Little Known Ways To Drive a Dream Leader Crazy

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Little Known Ways To Drive a Dream Leader Crazy: My Writing Area Each week I search for inspiration on the Internet for my Sunday night post.

When I began doing this particular post on Friday night from my dining-room-table-turned-computer-desk-and-teenage-son-homework-table, I realized I am not writing what I do, or don’t do each week to turn this website into a top blog. I’m not writing about what goes on behind the scenes in both my personal life and this blogging life.

To be quite honest with you, I often hesitate to say how I am doing one way or another because I worry I will set the tone for the week on 8 Women Dream. I could end up being like the flat soprano in a choir – causing the whole group to sing off key – – for the week, or the month. Could I be the infectious virus to the groups weekly dream health.

Crazy thinking?

It’s what responsibility can do to us, or maybe I should say to me. I take this role of mine with 8 Women Dream very seriously.

Have you ever carried around 7 peoples dreams with you everyday?  Well, I do.  I think about them all the time.  When I am not thinking about their dreams, I’m thinking about the blog.  When I am not thinking about the blog, I’m thinking about my son.  When I am not thinking about my son then I am back to thinking about their dreams.

Who has time for sex – even if it is with a vibrator.

(Sorry mom I forgot to warn you ahead of time).

I worry too.  I worry if I am doing all that I can, doing the right things, giving the right guidance.

A couple of friends of mine have written a screenplay.  They told me when they shopped it around Hollywood they were informed – by the Hollywood types – that they hadn’t created their own dramatic buzz online to make them famous enough to be a success with their screenplay.


I am certain the Hollywood types were referring to the success of Diablo Cody with Juno – how she first came into the lime-light by chronicling her life as a stripper on the Pussy Ranch blog.

She wasn’t always a stripper.  She was a writer with a blog which wasn’t obtaining the blogging brass ring all bloggers strive for: lots of readers.

Many, many readers.  Addicted readers.

She was also fed up with having to use the city bus as her only mode of transportation. She figured if she became a stripper she could make enough money to buy a car while offering up something more interesting for her readers. Besides, it encompassed one of the 7 Cardinal sins: LUST.  Otherwise known in America as sex.

It worked for Cody, but do we really have to go down that path to get where we want to be? I’ve been working this particular worry around in my head for about a month now.

An alternative to stripping (men would run screaming from the room if I favored this choice . . . I believe) is to create some sort of drama or controversy online.  Something along the lines of John and Kate Plus Eight meets The Biggest Loser.  The problem with this idea is that I don’t believe “reality” shows are a true representation of what is really going on.  Reality shows are cleverly edited to look the way the producer wants for maximum effect.  It all comes down on the editing floor.

They don’t tell the real story any more than Tiger Woods’ personal website comments tell his.

Do we have to be a dramatic online train wreck to get enough readers to land us in the lime-light?


There is another way to have a successful blog without flashing breasts or parading dramatic family lives before the general public.  I was well-counseled about having a blog which offers some sort of help to people in their everyday life, either by making them laugh to forget their problems; offering solutions to their problems;  teaching them something, or offering something remarkable – something completely different.

Hey!  I vote for that one!

I originally thought if 8 women who range in size, age and educations – from varying financial and cultural backgrounds – with vastly different personal lives – could come together to achieve their own big dream – maybe the public might find it interesting – especially if we tell how we are doing it along the way.

The ups, the downs, our mistakes and the people who leave this group because going after a dream can bring up some really scary shit.

We aren’t perfect.

We have typos.  We make mistakes in our posts.  Because after putting our children, our husbands, our families, our jobs to rest we are up in the middle of the night – or the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out what to say on our posts.  I’ve stopped this post 6 times to help my son with his Nicaragua project, write cue-cards for his presentation, test him on his science final, cook dinner, have dinner with him and get him ready for his last week of his first semester of high school.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have typed quietly in complete darkness as to not to disturb his sleeping in our tiny tiny home.  Sometimes he has awakened and begged me to stop typing, so I leave my post incomplete and go to bed, only to rise just before dawn to finish it.  Sometimes I don’t catch my own mistakes until late in the morning after my first break at work.

I was told people will think less of us if we have typos and misspells.


Really?  People are judgmental? Or could the typo create its own kind of buzz on the Internet . . . Hmmmm . . .

“According to a history of the Washington Post, that paper once printed this headline on the front page of its first edition: FDR IN BED WITH COED. Actually President Roosevelt was in bed with a cold. The President phoned the paper and ordered a hundred copies to send to his friends. ” (From the book, An Embarrassment of Misprints by Max Hall – Washington information officer, book editor, and teacher of writing)

Will our readers think less of us as we make mistakes along the way?

Am I wrong to think the typos and misspells mean we are just typing in-between folding exhaustive loads of laundry,  play-dates, farm animals, husbands, football games, wrestling matches, drug counseling, grocery shopping, bill paying, teenage chauffeuring, self-employed businesses, and aging parents?  This is the real story behind 8 Women Dream and more.

Or do you prefer to view arguing and nakedness?

These are the rambling thoughts in my head this week as I begin to write a marketing plan for 8 Women Dream.  My Christmas decorations are out, but not up.  There’s no tree.  There’s no gifts.  I’m praying for more Christmas miracles like The Cat Who Came Back Home For Christmas in time to show my son how much his imperfect mom loves him.

Now back to that worrying –



  • Callie

    lol, isn’t being a leader fun? I watch his TED video every time I need a good kick in the butt!!

  • TC

    Some might interpret your “worrying” as something negative, not realizing that it is a sign you are making things happen.

    You make things happen for the better. Anyone who has ever known you, really known you, understands just how true this is. Anyone who thinks differently is a fool and never really knew you at all.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thank you Kim for everything – and the little green hat I am now wearing everyday until my hair cut!

  • Kim, the traveler

    Thank you for all your work! I think we would love to hear your progress, or no progress, on your dreams. That’s more real to me than just writing lists. I’ve always felt that we should just be ourselves, and what will happen will happen. You can’t force it. But we can keep plugging along…trying.

    You’re awesome!

  • Catherine

    Thank you all for your kind comments.

    Isn’t it nice to know I have the crazy thoughts every now and then?

    I believe in us. It’s the factor all the situations mentioned that they don’t have – us.

    Maybe next time I will give all the examples of successful blogs who break the “mold” of what Hollywood says people are watching.

  • Wendy

    That is a lot of dreams to carry around. One of the reasons I have been an Oprah fan is she goes against all odds. She’s authentic. I hate all that reality drama and I know there is an audience out there that feels the same. That is why I believe she is so successful. You could drive yourself crazy with all the angles. I have been there with art. Every time I second guess my intuition it has turned out poorly. Be true to yourself through this process and reach out to us when you need support on your end.

  • Cath, you are our hero :-)

    I think the charm really IS just being eight real women living our real lives and at the same time living our dreams… One little step at a time.

    And, I think we should follow the brilliant example of Ellen DeGeneres herself, who campaigned for a year to get herself on the cover of “O” magazine with Oprah!

    Pick up the December issue to read the story of how Ellen did it… It’s pure genius. We just need to be out there, be persistent, and make it happen…

    I commit to writing the first intro for the group to Oprah’s network – Let me know if you want it done by the end of this year and I’ll make it happen.


  • Remy G

    Thank you for your huge heart. Want some reality? Ok, I’m a bad speller. I wrote bad cause I cant remember how to spell awful. (Is that right?) I have worn two different shoes to work. I have walked into a restaurant with my skirt hiked up in my undies. I’ve had stuff in my teeth, ‘accidentally’ kissed a potential employer on the cheek after a really great interview (I didn’t get the job) and sent more than one “reply all” email that had me screaming at the laptop trying to ‘recall’ the message. (that never works).
    Who wants to read about that that? *Gulp* Maybe the angle for 8WD isn’t shock and awe factor. I think we are special because everyone can relate to at least one of us, our stories, our challenges, our struggles and victories. It doesn’t matter if the reader is man, women, teen, senior – we are all people – and if by reading this blog once a day helps just one person smile, feel inspired to go on, or try something new – then you have made a difference Cath, by being the one who created the opportunity for us to write about it.
    Hang on to that idea at night when your eyes are burning from either exhaustion or tears – and know that you do make a difference every day. 2010 is your year, and I’m thankful that you asked me to come along for the ride. You rock, girl. Rem
    Ps. “i” before “e” except after “c” isn’t always true, you know.