Denmark Evacuees at the Gymnasium at Trinity College Carmarthen, London, 1940. Public Domain.
Take Your Dream Body to the Gym
A Writing Exercise by Adviser Victoria Hanley
It’s my belief that just as you have a physical body, you also have a dream body. You might not be able to see it but you can sure feel it—and it needs to be exercised. Just like a physical body, when it’s neglected, it can get out of shape—to the point of appearing puny, flabby, and weak. Sometimes under the crush of worldly struggles, it can even seem to have died. But it hasn’t. As long as you’re alive, so is your dream body! And with exercise, it gets stronger.
I’m not saying everything will automatically fall into place right away once you start to exercise your dream body. If you went to a gym and someone said, “Getting in shape will be super easy and after the first week, you’ll be able to lift 500 pounds,” you would know that’s a lie. Same with the dream body. It can’t be expected to lift all the weights connected to your dream right away. And if the dream is to write a book, be prepared to face some heavy weights—such as doubt and frustration and rejection, to name a few. Don’t let that stop you.
Part of exercising a dream body is to treat it as real, and part of treating it as real is to give it a little time each day.
Writing Exercise: Each day for a week, write down your dreams for your life. It doesn’t matter if right now you don’t see how they could come true. What matters is writing them down.
Victoria Hanley’s novels have been published in 12 languages, won many honors and awards at home and abroad, and inspired two nonfiction writing books: Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write, and Wild Ink: Success Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market. She teaches writing at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver and at Northern Colorado Writers in Fort Collins. Learn more about Victoria’s books, read her blog, download a free chapter of Wild Ink, and watch Victoria in action at www.victoriahanley.com.
Writing for Peace News
October 15th, 2019
Reading Period for Winter DoveTales Online Will Close Nov. 1st
Guest Edited by Writing for Peace Adviser, Robert Kostuck, our February issue of DoveTales Online is themed, “Gardens in the Desert: Cultivating Awareness.” Broadly interpreted, this theme can encompass:
— Emotional, psychic, intellectual, physical, or social growth.
— The myriad ways we plant, nurture, harvest, or reap.
— Real or metaphorical gardens as destinations, refuges, nexus points of transformation, or starting points.
— Relationships real or imagined: the arid and/or seemingly empty places in interpersonal connections. The spaces in-between. Memory gaps, the gaps between intention and action, the passage of time forgotten. Empty pages, deleted hard drives, houses emptied of possessions, minds cleared of thoughts and desires.
— Bringing life to actual deserts, urban deserts, arctic deserts, lives that are deserts, relationships that are deserts, deserts of the past or future.
— Awareness = seeking, cultivating, residing in, exemplifying.
Submissions of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, interviews, art, and photography are all welcome.
Young Writers Contest: One Grand Prize winner will be awarded $200
Our 2020 Young Writers Contest is officially open! Writing for Peace challenges young writers (ages 13-19) to expand their empathy skills by researching an unfamiliar culture and writing from the point-of-view of a character within that new world, while exploring social, political, and environmental pressures, and universal themes. There is no fee for participation. Writers, ages 13-19, may submit in one of three categories – poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. Check out our Submission Guidelines here.
Teachers, we invite you to make our contest a regular part of your writing curriculum. Contact us at email@example.com for information on how to develop empathy through creative writing.
Grant Writer Opportunity
Writing for Peace is looking for a grant writer with experience with writing literary and youth advocacy grants. We are a 501c3 nonprofit. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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