Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK
Book Finished: June 5th 2015
It may have taken me about 12 years to actually finish this book, but I have nothing but praise for it. I LOVED this book.
I picked this book at Barnes and Noble around 2003. I can’t remember now what drew 13 or 14 year old me to the book; likely the colors and the prospect of starting high school and then college soon after. I started reading and do remember enjoying the content, but it may have been a little more than I had the capacity to work on at that period of my life. Over the next 12 years, eight moves, two college degrees and six states, quite a bit changed for me. I looked at this book often, wanted to continue reading it and just never did. Now that I’ve settled in Oregon, and books that had been packed away for years came our of their boxes, I came across it again. It was finally the right time in my life.
The book, at its core, is a self-help guide to bringing the dreams your creative side harbors into existence. Early on, SARK explains that these don’t have to be dreams of artistic nature; they can include buying a home, being a parent, traveling, or even just making a difference. The guide is divided into 12 chapters, one for each month of the year, and features an activity for each week of the month at the end. The introduction explains that you can follow the 12 month timeline for the book or choose your own. I ended up reading it over the course of about a month.
SARK is also adamant that you do not have to do all of the activities in each chapter to benefit from the book. I did the majority of them within in my own head rather than on actual paper. You can choose what you feel you will get the most benefit from. No matter which type of structure you choose, there is value to be found.
The single most important thing I got from SARK’s work is understanding myself as a procrastinator. She explains that many procrastinators are also perfectionists. I’ve never thought of myself as a perfectionist, but it does make sense that I procrastinate because I’m worried that the outcome won’t be perfect – so why even start? Where other books will give you tips for ending your procrastination, SARK encourages you to embrace it, and even go take a nap. She faces the laziness, sadness, and frustration that life brings head on, and advocates for seeing these emotions as gifts and motivations.
Stripped down, this is really a form of “failure builds success.” However, with SARK’s writing style and tone, this is more relatable and comforting. I especially connected with her ideas about “micro-movements.” Procrastinators and perfectionists like myself spend a lot of time day dreaming about success and living our goals, and are intimidated by actually getting out there to do it. Micro-movements break down the process into itty bitty chunks that build into larger steps. SARK’s micro-movements can even include things like “day dream for 30 minutes about what success looks like” or “browse Pinterest for 1 hour on scrapbooking ideas.” The key is to schedule these at a specific time, and make sure that each new movement builds on the previous ones, no matter how small. Eventually, you can build to “meet with publisher about book release date.”
By the time I finished this book, I really felt like I knew SARK, and could call her for advice. In fact, she has an “inspiration line” included at the end of the text. On a whim, I called the number thinking it was probably something that had long since been discontinued. It hasn’t been. When you call the inspiration line, you’ll get a pre-recorded message from SARK (the current one is very recent), and have the choice to leave a message for her. Sometimes she responds to callers. The current message includes a poem reading and SARK’s thoughts on postponing her wedding planning for her own sanity.
It is refreshing to read material from someone who has forged a successful, colorful life by taking more naps, accepting frustration and procrastination, and insisting on positivity. I’m eager to read more of her work in the future.