September 17, 2003
Following the Dream By Mark C. McCann, Author of Jacob's Dream
I wanted to share with you the art of "following the dream" of writing. I've just published my first novel called, Jacob's Dream - The Vision. It is a tale about a man who answers his dream and finds his ultimate purpose. And, the process of following my own vision to write this story taught me a very important secret of successful writing.
I received a vision for the novel when I was at a turning point in my life, which, of course, is how all good dreams start. I had lost a job, gone through the birth of my second child and found myself in a very stressful place where I didn't want to be. In my time of contemplation, the vision came to me and I began to write a short, powerful little story about a prisoner who received a calling from God. That little story soon took on a life of its own, mushrooming quite quickly into an epic tale. Like the main character in the story, I allowed myself to be open to what I had received. I had nothing to lose, so I took the vision and went with it. I immersed myself in the task before me, not trying to set a schedule, but letting the dream set the schedule for me. I wrote and edited, stopped for a while and then wrote some more when the time was right and the inspiration revealed itself to me. It was really a journey of trust, letting the vision find its fulfillment in the evolution of all it was and would become. And the power of that journey spilled out into the main character and helped to shape his journey as well.
During this time, I began working at a small Christian radio station as a weekend broadcaster. I had applied for a job I knew I had no hope of getting, and got it anyway. I worked faithfully in my booth, playing music and programs and doing my job with a servant's heart. After a year or so, I approached the management with my writing, in the hope of producing some of it for the station. It took time for them to allow it to happen, but, like the character in the novel, I waited for the timing to be right and for hearts to be open. Because of my faithful service and because my writing was true to the character of the man I was on the air, they agreed to let me do a short piece I had written called, "See the Baby" for a Christmas special. It turned out quite well and though they aired it in a "safe" little spot early on a Sunday morning before Christmas, I knew it was the first big step to good things to come.
And as I was faithful and patient, I was given more, producing an entire Good Friday radio drama the following spring, with a cast of actors and a script I had written during another time of transformation. And it, too, turned out well...so well in fact that the entire staff stopped their work that day to listen to it when it aired. Soon thereafter, trust in the vision and faithfulness to the journey paid off and I was granted permission to produce my novel as an audio production for a program called The Reading Room. I put together nine hours of readings and submitted it to the station, amazed that my fidelity to the vision I had received was finally finding its fulfillment.
The story doesn't end there. Like this first novel, the sequel to my dream is yet to come. Like Jacob, I know things will only heat up as I move forward with this vision. My website continues to generate interest and I'm using the radio program to set up book signings. But I'm not setting timetables or making big predictions. I'm only taking one step at a time, following the light of that vision as it shines upon the next step on the path.
That is the vision in a nutshell. I've found that success comes from receiving your vision, following it faithfully, trusting that the doors will open, working at each step as it comes, and never looking back once the journey has begun. I wish you success as you, too, live out your dream of writing!
Mark C. McCann is an author, part-time Christian radio host and full-time husband and dad. He has written Jacob's Dream: The Vision and Jacob's Dream: The Final Battle, as well as a number of short stories on spiritual healing. He has published training materials for church youth work and serves as a youth drama consultant. He has also written and produced a number of radio dramas for Christian radio station WIHS in Middletown, Connecticut. To learn more about his writing and drama ministry, visit his website at: http://www.jacobsdreamministries.com/
The book that is the result of Marks' Vision! - Jacob's Dream
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