On Dreaming Big AND Dreaming Small

Yay, we’re seeing Star Wars tonight!

We’re fans of the franchise, so my family and I often dress up for new releases.

In the past I’ve turned a long white summer dress inside-out to resemble Princess Leia and swirled my hair into buns. For The Force Awakens, my daughter dressed up as her favourite charcter, Han Solo (not the best choice as we were then to discover!).

This year, I wanted to wear a BB8 dress – BB8 being this cute robot:

There are some lovely BB8 dresses to buy online, though I debated the luxury of buying a dress for one night, they were pricey too.

In the end, I couldn’t justify the expense. Instead, I thought up alternatives, found some fabric locally, bought a metre of it and set about trying to make a skirt.

I’ve spent the last few nights stitching it together – I don’t have a sewing machine so it’s all been by hand. It’s not the best, it’s not what I initially envisioned, but it makes me feel star warsy, so it’ll do! I had some material left over and tried to make a top with it, but failed miserably, so settled for adding a BB8 cut-out onto a t-shirt and making a neck-tie:

This week, I also watched a video clip about the difficulties George Lucas faced while making the first Star Wars – not enough budget, things went wrong during filming (broken props, a storm, a car accident) and he had to find imperfect workarounds. When A New Hope first came out in cinemas it was only to 35 theatres. He had such big dreams, but had to start off small.

This felt familiar to me, and not just because of my BB8 skirt!

Writers often have to dream big in order to keep motivated, especially since the average wage of Australian authors is $12,900. I’ve often kept myself motivated by dreaming about the day I’d have my own book launch, seeing my book on the shelves, my name in print, readers actually reading my words, etc (yay, that all happened this year!). But there’s also something to be said for simply getting started, with something, somewhere, and moving forwards from there. Big dreams can keep you going, but it’s the small ones that get you started in the first place.

So today, and over the year ahead, I’m going to keep asking myself: is there something I can do right here, right now to get myself started on my next path – even something small? Is there something you could do too, to get you started on yours? It doesn’t have to be as big as your dreams, as long as it’s something.

I don’t have a BB8 dress to wear tonight, but at least I have a skirt! Yay!

Zena Shapter

I write from a castle in a flying city hidden by a thundercloud. #Ditmar Award-winning author. Movie buff. Traveller. Wine lover. Story nerd. Book Creator & Mentor. Founder & leader of the award-winning Northern Beaches Writers' Group / ZF Kingbolt.

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