by Missy Hancock
I didn’t do it on purpose—hire the substitute dream. I didn’t even realize I had done it. Maybe I was drunk…but since I don’t really drink, that’s quite unlikely. Maybe I was out of my mind with worry about making a living, yep, pretty sure that’s it. You see, I had only recently excavated the dream, exhumed its body and breathed life back into it by writing a few books. I was a writer! What I did not realize was that being a writer and being a financially successful writer are two very very different things, with only the select finding their way into the second group. It turns out that the dream wasn’t just to be a writer but to be a writer that actually sold books and had fans and made money. But the bloody idealist in me likes to reject the importance of money. My inner idealist says that the nobler pursuit is the pursuit of art and the money matters not, only whether one has totally given ones self to the art. (Yes, my inner idealist is a drama queen not to mention a terrible businesswoman.) And so without the knowledge of the rest of me, part of me just up and hired a substitute dream. And I stopped thinking of myself as a writer. And I stopped dreaming and believing of the day that I would have huge book sales and people eagerly awaiting my next release date. And I put my mind to other matters.
I have left a third book finished and sitting in a g-mail document file for over a year plus numerous others in various stages, some with hundreds of pages written. Letting a book sit is not entirely a bad thing. Some of the great authors suggest putting your work in a drawer for a few months before you move forward. It helps you judge the work more fairly. You are less in love with your own words at that point. But an entire year–I feel like a neglectful mother! I’m not sure exactly what happened this morning, but I woke up and said to myself, “I’m a writer. I need to write.” My subconscious was chanting positive affirmations about my destiny as a writer and when I finally pulled myself from beneath my covers, my dream was fully restored in its rightful place and the substitute dream had been pushed back into its proper position as just one of those good things that I do and I believe in to make the world a better place and to help us make a living. You see, the substitute dream is this lovely little art gallery and handmade market we run in the front of an old Victorian-era building in Guthrie, Oklahoma called Hancock Creative Shop. The shop is up front and we live and make art in the back. It is really a quite wonderful and noble pursuit that I have no intentions in quitting. But the truest way I express my creativity is through words. And since one of the main reasons for opening this little shop was to inspire others in their creativity and art, it was entirely wrong for me to deny my own creative dreams.
You have a dream too, in there somewhere…we all do. Some of you have hidden your dream away so deeply or camouflaged it so completely that you can hardly remember or recognize it anymore. You may have laid your dream to rest with a nice funeral ceremony and burial. But I promise you, as long as you have breath, it is never too late to exhume your dream. Dig it up! Follow it! Fulfill it! Because these dreams are the thing that life, real life, the breathless, spinning, “burn, burn, burning” life is made of. And we all need a little bit more of that kind of living. We have some big dreams here at Hancock Creative Shop. And we just might be crazy enough to believe in those dreams. We believe in you and your dreams too. So come by and see us. Buy some art. Buy a t-shirt. Breathe in the creative energy and remember your own dreams. That’s why we’re here. I’ll be in the back writing, but I will gladly pop out to fan the flames of your dreams. Oh, yeah, and to sell you something.;)
This lovely little Quote Sign is available in our shop at 116 S 2nd St, Guthrie, OK & also online at hancockcreativeshop.etsy.com .