Of all the dreams mankind has dreamed, perhaps none is bigger than the dream of flight. We have dreamed of flight since we first glimpsed birds and found we could not follow them into the sky. Yet consider how our attempts to realize this dream have progressed. What did we do first? We imitated what we already—the birds. Failure. Giant flapping feathered wings that sent us plummeting back to earth. Even our first tepid attempts at aircraft included mechanical flapping wings. Had our imagination remained on bird instead of flight, Charles Lindbergh would never have crossed the Atlantic and Neal Armstrong would never have walked on the moon. What was needed was a shift in focus—or to be precise, a narrowing of focus. Though birds surrounded us, inspired us, moved us, they could not help us, because they did not have propellers. Once we narrowed our focus to the pure concept of flight, sweeping aside what had been dreamed already in nature, we arrived at our unique solution.
When you are holding a dream like writing and selling a book, it is important to reduce this dream to its essence. While other writers’ work and career can inspire you, the dream is never to replicate what anyone has done but to share what you most want to share with the most number of people possible. Sweep aside what you think this sharing will look like. Perhaps it will be published in a glamorous hardback; perhaps it will go straight to mass-market paperback; perhaps it will be shared in a daily blog in an online writing magazine.
Do not become hypnotized by form. The dream is looking for its form. If you impose some form on it, the dream will never grow fully, stuffed as it is in some beautiful box. A dream is only a feeling anyway, a formless pleasure looking for expression. If that dream finds its true form, you will only rejoice that it looks different than all the forms that have come before—you will find that it is the shape and size of you.