Joan Hall, a friend made through blogging, has published an e-book entitled Dare to Dream, The Incredible Journey of Writing. It is an amazing compilation of not only inspiration and motivation for the writer but also encouragement. But first, a little about Joan. I met Joan Hall through her former blog, Reflections of His Grace, and quickly became aware that Joan had a gift. Not only is Joan a good writer, she becomes a friend quickly and an encourager of others.
Recently, Joan decided to devote her writing life to her long-time dream to write a novel, and now blogs at Joan Hall Writes. Dare to Dream combines encouraging quotes from other writers, photographs (some of which are Joan's -- she's a good photographer, too), and most importantly Joan's personal experiences to chronicle the journey of a writer.
I have read it several times now -- it's a short book, 28 pages total -- but its contents are empowering and uplifting such that I find myself reaching between its covers for encouragement when things seem to be going no where for me in my writing.
Joan has captured the essence of the writer's life in a few short pages. However, it isn't the length that is important. The importance is bound together by what Joan has chosen to share with us, other writers.
Following is my favorite quote from the book as well as the page I continue to return to for encouragement:
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” (Vincent van Gogh)
"One of my favorite quotes regarding self-doubt is from artist Vincent van Gogh. He spoke of painting, but it equally applies to writing or any other form of creativity.
"I am often my own worst critic. Many times, I hear those inner voices speaking negative comments.
. . .
"If I’m not careful, waves of doubt will overcome me. Van Gogh painted to silence his voices of doubt. When I hear those inner voices of self-doubt invade, I write.
"You too can rise above the waves of doubt."
(Excerpt from Dare to Dream, p. 15)