Before ever walking through the doors of my first Quitter conference, I was fully aware of my dream that had been stagnant for too long: songwriting. I loved music and wanted to express my emotions and experiences through song. I expected to leave the conference with the tools and encouragement to pursue that dream.
I did not expect to leave with a second dream, but I rediscovered a second passion: writing.
Suddenly I had twice the amount of work in front of me, twice the amount of hustle needed. Time devoted to one dream was time taken from the other. It was hard to balance.
How do you effectively pursue two dreams at once? I’m still learning, but here are a few things I’ve picked up on the journey.
- Find a time during each day to work on both of your dreams. Find the time that works best for each dream. I write better in the morning. Right after waking, words flow onto the page more easily than rhymes and melodies. When I am wiping sleep from my eyes…that’s not the best time to pick up the guitar; afternoon is. I am more awake, and I have a day’s worth of activities and thoughts to draw on for songs.
- Use a timer. A fellow Quitter suggested this to me, and it really works. It keeps me focused. Spend thirty minutes to an hour working on one dream, and really focus on that dream. When that timer goes off, switch gears to the other dream.
- Make a plan. Set attainable goals for each dream. Make a list of what needs to be done to achieve those goals. Be specific. Plan out your practice time. If I start practicing aimlessly, my time turns out to be pretty useless. I have to set specific, tangible goals for myself, like writing two blog posts a week, or spending fifteen minutes playing with chord progressions.
- Look for overlap. Chances are, your two dreams overlap. Time I spend writing can often carry over into my songwriting. For example, whatever I had been writing about could be subject material for a song.
- Some days may not be good days for one dream. There are days where I get a ton of writing done and not a thing done on my music. Instead of feeling accomplished by the amount of writing done, I feel guilty for not working on music. On some days, I won’t come up with any good melodies. And that’s okay. Give yourself some grace. There’s always tomorrow. Just be careful you don’t continually put it off until tomorrow. Acknowledge the work you did get done.
Pursuing two dreams doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If your dreams are really important, you’ll make time for them. Some days are filled with productivity. Some days are filled with frustration. The end product is fulfilling and so worth it.
For more great writing from Jamie, check out her blog!