Dreams Don't Work Without Action

Early this morning, the series finale for the series Roseanne played on Nick-at-Nite. I will admit to having loved that show so many years ago. For those who have never seen it or don’t remember it, I won’t go into details, but what I want to remind you of is the fact that Roseanne, on the show, was a writer – sorta. Back when the kids were little, Dan built her a ‘writing room’ in the basement, complete with bookshelves to put her manuscripts on, a typewriting, legal pads, pencils and an electric pencil sharpener even.

And then, her life goes on.

The last show of the season, she reveals that the entire ‘show’, her life, had not be ‘real’ but rather had been her ‘memoirs’, so to speak, her life, but she rewrote it the way she wished it had been.

Well, back 20 some odd years ago, when I first watched the last episode, I liked it (though I know many hated it), but watching it again last night, now that I actually am a writer too, and coaching other writers to follow their dreams, the final monologue of that show really struck a chord with me. I think it will to some of you writers who read me too. So instead of drifting back to sleep for a few more hours, I decided to get up, search for the monologue text online and share the important parts of it with you.

If you are a writer or have dreams of being a writer one day, please continue reading this post.

Michy’s excerpts from Roseanne’s final monologue:

“Everyone wonders where creative people get their inspiration. Actually, I’ve found it’s all around you.”

And it is. Everything in my life inspires me to write. I can drive down the street and see a cat run across the road and up a tree and there’s an idea for a poem running through my head. I can’t count the number of times I’ve come out of a shower to jot something down, some idea I had while in there. My friends, my family, everyone I’ve ever met – they inspire me to write.

“A lot of times nerds are really artists who just listen to the beat of a different drum… “

The reason I left this part in is because, in this life, this world, I’ve never felt ‘normal’. So whether you’re a nerd or a geek or a dork or your fat or thin or tall or short or smart or struggle or rich or poor or happy or sad or healthy or disabled or straight or gay or black or white or purple or blue… if you feel as though you are ‘different’ in some way, maybe, just maybe, you’re an artist.

Use your differences to your advantage. You have them for a reason. Write about them!

“So in my writing, I did what any good mother would do. I fixed it… “

I find this line poignant. Think about it. If you were to write your child’s story, anything, to give them the perfect life, wouldn’t you do it?

“My writing’s really what got me through the last year [sic]… “

My writing is the only thing that has gotten me through my entire life, but especially during the darkest, hardest times, my writing saw me through. Without it, I don’t even want to think about where I would be now.

“In choosing life, I realized that my dreams of being a writer wouldn’t just come true; I had to do the work.”

If I can give one piece of advice to someone who has some dreams of being a writer, this quote is it. Writing is glorious, wonderful, beautiful, amazing, life-changing, and the best thing that ever happened to me… but it’s work. It’s hard work. And if you want to be a writer in any way other than in name, such as making a living as a writer, getting a book published or signing that big contract or getting that big freelancing gig – whatever your writing dreams are – you have to be willing to do the work.

“And as I wrote about my life, I relived it, and whatever I didn’t like, I rearranged.”

Oh, I have so done this. Write about it, but make it the way it never was, the way it should have been, could have been. Writers can control the universe… at least, the one within the confines of the pages of their book and in their minds.

“I made a commitment to finish my story even if I had to write in the basement in the middle of the night while everyone else was asleep.”

I said in yesterday’s post how I wrote, sometimes late into the night, early in the morning, right through dinner… my eyes burned, my back ached, my feet swelled and I was drained, but I wrote.. constantly.

Are you willing to put that type of dedication into your dreams?

Can you make the decision, today, right now, in your own heart, to finish your story, no matter what?

And finally:

“But the more I wrote, the more I understood myself and why I had made the choices I made, and that was the real jackpot.
  • I learned that dreams don’t work without action;
  • I learned that no one could stop me but me.
  • I learned that love is stronger than hate.

And most important, I learned that God does exist. He and/or She is right inside you, underneath the pain, the sorrow, and the shame.”

So, make your jokes about Roseanne, the series, the woman… but this monologue… to me… is powerful stuff.

And this is why I write. This is how I feel. It was my thoughts, inside my head, on a television show from over 20 years ago, a show I watched, but it meant nothing to me until 5am this morning.

She ended it this: I think I’ll be a lot better now that this book is done…

I know that feeling, first hand.

Do you?

Think about it. How will you feel when you’re book is done?

Love and stuff,