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There is no dream without work.

It is New Year's Day 2024. As you read this, I hope you can look back on the last year and see in ways that are either big or small that you pursued.  I believe that is all that matters in the big picture… that you are pursuing... creating forward momentum.   

I can take a guess that we all made a decision to “follow our dreams” because at some point in our lives, we realized that any version of life where we weren’t “following our dreams" would be too empty of an existence.  But what happens when "following your dreams" does not lead you where you thought it would? What happens when you have to make the dreaded decision to leave your dreams behind and get a "real" job?

I believe, it is this question that destroys us before we even begin.


The idea that "dream equals good and job equals bad" is a concept I would like to set fire to and rejoice in as it burns.

A dream needs fuel to become a reality.  It needs work. And brace yourself, it needs an even uglier word... it needs "money".   Yes… artists need money to live and art needs money to materialize into something others can experience.  

Art in a void is just a mirror for our own vain reflection... it provides nothing to the world.

My friends...

Dreams are no longer a viable currency.

In 2024, I want us to keep our dreams pure in our hearts while simultaneously figuring out how to share it with others while paying our bills and surviving without shame of needing “money", with the understanding that one hand feeds the other and with the grit of work under our fingernails.

Because the world we are living in needs art.

It needs new stories... it needs new ways to experience catharsis with each other be it through witnessing painful dramatic truths or sharing laughter, fear, the excitement of adventure.

Aristotle said: humans delight in imitation. We need to see ourselves in small, truthful moments in order to understand ourselves.

What are you going to do this year to incrementally pursue one thing that will take your dream out of your head and make it into a reality so we can delight in it?

It doesn't have be smart, it doesn't have to be important... it only has to do one very simple thing: it has to explore the human condition.

The world is craving it. The world needs it.

Name it.  DO it.  

With love, 


p.s. (Did you know that Thoreau's "Walden Pond" existed on private property owned by his friend where he would frequently eat warm meals and wasn't at all a "free utopia"? I didn’t for a long time. Wish I had.)  

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Jay Clifton
Jay Clifton
(14. 1.)

Hi Amanda, it's very helpful and thanks for coming back with that detailed reply, I hope others read it too. They are good tips. I agree that at least if you distract yourself with a book you are at least focusing on one thing and your brain is working differently -- more conducive to writing. In my feed I get (besides cats doing silly things and people doing even sillier things) a lot of stuff that has the potential to be informative and useful -- literary quotation, interviews with film directors etc-- which keeps you hooked but I'm realising it's all superficial, you're better off reading a book by the writer, or finding the complete interview with the director --…

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Great points!!

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Jay Clifton
Jay Clifton
(14. 1.)

Thanks for this Amanda. Last year wasn't so good for me for following up on writing (though I got lots of "material"!) and in fact I just reread your article on ADHD behaviour (I don't know if I'm clinically ADHD but a lot of what you described sounded very familiar) from a year ago, and the 2 together were really helpful. One of the great problems I have is I find it very easy to get distracted by Instagram and (to a lesser degree) Facebook -- unfortunately they are too useful to deactivate. They cleverly work out your interests and adapt the feed to that - like baiting a hook -- and almost unconsciously you can get locked into "doom…

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Hi Jay! So glad the blog posts are helpful :) doom scrolling is a real problem for us creatives! Have you watched The Social Dilemma? They explain in detail the science behind making sure that we keep scrolling - it IS addictive. It is set up that way!

When I am in the process of actually writing I do my best to wake up at 5am and begin writing before I check social media. It HELPS!!!

I also have all notifications turned off on my cell and my computer so the only thing drawing me to the apps is myself lol

Now, when I’m not writing and I’m in research mode it’s a lot harder especially because research is on…

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