Happy New Year! Dream Big!

A few weeks ago I had a dream that Sears was having a going-out-of-business sale, and I was running up and down the escalators, trying to snap up last-minute bargains. Filled with excitement because of the incredible deals, I filled my arms with things, things, and more things, as I maneuvered through aisles and knocked other shoppers out of the way.

When I woke up, I felt depressed. When did my dreams, that realm of unlimited possibility, become so small, so seemingly trivial? In my dream life, I could instantly create anything I wanted, and here I was, spending a night dreaming about shopping bargains. At Sears. How pathetic!

I wondered if my dream world hinted at parallels in my waking life. Had I, over the years, become less ambitious? Did I shrink my dreams in an effort to close the gap between my wild fantasies and my current reality?

I used to aspire to world travel, buying homes in multiple cities, and building a media empire, among other lofty things. But my file folder of magazine clippings that were meant to inspire me got buried underneath the day-to-day work that has kept me occupied for a long time and that has, for the most part, kept me content.

Now don't get me wrong. I like my life. And I find tremendous value in appreciating what I have now and where I am—appreciating the present is something that I continuously work on because I have found it to be, at the very least, calming and, at the very best, transformative. But I began to realize that the line between contentment and complacency can be very thin.

The problem with having big goals, of course, is that there's the very real possibility that you might not achieve them. And that can dampen your spirit. It can cause you to question yourself. It can make you shrink, make you think small, make you believe that going-out-of-business sales at Sears are the best you can do.

Well, you know what? Fuck that. Fuck. That. Say it out loud, people. FUCK. THAT.

John Steinbeck wrote, "It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him." Some may feel that that line of thinking just sets you up for failure. But, as longtime readers may remember, I don't believe in failure.

What if it's okay to dream big? And what if it's okay if those dreams don't transpire on our timetable? And what if that's actually our cue to dream bigger?

Again, looking towards a bright future should not be at the exclusion of appreciating the present. It may seem like a paradox, but it's not. Life is change. Growth is evolution. Dreaming big encourages us to move forward. And there's a lot to be said for momentum.

So, let me get things started. Here are my big dreams for 2009.

I finish a new original screenplay and sell it. I've had three different screenplays optioned, and I wrote another one as a work-for-hire, but I've yet to make an outright sale of an original script. The last original screenplay I finished was about three years ago. I'm currently working on Morph—I'm on page 99 of the seventh draft.

I finish a new play and get it slated for production. It's been about four years since I finished a new full-length play and about that long since my last world premiere of a multi-character script. I'm currently working on The Four Tastes—I'm on page 16 of the first draft. (I already have two productions slated for 2009, but they're older plays; and I have a couple one-acts touring schools.)

I continue to write Bamboo Nation at the same pace I do now, and I quadruple my readership. About 3,600 people per month visit Bamboo Nation, resulting in about 11,000 page views. I'd like to get that to 14,400 people/44,000 page views.

I write and publish a book version of Bamboo Nation. You'd buy that shit, wouldn't you?!

Zac Efron fathers my children.

Okay. Now it's your turn. I've seen some of your New Year's Resolutions, and they're all fine and dandy, but I want you to dream big. Dream bigger. What are you aiming for, personally, in 2009?

I know many of us never share our big dreams in a public forum—hell, sometimes it's difficult to admit them to ourselves. But getting them out in the open forces you to take them seriously, gives them a life of their own, nudges you to take the necessary actions to ensure their survival. So please share.

For those of you afraid to share your big dreams in public, it's okay. You know what I'm willing to do for you? E-mail them to me. I'll read them and file them away. I won't badger you about them, but at least they'll be out in the open, out in the ether.

And if you're unwilling to do that, then I encourage you to write them down and tuck them away someplace that you'll remember.

I'm rooting for you as much as you're rooting for me. You know why? You, dear readers, have made last year the best year ever for Bamboo Nation. This blog has become incredibly important to me in ways you will never know, and your attention, support, and friendship are deeply appreciated. Whether I know you or not, whether you're in contact with me regularly or just lurk in the background, you all—in ways that are subtle and overt—contribute to the life of this blog and, by extension, contribute to my life. And I thank you.

My baby boy, Pork Chop, dressed up like a fairy princess to wish you well and sprinkle fairy dust on your dreams.


  1. -I will land at least three co-star roles on legit television shows (broadcast or cable, union productions).

    -I will feel proud of my work as a film/television actor.

    -"Donovan & The Mysterious Rocks" will be released and reach a massive paying internet audience (1 million+ viewers)

    -I will audit at least one class at UCLA in a subject that interests me.

    -I will run a half-marathon at an 8:30 pace.

    -I will travel to a foreign country for *fun*. Maybe a vacation in Mexico on a beach.

    -I will package and sell my curriculum and make a comfortable living, enough of one that I can visit with friends for 8+ weeks a year.

    -I will write a full-length play with a plot and everything. I'll share it with the world.

  2. Okay, Prince. I answered your call to action on my blog.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Anonymous1/01/2009

    I will start hooking again and really make a go of it this time.

  4. I will have hot kinky sex with Clive Owen.


    Shooting for the stars baby!

  5. Donovan, those are all great quantifiable goals. As you know, I'm cheering you on. And some of them, I didn't even know you aspired to. But now I know. And I love knowing that!

    Annie, great post! And happy new year to you!

    Anonoymous, are you my sister?

    TCDO, I'm going to get Pork Chop to sprinkle extra fairy dust on that one. :)

  6. I'm so inspired I might even write my own!

    Meanwhile, that cat looks decidedly malicious. And fat.

  7. lol to your sister comment, Prince.

    I make a pretty detailed list of goals every year and every year, I fulfill about two-thirds of them. Not bad, not great...

    This year, my big one is to live a more grateful life. (I know it's not as quantifiable as you might have hoped, but it's certainly a goal that has the capacity to change my outlook and make me a better person in the process. Hopefully.)

  8. I had a similar dream. For me it was a store I've never visited (Kohl's) and all things kitchen decor and appliances were close to free. I woke up confused and wondering if it was a sign that, like my kitchen, my live needed a huge face lift.

    Here's to o9 and your dreams! Shoot for the stars : )

  9. Anonymous1/01/2009

    I will like my newborn child. I will rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite.

  10. JTerry, you cannot eat my cat! (Only I can.)

    Misty, actually appreciation is pretty quantifiable. (Appreciation has corresponding physical actions that can be measured in space and time. So rock it!

    Katherine, hey, you know, for some people a kitchen makeover is a big deal! :)

    Anonymous, indeed. Do!

  11. The problem with being a Perpetually Obsessed Stalker Fan is that we are never satisfied and we constantly crave more product from our Idols.
    More, Prince, more! I would definitely buy a book version of BN, and I look forward to the ready-for-the-public outcomes of your screenplays and new stage works! YAY!

  12. I will get "Golden Boy" picked up by HBO for an entire season with me writing, starring, and executive producing.

    I will book guest starring roles on network television programs and major roles in studio films and independent films.

    I will write more.

    I will get married.

  13. I will buy your book, watch your movie, and see your play.

    And get a new job.


  14. Peter, you are one insatiable whore.

    Feo, I'm rooting for you!

    TheMaykazine, I love those first three. And that last one ain't bad either. :)

  15. Every time I doubt myself, or sink deep down into the mindless inertia the daily life, or do something idiotic just to see if I'm still alive, I will now shout out "FUCK THAT!"

    I will be a better role model for my kids and that includes not using bad words, even when they're the only ones that work.

    I will not get fat.

    I will try to be content with all that I do have and not obsess about what I don't. Unless it makes me write more. Then I might obsess a bit.

    I will write more.

    I will face the ghosts of my former failures and try, try again.

    I will try to stop being so tormented.

    Will try to be here now.

    I will be my own damn breadwinner and earn money off my own creativity, be it acting or writing. Or both.

    I will not forget who I am.

  16. well, weirdly, i just wrote a blog post about contentment and needing momentum (http://www.amyleblanc.com/2009/01/revolutions-saying-yes), but you're right: instead of writing about my big dreams, i wrote about my small ones, the ones i think i might achieve.

    my big dream is one that a lot of people have, a fair number of people i know have done, but is terrifying for me to imagine actually going through with, even though so many of my friends have: quitting my job traveling around the world (3-4 months? not forever) and then being flat broke and jobless when i get back. and then NOT coming back to find a new 9to5 desk job but finding a way to work for myself/part time. that's my big dream for 2009.

    i know it's something that many people have done, but it's a huge thing for me. if i can pull it off, it'll be a dream come true.