Big Dream Actioneering Report #1: Temper Tantrums & Excuses

Here’s my first official weekly check in for my “Big Dream” Actioneering. All I can say is, man alive. It’s really been two weeks, or something. Read on for details. I hope next time to be more brief. :)

It has been nothing if not interesting to observe myself and all the machinations I’ve gone through as I’ve brought myself closer to claiming my Big Dream of becoming a writer.

Here’s my update:


Well, for starters, as soon as I made the public commitment to write 4 times per week, I found myself in the quandary of putting on a live event and heading out of town, both of which required an extra level of preparation and definitely disrupted my normal routine.

Then, when we came back from L.A., I promptly came down with the “cold of the decade” and found myself completely uninterested and unwilling to write (or work, for that matter) while taking care of myself and my son, who was also sick. I promised myself that this week, I’d get back on track. And I did. Well, sort of.

Really, though, I see the cold as a giant temper tantrum. Julia Cameron describes a kriya (Sanskrit) in The Artist’s Way as “spiritual emergencies or surrender,” something designed to get our attention and say, hey, “Get it?”

I feel like this is a similar situation — On some level, I’m resisting doing the Big Writing because it terrifies me, so I choose to get sick and busy as a way to avoid doing it. Pretty creative, right?

It’s also fascinating to watch my inner critic pester me with, “it’s not creative enough, it’s not good enough,” etc.

Which reminds me, my 3rd submission, “The Gospel According to Lucky,” for the NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge did not get me through to the next round, but I got some great feedback and decided I like the story enough to want to rewrite it.

So I sent it off to some writing friends for feedback, and holy smokes, did my inner critic ever go into overdrive. He (yes, my inner critic is a he) was going all crazy about why they hadn’t gotten back to me yet, that they hated it, that they were writing each other about how bad it was and couldn’t figure out what to say to me, etc. etc.

Luckily I didn’t buy it and busted my I.C. by telling my husband about what he was saying so we could both laugh at him.

One more little temper tantrum: I’m writing this on Saturday instead of Friday like I’d planned. Jeez.

Progress & Celebrations

The good news is that I DID work on my big screenplay (the title is in flux so I can’t tell you what it is yet) and I was able to outline the story even more. It’s a fascinating project. It seems like every time I sort out one bit of the story, I find 10 more unanswered questions to address. I swear this thing will just write itself once I get all these questions answered.

I’m also thrilled that I made it to the 3rd round of the NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge. That was my goal and I met it. Woo-hoo! I also received some extremely helpful feedback from my writing buddy so I’m planning to rewrite that script soon. (No, he didn’t hate it, he said, “I dig the script.”)

Another thing I’m super happy about is watching my creative process around writing unfold. Who knew it would be this way? I certainly have my ups and downs, but I’m finding that I like to toss around ideas and play with them until I feel solid about the “big ideas” and then I start writing. I like that. :)

Plus, joy of all joys, my husband and I are writing a short story, called “Angel of Misfortune” for the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. It’s due today. Can I tell you that ever since I met this man I’ve dreamed of us writing together? It’s so fabulous! And I think the story is pretty good. Oh joy. :)

What about you? What did you accomplish with your Big Dream this week? Join me with your challenges and celebrations in the comments below.


In the spirit of Havi Brooks’ “Comment Zen,” I have this request:

Since I am exploring how to be more transparent, raw, vulnerable, and in my full, messy delicious creative energy in my posts, here’s what I would love to hear:

  • How you personally are doing whatever I’m writing about for yourself.
  • How my writing sparks something for you.
  • About your own stories, ideas, musings, and wonderings.

And I would love to skip:

  • You feeling like you need to take care of me, give me useful suggestions, or other well-meaning but unsolicited advice.

Thank you!


p.s. I just had a brainstorm to do an Artist’s Way support group for a low monthly fee. Anyone interested? Let me know.

p.p.s. If you missed my free call on Friday on “Finding Your ‘Big Thing’,” you can check out the recording here.