreneur and writer and a busy get-it-all-done woman. I usually ended up with four planners—a journal for my inner life, a wall calendar for the family activities, a business planner for my marketing and speaking events and a writing journal where I could capture my brainstorming. I had to lug them all around in a big bag.

This year, I thought…I’ll simplify. (And, I’ll go to the chiropractor less!) I wanted a place for meditation and prayer, a place for my goals, a place for my daily logs, and a place to keep all my habits and daily tasks.

After all, this is the story of my life.

Working with a talented artist who understood the needs of a creator, I sat down and created a planner for a creative, busy writer. I synthesized the organization of a seasoned CEO, the motivation, and self-analysis of a life and business coach, the daily habits of a wife and mother, and the brainstorming techniques of a career novelist. Organizing them into logical (and pretty!) logs, I put together what I consider the perfect planner for a career novelist/authorpreneur/creative. Someone who wants their whole life in one, well, big book. One fabulous place to keep track of everything.

And, the really cool part is that this feels like a book, with the interior and cover set up like a novel. Because it’s the story of your life.

I’m so excited to introduce The My Book Therapy Dream Keeper & Planner 2018. Classy, Pretty, Motivational—the place to create your vision, stay motivated, ignite your writing, improve productivity, live with joy and get it all done.

  • Jumpstart your Year with analysis and planning to discover the most lucrative and joy-driven projects, a place for reflecting, dreaming big and following your passions.
  • Plan for Success with the Brainstorming and Project Boards to hone your ideas and create actionable projects. Quarterly and 90-day task sheets help you break them into energizing and goal-crushing tasks.
  • Make it Happen with the Month-at-a-Glance and weekly planners. You’ll see your projects take form.
  • Put Action to your Task List with the Daily Logs, a week-at-a-glance planner that incorporates not only your big projects but daily habits, menus and exercise/life activities.
  • Stay Motivated with the daily inspiration section and motivational quotes in the back.
  • Analyze and plan for the next amazing month with the month-end analysis.
  • Finish your year with a review and a plan for the next.

You’ll be amazed at the brilliant year you had.

And, don’t forget the BONUS STORYCRAFTING Section in the back. Brainstorming and plotting sheets for three books, including an indie-book project sheet to track your deadlines and finances!

This is more than a planner, it’s a keeper of your dreams. Because your story—the one you live and the one you create—matters.

8.5×11, matte cover, paperback. 490 pages (yes, it’s big, but so is your life.)

Some snapshots!

I’m not sure where you are in your journey, but if you’re a creative, a business person and a person who wants to incorporate their spiritual journey with the rest of their life, then this planner will help you keep it all in one amazing place. Get your copy today (and then attend my FREE webinar next Thursday on how to follow your joy and create your brilliant 2018 plan!)

Most importantly, it’ll help me keep all those deadlines for the brilliant (hopefully!) books I plan to write in 2018!

Your Story Matters!

Make it brilliant in 2018!

P.S.  If you’d like a PDF copy that is downloadable and printable, find it here!