Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Living My Dream - 10 Days at a Time

by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. -- Henry David Thoreau

I recently returned home from a 10-day trip to New England. It was a combination vacation/book tour/family visit, but most of the time was spent writing, researching and marketing books, and spending time with other authors. In short, for 10 days, I lived the life I had always imagined.

Last month, Bill Cameron wrote a very funny and thoughtful posting called The Frito Truck in which he disclosed some of his dreams about writing and invited the rest of us to talk about our dreams.

My dream is to write full time, in comfortable surroundings. During my recent trip East, I would rise between 6 and 6:30 am, write until about 8:30 am, then join the other B&B guests for breakfast and lively conversation. After breakfast, I would adjourn to a patio table where I would sit in the sun, facing pine covered mountains, and write for another 2 hours or so. After, I would get in the car and head out to do research for a new book, sight seeing or a book signing. When I returned, I would settle in for a bit more writing and end the day reading. WHAT A LIFE! It's the life I've always imagined for myself.

Now I'm back in Los Angeles. Back to the day job with it's petty politics and mounds of paper-pushing. Back to jealously guarding the time I set aside to write. Back to juggling two separate and often colliding lives. Now don't get me wrong. I really enjoy my day job as a paralegal, but it's what I do to earn money to live. As a paralegal, I work to live, not live to work. As a writer, I live to work. It's quite a difference.

I have to keep reminding myself that each step I take, no matter how frustrating it might seem at the time, is taking me in the direction of my dreams. Mr. Thoreau's words have become my personal mantra, and I try to live the life I have imagined, even if only for 10 days, or 4 days, or even 1 day, at a time.


Deb Baker said...

Someday it will be yours for more than a few weeks each year! Your stories are wonderful.

Mark Combes said...

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…"

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lee Lofland said...

I must say, Sue Ann, that you truly did look happy when I stopped by your signing in Bellingham, Ma.

I'm glad you made it home safely. I hope to see you again, soon.

Keith Raffel said...

Maybe having a day job helps. Einstein was working in the patent office when he wrote his most important papers!

Felicia Donovan said...

Sue Ann, I'm so glad you made that New England trip and we were able to break bread and I was able to absorb all your veteran wisdom.

I know what it feels like to live the dream in the 10-day hiatus. You think, "If only..." but then the reality check bounces and the bills roll in. I keep thinking about what you said to me as we ate our fine Italian dinner and sipped at the twenty-year old Cabarnet (okay, I'm stretching - we both had water with lemon). You asked, "How bad do you want it?" Those words keep resonating in my head. You've worked incredibly hard to get where you're at and things are starting to really happen for you because of all that hard work. That dream is just around the corner. Just turn and walk that way...

Thom Jaffarian said...

Sis, I'm proud of you and here is the quote I use.

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.? ? Mark Twain