Tom Petty

I named this blog after a Tom Petty song.

In 2010, my son was born. Amongst many changes, having a child dramatically changed my perspective of time. Where I had always felt time as a languid record turning on the player, it suddenly felt like one that was at hyper speed. It moved too quickly.

My dreams, my dreams. There wasn’t much time.  I had to go after them. I had always played around with writing. I’d always try here and there to write something…  

Now though, I understood that my dreams would not happen for themselves. If I wanted to make a meaningful contribution to the world with writing, I needed to write. Really write.

Tom Petty’s song, Running Down a Dream played over and over in my head, as I got to work. On the days I dropped my son off at preschool, I went to the library and set up my computer. Running Down a Dream was my mantra. Its swift pace carried me through my work and through the hard parts.  I wrote my first novel—an impossible draft—with that song charging through me. It doesn’t matter that I never published that draft. Because, I wrote. And better yet, I learned. I became a better writer by writing.

Yeah runnin' down a dream
That never would come to me
Workin' on a mystery, goin' wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream

In Still Writing, Dani Shapiro reminds us that “the practice is the art.” This is what I understand now. And this blog is my practice space. I named it Writing Down a Dream as an homage to that Tom Petty song that first gave me the swift kick to get started. My aim is the same as when I began—to make a meaningful contribution with my writing. Because I believe now more than ever that the inspiration that we give each other is the kind that the world needs most. 

So thank you Tom Petty for your songs and your music and for the inspiration you gave. Thank you for rallying me to run down my dream and live it.