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by Linda Sinnett, AARP Bulletin, October 8, 2010
Once upon a time there was a woman who had a dream of having a writing life.
Even though the children had become adults long ago and she hadn't commuted to the office for years, she kept storing her stories in her brain instead of committing them to paper.
She became an expert at finding reasons not to write. There was never the right time. Reading, a critical activity to any writer, took up her leisure time. Many other things were more important. She was just too busy. She was also convinced that she was not talented, educated or intelligent enough to write anything that someone else would consider worthy of reading.
For five years she had attended an annual writers conference, and each time came away excited about the information, inspiration and tools that the presenters had shared. But still, few of her original words appeared on the page.
One day, she saw an opportunity: "Tell us what you really know about make-believe." She wondered if she could meet this challenge.
For several days the subject rolled around in her head until she came to a realization. Her dream itself was make-believe — a sham, a phony, a fantasy — and would remain so unless she made a big change. To share her thoughts about make-believe could be a start. She couldn't let the chance pass by.
While considering how to present her ideas, she realized that she needed to reverse the order of the words. Believe must come first. How can one make a start without believing in herself? Once confidence is in place, the make part can begin — make the time, make the effort and make no excuses. Then, the dream can become reality.
And this is what I know about make-believe.
Linda Sinnett is a reader from Entiat, Wash.
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