By Heather Hamilton, PhD., LMHC, NCC, DCC | ©2022BreakThrough!
Many individuals have shared in counseling that their dream is to be a writer or an author. It’s rare that I challenge their dream. I’ll ask if they write already, or ask what they want to write about. Sometimes there are specific topics from their past or specific genres such as women’s romance novels or children’s books. I ask if they’ve taken courses, workshops, or if they’ve made an outline. As one might imagine (no pun intended) the answers vary but there’s a common misunderstanding. Writing is not about being or fantasizing; writing is about doing! Writing as a vocation is a job. To be successful, it demands all the discipline of any other profession. Hours spent gathering research, organizing ideas, detailing the traits of characters. Selecting the plot style, the audience, the novelty, and much more. Being an author is sitting down and writing. It is committing to structured time spent without distractions, snatching opportunities when they arise. First to write, then to edit, edit and edit some more.
Do I Like the Idea or the Actual Effort?
When we’re discussing activities, participants in Breakthrough! courses often share sentiments such as “I love hiking”, or “I love walking on the beach.” “I love snowboarding,” or “I love kayaking.” Personally, I like the idea of hiking. In the recesses of my mind, I visualize the Swiss Alps, rolling emerald meadows cast against cloudless skies, the hills are alive…the Sound of Music, you hear it too don’t you? Beautiful right? Then…I get honest with myself. I dislike actual hiking as I suffer from vertigo and an appalling lack of coordination. I’m the person the ER doctors have pity for. Surrounded by daring individuals suffering from skiing or kite surfing accidents, when asked how I broke my ankle I’m whispering, “I walked from my bedroom to the kitchen.”
My last example of fantasy with disregard for reality was expensive and a little sad. I’ve always loved gardening. At one point, before moving to the West Coast, I had over 5000 perennials planted at home in Georgia and fancied myself a master green thumb. After the move, we purchased a boat and kept it in the San Juan Islands north of Seattle. Summer (in my opinion) is the only reason to live in the Northwest and we spent every available moment on the water. By September I learned that you may not be able to do two things you really love, at the same time. The net result of the garden was 3 cherry tomatoes and a Watermelon the size of a golf ball. Conservatively these were valued at $300.00 apiece. Sometimes we have to pick one activity, one passion, or one hobby and give it all our energy, effort, and interest. We aren’t a writer until we sit down and write. Our fantasy just needs some structure to become our reality.
So how does this relate to weight loss and wellness? Well since this article is posted to the BreakThough! Site, I suppose we should draw some parallels. If we visualize our body cavorting on a tropical beach, most of us know we might have some work to do. Translating that fantasy to buying a bathing suit under halogen lights means I have to focus on my food intake and activity levels. It’s not enough to have the fantasy; I have to be willing to create the reality.