Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dreams and Determination

I’ll admit it. For many years, I have harbored the fantasy of being a guest on Oprah. I imagine myself sitting on stage in her modern upholstered guest chair, smiling out at the audience, discussing my new book. I feel the glory of applause and gratitude in response to my words. I enjoy the sense of connection, joyful that my creation has touched others. Oprah hugs me, not unlike she hugged Elizabeth Gilbert, and my book, now blessed with her Midas touch, becomes a best-seller.

This story could take on a sarcastic tone at this point. I could exaggerate Oprah’s influence, or poke fun at my fantasy. However, I write this in all earnestness. For many years, Oprah has represented a pinnacle for me, a goal to strive for, a sense of hope for my story being seen and heard by a wide audience.

The ironic thing is that, as of last Wednesday, her show has ended. Yet my dream of writing a book is still alive. My dream didn’t die with the Oprah show.

I believe in my mission, and it seems that universal forces do too. This might sound strange, but I found it necessary to receive the blessing of my maternal ancestors in order to proceed. I come from a lineage of hard-working, salt-of-the-earth women, who gardened for survival rather than enjoyment. I had to confront my guilt around “indulging” in an artistic pursuit when what I really “should” be doing is hoeing the soil to feed my family. But I realized that writing is MY way of working the soil, and my generation is the first in our family to have this option from birth. Once I explained that to my great maternal grandmother, we came to an understanding. No, I’m not a rotten apple on the family tree.

I have carved out time to write beginning June 21. I have divided my word count goals into days. I am not going to let anything stop me. This amount of determination, I’m discovering, is what it takes to write a book. I’ve confronted the “who do you think you are” whispers that have held me back. I’m daring to be more selfish with my time for awhile. I’m ready to roll.

Over the next six months you may find me rolling in self-doubt or reveling in happiness as I pound out a manuscript. I share this with you because good, bad, or ugly, I trust the process of creating something is worth documenting. I’m fully aware how declaring my intentions may be setting myself up for failure. I don’t care. I dare to fail. I'm encouraged by others I've seen do the same, and dammit, I want my daughter to witness me in this process.

So thank you, Oprah, for providing a chair for me to dream into. Thank you creative spark, for sticking around even after that chair has been removed from the stage. Thank you ancestors, for your blessing, and thank you WWFAC for providing me a sense of community to lean on. I’ve got a story to share, and I’m determined.

-- Kim for the Poplar Grove Muse


  1. Kim, How inspiring your post is. I love the line
    "writing is MY way of workking the soil". I must admit that I had the same fantasy about Oprah as you. I imagine many writers have had the same dream. Thanks for being so brave to share your dream with us. I support you in your work and will look forward to celebrating your success!

  2. I like this spirit, Kim. And on the Solstice--what a great day to initiate your dream. (I've always thought how I need Oprah on my team to tell my story.)

  3. Love the strength in this piece, Kim. Love also how you confronted your feelings around the lineage of strong women. I think it was Elizabeth Gilbert who said, we write now because we can. Because our experience of being a woman is different from those who came before and it is our way of sorting it out, defining it, claiming it. You go girl!! Can't wait to read it.

  4. What a beautiful, hopeful, honest piece. And what a fabulous set of goals, and solid plans for bringing them into being. I especially love the last paragraph of gratitudes. MKP