Once Upon a Time in DayDreamLand, I dreamed I was a famous writer.
I was probably eight or ten.
I already had dozens of little stories packed away in a drawer somewhere. They were short, children’s stories. About dogs. I always wrote about having a dog.
As I grew, my worldview grew. I still visited Once Upon a Time In DayDreamLand, but my daydreams were more mature. I no longer wrote about dogs, although most of my stories had dogs in them. I wrote about life, as only a child of ten or twelve could imagine it. I wrote about wanting to be grown up.
Today, as the CoFounder of this amazing company, I am offered books galore. Each week a publisher or publicist writes to see if I would like a review copy of one book or another.
It’s hard to remember when I graduated from Once Upon a Time in DayDreamLand to… reality. I don’t remember the graduation. If they handed out diplomas, I lost mine! What I do know is that the child who wrote those silly stories, and drew those near-stick figure images to go along with the stories, still breathes deep in my heart. I feel her often. As I read some of the wonderful books offered to me, or books our own community members have written, that little girl smiles and says, in a bit of a whisper, “These are really good! I’m going to write a story like this someday!”
Does blogging count as writing a story? Yes. Everything we share, especially that which we put in writing, is a story. A good story brings the characters to life with personality, little quirks, strong opinion, and a description of not only who they are, but what they are about. In our daydreams, those stories are alive with sound and imagery, and laughter. We cannot dream otherwise.
As you blog each day, or each week, whatever schedule you keep, I would like you to think about the story you are writing. Instead of thinking of it as a blog post, think of it as a story. When an author is writing a story, whether it be a short narrative or a novel, whether it becomes a play or a TV show, she searches deep inside of herself to bring out the memories and experiences of her world… lived as a child.
I truly believe that.
I have a favorite poem that says it better than I am saying it here:
We never really grow old, it seems,
We keep in our hearts
Our fancies and dreams;
And in a corner, tucked away
Is the child we all were yesterday.
The purpose for sharing this is to encourage more of you to tap into your inner child; the girl or boy who still whispers to you, with every heartbeat.
I have been studying something called the “human economy” of late and the most important word in that description is ‘human.’ With all of our human frailties and all of our strengths, it’s incumbent upon us to bring the human emotion alive. Our reader wants to feel part of that narrative. Each story we tell, each blog post we write, each tale described with pen and paper, each anecdote related by putting fingers to keyboard, becomes a song, a voice of its own, and when it’s bursting with emotion, it travels farther, and touches more hearts.
My world as a child was much the same as so many. The 1950s -60s were an interesting time to be a child and an adolescent. I sought, back then, to write stories that meant something to me. I did not wonder what they might mean to others. Few others ever saw them. But, they were the drawing board upon which I created a world I could live and be happy in. As I grew, I learned that others lived in much the same world, while still others, did not.
Through it all, the animals who were my friends gathered round and taught me compassion, empathy, and hope. It is these traits I most admire today.
In a world where the human economy is at last being recognized as imperative to all living things, I believe we who are most passionate about the human-animal bond have a responsibility to write, share and narrate stories that bring light and life to all living creatures.
Is there a child within your soul, guiding your fingers as you type? Are you listening?