Remember your way

6 Nov 2105

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Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. — Farrah Gray

 

I came across Farrah Gray’s quote almost a year ago. Something about it stuck with me. I’ve always been grateful for every opportunity I’ve had to write for others. It’s a good
day when an editor gets back to me after appraising my portfolio, or when I finally see my work published in a beautiful quarterly.

 

Not so long ago though, something changed. I figured that I spend about three days, sometimes more, on a decent feature article. I fret over it, stress about it, bang my head (repeatedly) on my desk because of it and sometimes feel sickened by the sight of it.
It’s a process I go through more often than I care to admit and for better or worse (probably just worse, actually) I’m used to it – all in the name of helping others fulfil
their dreams of parenting an exceptional publication.

 

For a long time, I used to believe editors were doing me a favour by letting me write
for them. Not until recently did I dare to consider that it worked the other way round, too. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an honour to be part of such beautiful productions and to help many of the editors and founders I now consider friends to reach their goals. But in the midst of it all, you cannot neglect you own goals too.

 

That’s why I like this quote so much – it reminds us not to forget. We can’t be islands
and succeed in this industry. It takes a combination of autonomy and connections to
sail us where we want to go, but a boat with no course is at the mercy of the wind
and waves.

 

Without others giving us a chance we wouldn’t be where we are today. And as corny as it sounds, I actually believe that as creatives we can realise our dreams together. But, it has to be based on the understanding that we’re all going somewhere, and that giving our time and expertise to help each other, even just to encourage, is one way we can collectively ensure no one’s dreams are left behind.

 

Choe Choe Brereton is a renowned writer, editor and author and a beloved member of the Thinkforest family. choechoebrereton.com

 

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