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Friday, April 06, 2018

Friday Speak Out!: Dream with Me

by Loie Dunn

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

My Mum gave me a birthday card with the above quote. I turned 18 and was one month away from travelling to Toronto to pursue my university degree. It also felt like a new adventure.

Part of my motivation in choosing Toronto was to grow as a writer. I wanted to experience new things and grow as a person. I knew it would be stretching and uncomfortable. That final year of high school, I had moved to a new town with my Mum and started a new school. I knew that was preparation for what was next.

In Toronto, I kept writing, but university kept me busy. I also struggled a lot with anxiety and found it difficult to focus on writing. However, my time there was special. I met new people from different walks of life, experienced my first (and many to come) all-nighter, was given the opportunity to go on a six-month exchange to Nottingham, England that changed my life, and then took my final course in psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Life experience has a funny way of showing up in your writing. Whether it’s a snippet of dialogue you overheard, a castle that reminds you of a craggy one you visited in Scotland, emotional experiences you’ve journeyed through, and the list can go on.

Life inspires and encourages your writing.

When you are seeking publication, it is easy to get caught up wondering when you’ll find an agent, then an editor at a publishing house, then you ask the question: "How are the books going to sell," etc.

It’s a journey, not a race.

Enjoy yourself and take your time to write the best book in you. Remember why you began writing in the first place. I write because I love to daydream and imagine new worlds. It brings me joy. I feel safe and alive and free. Oddly enough, it energizes me and in between bouts of writing I get up and do some housework then sit back down and continue on. I wake up, excited to start the day, wondering what will happen in my WIP.

Don’t forget to dream, friends. What are you working on right now? Do you have any other dreams? Let me know in the comments.

* * *
Loie Dunn is a full-time writer living in eastern Canada with her barber and ancient Jack Russell Terrier. She writes young adult fantasy and is currently querying a project about a female sea navigator on a perilous adventure to the sinister sea queen’s lair. In her free time, she likes to collect sea glass, bake, spend time with friends and family, and make candles. You can learn more about her here:
First five pages of EVREN:

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. I've noticed more and more life experiences showing up in my writing, too. What I've noticed the most is that they all seem to be past experiences, as though they need to ferment before they can become part of a fiction. Even my mother, one of life's most colorful characters, didn't appear in fictitious form until her personality in real life had changed completely. Perhaps a sensory experience doesn't become a personal experience until it has left our senses.

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. It's always good to read about like-minded others. I have to ask, though: you live with your barber?

  2. Yes! Great post, Loie! I believe writers need to get out and experience weird and interesting things to fuel our writing. I also love that you said it's a journey and not a race. You seem to have a realistic perspective on publishing--you are ahead of the game. Good luck on your YA fantasy and querying. :)

  3. Triona1:10 PM

    Hey Loie,

    Great post! Yes, writing and indeed simply living life is a journey not race. We must enjoy all aspects of it and not just where we end up. Best of luck with your books and querying! May your dreams come true!

  4. Triona - Thank you so much, dearie <3 You too! Love that we are participating during Camp NaNo together!!

    KAlan - Thank you for the comment :) I didn't word that right, lol. My partner is a barber :) Fair question :D

    Angela - Thanks so much! Yes, it's so easy to get caught in thinking 'what is next' but I am constantly reminding myself to enjoy this journey and write the best story in me. I love how life experience leaks into our writing <3 Thanks for commenting.


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