Writing Exercise Week 2: Themes and Dreams

“What’s your dream? What’s your dream? Eh, Mister! Eh! What’s your dream?”

Who can tell me what movie that line is from?

Well, any guesses?

A big bag of cyber chocolate goes those who knew it was from Pretty Woman:

I love that part of the movie. It’s hopeful. Enthusiastic. A sweet way to end the story. And it makes me wonder:

What’s my dream?

By now, you might have already made a list of New Years resolutions. Mine is usually finished by January 2nd, January 3rd, at the latest. It’s always an extensive whopper of a list, with rarely less than thirty goals that address every single aspect of my life ranging from writing to reading to exercising to housework, businesswork, wifework, momwork, and what I need to do to be a perfect person. And once I finish this list–by God–I will finally be able to call myself a successful, worthwhile person.


As I started my list for 2013, I thought about the challenges we faced last year. Gotta say, some of them were pretty rough and caused me to … no, correction … I allowed them to drain my spirit and kill my creativity. And every time I looked at my mostly unchecked list, I felt more and more like a failure.

This year, I decided to do something different.

I didn’t make a list. Not one. I just didn’t feel like it.

Does this mean I don’t have goals? No, I still want to do at least one writing exercise a week. And I plan on doing May Midgrade Madness again and 2013 will finally, FINALLY by the year I finish NaNoWriMo! Plus, I have three books to edit, a rough draft to write, and a project I’m doing with a friend. And as a bonus, I want to re-read every single book Joan Bauer has written because she’s awesome and Hope Was Here should be required reading. But that’s my business plan. My job, not resolutions. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on two things:

My theme and my dream.

My theme for this year–or focus word, if you will–is THRIVE. Not just survive, but THRIVE.

Nice, huh?

As for my dream, well … I want to be a writer.

Okay, you might be thinking, uh, Laura? Aren’t you a writer already?

Technically, yes, I am, at least that’s what my tax return says. But I haven’t felt like a writer for a long time. It’s become a chore for me, a “sit down, shut up, and finish this book, already, so you can help pay for your sons’ college!” I lost touch with my creative self, lost touch with inner artist, and mostly … I lost my love of writing.

Isn’t that a horrible thing to confess?

But it’s true. I haven’t for a while.

Now. About my dreams. When I think of my “dream” writing life, it doesn’t consist of me winning a Newbery, selling a twenty-book series for a bazillion dollars or hanging out with Libra Bray and Joan Bauer, although … duh … I wouldn’t exactly turn down the opportunity. (Call me, Joan!)

Instead, my dream for writing is simple: To always be engaged in story every single day through writing, editing, learning about writing, or reading. I want to wake in the morning, grab some coffee, and bury myself in my latest manuscript for at least a few hours before going back to the reality of my other jobs and never ending to-do list. I want to live art. Tap into my creative self. Visit museums. Learn how to crochet.

Love writing.

And who knows, a love of writing could one day lead me to that Newbery …

For now, however, Susan Mannix (my lovely co-blogger for those who are new here) and I are off to a good start by having our first ever writer’s retreat at my home. Well, it’s more like a self-imposed basement lockdown for me, but hey, couldn’t beat the hotel rates. 🙂


So now it’s time for me to ask …

What’s your dream? What’s your dream? Eh, SCBWI’ers! Eh! What’s your dream?

(Sorry. Couldn’t help it.)

But for those who are following along with my writing exercise goal, that’s your weekly assignment, for both writers and illustrators: To jot down your theme and dream for the year. Don’t you just love an easy one?

And as for me, well, I’m off to reward today’s writing by watching a movie about writers:


And may you all have a dreamy, wonder-filled 2013 with happy writing and drawing! 🙂

Writing Exercise Week 1

About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two awesome boys, wife of one fantastic husband, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She loves run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
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4 Responses to Writing Exercise Week 2: Themes and Dreams

  1. I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot, and my dream for the year is to write more than a good story. I want to write books that stand on the shoulders of giants. I’m reading Rebecca Stead’s Liar and Spy, which is just impregnated with Harriet the Spy and Paul Zindel’s The Undertaker’s Gone Bananas, while still being completely its own gem of a book. Reading this book is a lush experience because of that. I want to demand THAT of my writing.

    My secondary goal, since hearing Mary Amato speak at the Mid-Atlantic conference, is to spend more time journaling in scenes. I’m still spending too much time philosophizing–but journaling has brought me back in touch with a routine and way of thinking that I abandoned for the sake of getting the most of my now-limited free time. Not sure if it will result in better writing or any good books, but I’m not sure this particular commitment has to be about results.

  2. “For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.

  3. Hi, Pamela, I can’t quite tell if you were directly speaking to me or not, but in case you are, I just wanted to clarify that I wasn’t really thinking about the first draft, but more about thinking a little longer about the book’s big picture, and giving myself permission to imagine my writing in conversation with books that came before it. I can see how that might make a lot of people feel intimidated and blocked, but for me, I feel like what’s holding me back is settling for very good when I should be striving for excellent. Just my personal goal. Believe me, I know from shitty first drafts.

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