Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Practical ideas for putting dreams into action

Book Review

I enjoyed the book's structure which is comprised of fascinating epigrams, refelctions, as well as insightful, and practical exercises whereby the reader can put ideas into practice. This format, it seems to me allows the reader to convert any abstracts presented, into real life experience. As a result of the concrete nature of the exercises, the reader can wrap his or her head around the concept of "dreaming bigger," more easily around their mental planes.

Wise teaches the reader to vigorously pursue their full potential in a most down to earth way. The author presents case studies which further illustrate how dreaming big is within the reach of every person.

This book is ideal for persons who want more creativity and inspiration to come into their lives, and are willing to invest time to work through the detailed exercises.

Wise has also provided an array of free resources that the reader can access via internet download, hence giving the book added value.

To learn more about Julie Wise, visit: or click on the blog title above to be taken to her webpage.

Julie Wise: An Interview:

1.What led you to write your book(s) and was there a pivotal event you can share?

Last December, I was in the midst of writing a book about a three-month journey I'd taken in Ireland in 2008. Suddenly the idea for Dream BIGGER came to me and wouldn't let go. It insisted on taking center stage, showed me the title, structure and contest, and all I had to do was commit to writing every day. Three months later, the draft was done.

2.How do you approach the creative process when you decide to write?
I like to ease myself into writing each day. I rarely start before 10 a.m., and then I focus on writing for 2 to 4 hours. I keep a special file on my laptop that serves as a journal for each book I work on. The first step is to write an entry in the journal. It might be about how I'm feeling about a particular stage in the writing, or ideas for the next section, or even admitting that I'm drawing a blank. The process of writing down some thoughts there seems to open the door to a productive writing session on the book. When I finish writing for the day, I go back to the journal and add some comments about how it went. That provides closure, and then I generally take a walk or go and do something physical to get myself back into the world around me.

3.Are there any influentials in your life that have encouraged you to stay the course as an author?
My father was my earliest influence. He encouraged my love of reading (it helped that he owned a bookstore!), and he was always writing - humorous poetry, short anecdotes, a newspaper column. Even though I have written throughout my life, I saw it more as a creative outlet. I wrote poetry, short stories, had a newspaper column and was a newspaper editor for a number of years. I even wrote two books that I set on a shelf. It was only when I came back from Ireland that I decided to take my writing seriously and actively pursue it. Being a published author was a dream I'd had since childhood. And dreams are like that - they never let go of us even when we try to ignore them!

4. Can you explain the premise of your book?

I believe that we all have dreams, things we’d like to do, be or have in our lives. As we become adults, we often set these dreams aside because they don’t seem “practical” or “realistic” and we focus on getting jobs to pay the bills. Sometimes we reach for our dream and things don’t work out, so we give up. There’s a price to pay for not living our dreams – we become unhappy and frustrated and wonder what happened to the person we used to be. I wrote this book because I know there’s a better way! By acknowledging our dreams and taking steps each day toward achieving them, we connect with who we really are, life becomes more enjoyable and we’re a lot more fun to be around!

5.What have been some of your high and low points in being a writer, and in the process of promoting your book?
High points: the writing itself (always my favorite part); choosing the cover; the moment of holding the printed book in my hands for the first time; the book launch; and all the wonderful feedback from readers and reviewers, complete strangers whose lives have been changed by reading the book; finding it on Amazon for the first time, and getting my first review.
Low points: the l-o-n-g process of getting the book from draft to print (although in my case it did go quite quickly - it just seemed like forever to me!); the challenge of getting into bookstores (getting it online is the easy part); not knowing which of the myriad steps will lead to the breakthrough in marketing and sales.

6. Apart from writing, what other endeavors, or hobbies are you involved in?
I'm betwixt and between right now. I've always been a dancer (flamenco for the last six years), and now I'm looking for something new. I'm doing more cycling, sailing and cross country skiing this year, and considering trying my hand at pottery. I'm always reinventing myself, and I think that's what keeps life exciting.

7. What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Write about what excites you, whether it’s in a blog, a journal, emails or newsletter. Read and notice how your favorite authors write. By writing you’ll develop your style, and by reading you’ll learn more about what captures a reader’s attention. Creative writing courses can be helpful. I also belonged to an editing circle for a few years. We’d meet once a month, share ten pages of whatever we were working on at the time, and give each other constructive feedback on our material. Being with other writers occasionally can help keep you motivated, since writing is a solitary profession.

Above all, live life fully. Then you’ll have far richer experiences to share with your readers.

8. Do you have any plans for the future- work related and/or personal?
I'm continuing to promote my coaching business (working with people to create the life of their dreams), and getting back into writing the book on my journey through Ireland. Promoting Dream BIGGER continues to take up the majority of my time at the moment, along with the related contest - the Dream BIGGER Reinvention Challenge. I set that up to encourage people to voice their dreams, either through a video or written story, and I'm offering great prizes that will help the winner make his/her dream a reality. People can find out more at The contest only runs til November 29, so time is of the essence!

10.Tell us something about yourself outside of the job of writing- your interests, an experience you want to
share, something you are proud of / or have overcome
I'm particularly proud of my two children because they are both living the life of their dreams. After they graduated from university, they set off to see the world, and are continuing to do so. My son has been teaching English to young children in Hong Kong for four years, after cycling across Canada by himself, travelling by freighter from Vancouver to Korea, and flying from Seoul to Hong Kong, and finding a job within a week of arriving. My daughter is currently in Australia, after taking a summer job on a Greek Island leading horseback tours, travelling through eastern Europe, living and working in the UK, and travelling around New Zealand and Tasmania. Both of them keep their lives simple, work to save enough money to do more travelling, and love every minute of every day. How many of us can say that about our lives?

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