What Is The Cure For Post-Dream Fever?

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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post-dream fever

Two weeks ago, I mailed my 476-page book manuscript to my writing coach in what was the culmination of a lifelong dream.

Yes, she needs to edit the book. Yes, I need to find an agent and sell the book!  So I am only “partway there” when it comes to realizing this dream fully. Yet actually WRITING the book was a dream come true for me. I committed to it, I struggled through it, I saw it through to the end.

I made it happen!

When Your Biggest Dreams Are Realized, What Next?

Last week I wrote about what happens next when your biggest dreams are realized. I am still living in that strange, surreal “I did it so what’s next?” space this week. Writing books has been my dream since I was a little girl. I committed to writing this particular book years ago.

Now what?

I am waiting on the edits from my writing coach. I am looking forward to finding an agent and marketing the book. In the interim I am finding myself wondering what to do with all that precious writing time!

My Body’s Response
My body has responded in interesting ways. First of course, after staying up nearly all night for a few nights in the wild throes of the final writing, I crashed.

Sleep, sleep, sleep and more sleep.

Then, the wonderful man I am dating returned home from Japan, which led to some more happy, nearly sleepless nights. My body is still apparently recuperating from all of it because I am very high energy some days and others just feel like I want nothing more than to rest to get my equilibrium back.

The New Dreams
The good news is I do have new dreams that are kicking into gear as well. I have wanted, for the past few years, to launch more life coaching programs, especially for women. Inspiring and empowering women to heal and live happy, healthy lives is one of my life goals, very much in line with what all the women of 8womendream do here.

So I am launching some life coaching programs for women. I am putting my best foot forward in my new business endeavors. I am making things happen.

And I’m also still experiencing a bit of what I call post-dream fever, in which you walk around in a daze for a few, or several days, after realizing that you just achieved one of your biggest dreams.

It feels fantastic, and also surreal and strange!

What Dreams Mean To Us
I think for many of us we are used to having our dreams be “out there,” somewhere in the ether, where we will pursue them and find them and live them “someday.”

Who doesn’t have a “someday” dream of what they’d like to do or be?

And so when our dreams suddenly become reality – we are living them! – there can be a disconnect at first. Do you mean to tell me that this thing I’ve always wanted to do, this woman I’ve always wanted to be – is ME? That I’m doing it, I’m living it?

What then?

More Dreams, More Fun!
The simple and obvious answer is cook up more big dreams and have more fun. I do still have a lot of work to do to get this manuscript polished and out there into the world.

Writing the book was truly “Step One” in the process.

And, I have other dreams for my professional life, as I work more and more with other women, helping them to live their dreams, both here on 8womendream and through my own life coaching work and programs.

Of course, I have other personal life dreams, including having a family, traveling the world, and just living every day as a beautiful adventure. There are so many things on this planet that I want to do, so many places to see, so much to love, so many dreams to live.

It is just a matter of focusing on what comes next for me.

travel suitcase

Recovering From Post-Dream Fever
Right now that includes recovering from post-dream fever ~ and finding my regular rhythm again in my life.

When you are so focused on a single goal, it can be easy to ignore other aspects of life for a while. I do take good care of my health, regularly, and yet there are other goals that remained “back-burnered” while finishing the book.

Launching my life coaching programs was one. Arranging for some of my upcoming world travels was another.

And of course just living in my optimum health and enjoying every day, which for me is always the primary goal. Life is now, and I plan to enjoy every minute.

How To Channel Your Energy, Post-Dreams!
As someone who has just successfully lived a lifelong dream, and accomplished something that once felt incredibly daunting to me, I am happy to provide you with my guide for how to recover from that Post-Dream Fever.

  1. Step One is perhaps the most important Post-Dream action step. CELEBRATE what you’ve accomplished! In whatever forms that takes, make it count – celebrate by yourself, with friends, with family, post your achievements on the Internet, email your friends, blog about it! Do whatever you need to do to make it feel REAL and to acknowledge your very real accomplishment.
  2. REST. Creative endeavors take time and energy and it can suck the life out of you. When you have finished, give yourself ample time to just BE, to relax, to enjoy some time in which you are simply, happily, doing nothing. After being pushed to its limits, a body needs its rest.
  3. Recharge. That can take the form of going to the gym, eating healthy foods, going to yoga classes, meditating, or doing whatever else makes you and your body feel good. For me it includes all of the above, as well as dancing.
  4. Focus on the next goals. Take some time to refocus, and to write down what comes next for you. Gain clarity on your next steps, and get excited about them. A lifetime is a long time to live many dreams, and you are just getting started! What’s next?
  5. Be in action on the next dream. Once you have completed one dream, or step one of one dream, it’s time to move onto the next one, or at least onto step two. So start moving!
  6. Enjoy the journey. The whole point of dreams, I believe, is to allow us to BE who we wish to be in the world, which includes being co-creators with the divine on a journey that we love. So “in-between” dreams remember that life is really in the end a series of moments, and we may as well enjoy the hell out of every moment while living it!
  7. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Some days, when I sit and look at the thick book manuscript, three inches thick, that I produced, I am still simply amazed. There are many next steps in my process of getting this book published, and yet there is a real sense of accomplishment at what I’ve already done.

I wish for you many dreams achieved and many periods of Post-Dream Fever when you emerge in a haze from the last days of pulling it all together, to say, what’s next?

What dreams are you kicking into high gear now? And while you are making them happen, why not start to think about what’s next? So, what’s next?


Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach who has published articles, essays and poems in journals and newspapers across the United States. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University, and earned her MPA at Harvard in 2005. Lisa launched her dream to write her first book by signing up for Ellen Sussman’s “Memoir-in-a-Year” class. She just finished the first draft of her book manuscript! Lisa is also a lindy hopper, blues dancer and belly dancer. She has traveled extensively around the globe. Lisa’s post day is Tuesday.

  • have I mentioned lately how much I love, love, LOVE you ladies?!?

    Cath, I love the idea of doing something every day for the book… Jack is AMAZING. I am not there quite yet – still taking a breather and will dive in soon to edit again – just celebrating the victory. need to make my plan for the next steps :)

    @Veronica – thx love and I can’t wait for you to be with the man of your dreams and for us all to celebrate that with you! Here’s to LOVE!

    @Remy I am breathing easy for a few minutes now ;) but so many goals on the horizon… Marching forward too…

    @Toni I am amazed how far I have come in the past year in terms of conquering my fears about telling my story – very healing! Now I hope it will help others! <3

    @Laurie looking into publishing options – my writing coach will help me find an agent :) so that's the first path to try… Wish me luck! Still many steps to go in this dream but a BIG one is checked off the list (I WROTE THE BOOK!).

    So much love,

  • Laurie

    Wow Girl,
    What an achievement! Do take time to rejuvenate. I have a friend who self published and ya know she did pretty well. This is a big deal so pat yourself on the back.
    Hope to see you soon!
    Big Hug, Laurie

  • Toni Schram

    Wow, you’ve finished your manuscript!

    Along the way I’m sure you’ve released a lot of demons for some very painful moments in your life. I bet many of your readers will see themselves in your book and be grateful for how you have perservered and thrived.

    Take good care of yourself (just like you always do) because you’re going to be busy, busy, busy promoting your bestseller!

    Girl, you should be damn proud of yourself!

    Love ya-


  • Remy G

    lisa, Congrats again on such a huge accomplishment. We can all learn alot from perseverance, high energy and never quit attitude! Good luck with the steps ahead – Rem

  • Veronica

    Congratulations!! You inspire me to want to move forward and complete my dream. So that I might be in the same space you are in right now, ready to move forward with the next part of my life. (your life)
    I look forward to reading your book sweetie.

  • Congratulations again – I look forward to seeing the next part of your dream. After editing, and publishing come marketing. Jack Canfield did a certain number of things every day for a year to promote his first book. Make sure to add that in to your dream goals – making the book a best-seller.

    yep, that’s me . . . always thinking of the marketing. ;-)


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