Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

Everyone Needs a Dream Champion

This is the 2nd Place winner for the “How Writing Has Positively Influenced YOUR Life” writing contest. It’s by Lana Pecherczyk. Help me congratulate Lana in the comments. I will post the winner of the contest in just a few days. Stay tuned.

Dream Champion

For most of my life, I’ve been good at one thing – art. The world around me saw my work, and said I should do more of it, so I did.

But when at the age of eight, I said I wanted to write stories, and even though we were poor, my mother came home with a blank notebook and a pencil saying I should follow my dreams, no matter where they take me for they will make me happy. I wasn’t very good at it, but it didn’t matter because I had her support and I liked it.

She died when I was thirteen, and left her four daughters orphaned. Suddenly, I had lost my dream champion, I was split from my youngest two sisters and had no one to talk to about the challenge of life.

So, I  wrote in secret. I poured my heart out daily to a diary and sometimes imagined that she would listen. At the end of the day, even if she couldn’t hear them, writing kept that dream alive.

Eventually, without someone to champion my secret dream, I listened to the world around me. I focused on art and excelled in it. I enrolled in art school, but dropped out a short 6 months into it because I didn’t feel that painting black metaphoric circles everywhere made good art – I just liked to draw. I felt like a phony.

For many years, I hopped from one creative career to another and from one business idea to another, hoping to fill that void – surely the world told me I was good at art, I should follow that path, right? Then how come I felt like something was missing?

One day, I read an article by the author Holly Lilse, and guess what? She started out being an artist because her family was in the business and she was good at it. She listened to logic for many years, then eventually gave in to her desire to write and discovered that yes, you can be good at more than one thing. So, she had done it, could I too? Would I be any good?

But by now, I had two young children, an established marketing career and other freelance design commitments. Where would I even start?

I didn’t think of myself as a writer, even though I did it for work and I wrote in a diary – I’d never studied it. My dream wouldn’t let go, it niggled me at night and it pestered me during the day. My mother’s words never left me; follow your dreams no matter where they take you for they will make you happy. Eventually, I couldn’t sleep and decided the only person holding me back was me.

So, start I did, it was as simple as that. I started writing the story I’d been concocting in my head and sketchbook over the last few years, at a few words a day. Those words became a book, a blog and a new life. Once I opened up to my family and friends, I learned that they all supported me, every single one became my new dream champion.

How has writing positively influenced my life? It taught me to follow my dream, no matter what you think others say. It taught me that I can be good at more than one thing. It taught me that I don’t have to be an expert, or know fancy words to get something out of it.

But most of all, it taught me to be happy.

So, there it is. If you are a writer, use this opportunity to reflect on the positives writing has brought to your life. Comment, and share.

By Lana Pecherczyk

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Like a good friend, Bryan guides you through the process of facing your inner demons, conquering the craft, and creating work that matters. ―Jeff Goins

  • Thanks Bryan. I’m so happy to be featured here and hope my story can help motivate others.

  • What a wonderful, heart-warming story! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Congratulations Lana. I’m so glad when your dream champion was gone that God provided you with others. I’m sure your mom would be very proud of you and I bet she hasn’t missed a single line you’ve put on paper.

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Absolutely brilliant, Lana! #HUGSSS Your mum is smiling from above, proud of her daughter for excelling in the career of her dreams <3

  • Tammy Sue Willey

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing honestly how you persevered.

  • Tarang Sinha

    Really…really nice read! Follow your dreams. They can lead you to your destination, someday. I think, it is one of the best things you should do in your life. Congratulations Lana! 🙂

  • Peter Brady

    Thanks Lana for sharing your story. Bless your mother for supporting your dream; you were truly fortunate. Your story got me to thinking and sometimes that leads me to offer my own viewpoint. Thanks in advance for your patience for what follows.

    Dream champions, yes! Absolutely! But let that first, primary and constant champion be ourselves. In the beginning, we need the support of our parents to believe in us and encourage us and hopefully be a positive example, but once we leave the nest to go to grade school and on to the rest of our lives, we need to be our own dream champions.

    A few years ago, there was a made- for-TV movie wherein the main character discovered a very important truth: the world will tell you who you are until you tell the world.

    It is scary to go against the current and be different [and often being labelled by others, and sometimes by ourselves, as weird, strange or bizarre, perhaps even mentally sick]. But to fulfill our creative needs frequently means standing alone and working thru what we feels right to us.

    How fortunate you were, Lana, to have a parent who supported and encouraged you from your earliest days. One piece of advice that was often given me both at home and in school was to have a fallback job or trade where I could make a living — just in case I didn’t make it as a writer, — in other words, just in case I failed. Or have a “regular” job and wait until I retired to follow my creative passion.

    Not all of us are like William Carlos Williams who was an M.D. or Wallace Stevens who was an insurance company executive and who were both published and prize-winning poets. For many of us, however, our focus is one directional, all or nothing.

    It can be a frightening choice but the alternative can be worse: dissatisfaction, broken relationships, frustration, alcohol or drug dependency, depression, physical illnesses which never go away or lead to greater medical problems and so on and so on.

    We have already succeeded at two of the greatest life challenges: learning to walk and talk — and we did them without a training manual, You tube video, specialized course, or college degree. We just did it without thinking of failing.

    One trick that works for me when the flood of questions and doubts are overwhelming is to stop for a breather. I’ve been assailed long enough and often enough to recognize the source as my inner editor trying to be “helpful” and “sensible.” Having lived together for so long, I recognize it as the source of my irritation and worry and I choose to turn to the one, the other consistent solution: stop and ask for help from within myself, my radar system or intuitive side where so many of my best answers have come from.

    I firmly believe that we know on some level what is best for ourselves. How we can find and nurture it, that is the challenge of being alive, whether we consider ourselves creative or otherwise.

    We are meant to discover our talents and achieve our dreams. That is the goal to keep before us.

    Thanks for reading this far.

    • Very good suggestions Peter. And I like the words, we have to tell the world, not let it tell us. Thank you for your kindness.

  • Congrats, Lana! Loved this piece. So heartwarming and so relatable, Thanks for sharing and for inspiring! Keep on writing! 🙂

  • Great story Lana. Enjoyed hearing about your journey.

  • This is such a touching story, Lana, thank you for sharing it. I’m so happy you followed your mom’s advice. After my mom died when I was 32, I also wrote to her in journals and it helped me deal with my grief and feel connected to her. I’m so sorry about your very early mother loss. But happy her presence and support has carried you to this point.

    • Thank you Dana. It’s nice that writing has helped you through your grief and I hope you’ve come out on top. Good luck with your journey.

  • Suzanne Tillemans

    Lana, I feel humbled reading your story. Although you have been in my life since you were 6 and your beautiful Mum my best friend forever, I didn’t know writing was as important to you as I now know it is. Why didn’t I see it, why didn’t I notice. I cant stop the tears. Well Lana, because of this I will now make sure when I am with those I love I will really listen to what is said and what is not said. You are a soft hearted yet strong woman just like your Mum. I can see her now smiling down on you so full of pride.

  • Susan Mary Malone

    Oh, Lana, I’m so happy you came back to writing! Look what we would have missed. Everyone really does need a dream champion. But as you found, yours might have physically left, but she really never left at all–she’s right there, urging you on.
    Congratulations!

  • Shafia Baig
  • Not sure what the dates are here (not showing on my screen) but congrats to all!