In February 2013 I started a blog called Dare to Dream.
I had no great worldly ambitions for this blog – I didn’t even invest in a proper domain name, so it ended up with the rather unwieldy address: http://www.daretodreamcoaching.blogspot.co.uk which I imagine, in the world of websites, is like being clad in a hulking suit of armour, clomping around self-consciously amongst the sleek and shiny dotcoms.
In the ten years prior to starting the blog, life had taken me on a theme park’s worth of roller coaster rides. I’d left a marriage, landed a publishing deal, had four books published, lost a publishing deal, thought my life was over, started running weekly writers’ workshops and realised that an exciting new life had only just begun, got diagnosed with an auto-immune disease which (until the meds kicked in) made me cry over everything – like running out of peanut butter when all the shops were closed (oh, the agony!), trained as a life coach, fell in love, self-published a novel, almost lost my partner to cancer, home-schooled my son, went through a soul-destroying break-up, realised my son and I needed a fresh start so stuck a pin in a map (or the online equivalent, hovering a cursor over Google maps) and moved to a town we’d never been to before (best move ever), won a national book award (for the self-published novel), landed new publishing deals in the UK, France and Germany, trained to become a dance teacher purely to satisfy my long term Kids from Fame fantasy, and embarked upon a quest to find true love, which turned into a quest to find God or the Universe or whatever you want to call the something more we all experience when we allow ourselves to be truly silent and still.
As a result, I was brimming over with things I wanted to write about life and love and creativity. Starting a blog seemed like the natural thing to do but without the guise of fiction to hide behind I was really self-conscious about writing so personally, so I kept it very low key. Every week or so, I’d post a musing and politely mention it in passing to my Facebook friends and after a while, I noticed that they were sharing it with their friends and I had actual strangers commenting and liking posts – a weird and wonderful feeling.
Then one day, a website based in California called DatingAdvice.com got in touch to tell me they’d awarded Dare to Dream a place in their Top Ten Blogs for Dating Courage. My first instinct was to ask, ‘but how the heck did you even know it existed?!’ They made special mention of a post I’d written about a relationship break-up I’d been through. It was probably the most personal thing I’d ever written, so I was deeply touched by this recognition.
More and more people started emailing me about the blog and how it had resonated with them. They opened up to me about their own lives and struggles.
Here’s one that touched me so much it made me cry (and not in an auto-immune-disease-running-out-of-peanut-butter way):
‘As I read your posts, I just get this sense that everything will be okay. That no matter what path my life will take, I’ll survive … perhaps prosper. You just seem so detached from expected social norms. You do what you want, you take risks, you rise above challenges. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to see you succeed, but also to see you fail and carry on. I feel as if I have a chance. That, with grit and poetry, I might just find a way to write my own books and share them with the world. That I can write … and be happy.’
I love the way she talks about ‘grit and poetry’ – isn’t that what we all need to get us through this crazy ride called life? Grit and poetry.
As I’m relaunching my coaching and workshops in September I thought it was high time I gave Dare to Dream a much-needed make-over – not to mention a sleaker domain name.
Please have a browse around and make yourself at home.
- You can find some of the most popular posts from the old site right here.
- And you can find some brand-spanking new posts here.
- And if you’d like to work with me, please have a read about my coaching packages: Dream Mapping and Dare to Write.
I hope you enjoy the new-look Dare to Dream and your visit leaves you uplifted and inspired.
Coming soon … Dare to Dream, the book. A collection of inspirational musings on life, love and creativity.