I had a dream last night. I was at my office, sitting down to revise an old story I put away years ago. It was an ordinary dream, except for the feeling. My office - normally windowless and lit by flickering fluorescence - was bright, and full of life. My boss was chipper as we chatted on our lunch break. She was talking to me about a promotion. My coworkers laughed and talked while they typed.
And when I sat down to the story, it wasn’t the story that I started when I was sixteen. I mean, it was - but that story was something shameful to me, a failed project that received next-to-no interest from agents. This dream-story was fresh and full of potential. It needed time and a lot of work, but I was ready. I was hopeful.
I am a little bit of a mystic. I don’t have many dreams like this, but when I do, I pay attention.
Writing has been hard lately. Life gets in the way of art, always; and when I find time write, all my words feel flat and cliche. But this morning, I woke up thinking, “Maybe I can do this. Maybe I still have a book inside me.”
I don’t know if there’s any advice to accompany this story. You don’t have to believe in dreams or prophecy. You don’t have to be a mystic. But, please, do this for me: stay hopeful. Look for hope in unconventional places, in ridiculous places, in sunshine or your favorite cheese danish or a particularly shiny penny. There will never come a time in your life when hope is not an appropriate response.
And whether you apply hope to your art or your life or your work, I think the result is the same. I think that everything touched by hope starts to look a little more - a very little more - like a good dream.