Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

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How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

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4,443 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. Dear Andrea,
    In this country, there is this federal law called HIPAA, which is about protection of individuals’ health and mental health records, and anything to do with any of this. It makes it illegal to discuss anyone’s health or mental health issues, or their records pertaining to their issues. I know you mean well, but these people simply have to speak for themselves and not be having any intercessors speaking for them. And you really can’t help them by going public with their health issues. It’s a violation of HIPAA.
    What I do see here, and probably out of desperation, your friends seem to be grasping at straws. They seem to be having multiple and conflicting goals, instead of a single goal. On the one hand, a doctor and a lawyer are trying to help them get disability. On the other hand, they want to work as fully functioning nomads, and really be earning their way as nomads with their tutoring business. And on the 3rd hand, they want to go where there’s dispersed camping “someplace warm”–Hey, I thought California was warm . . . . And these are 3 different, conflicting goals. If you’re on disability, you can’t work, and you’re on it because you cannot work. That’s the very definition of disability. If you manage to make a little bit of money doing something or other, and it’s more than $200 per month per one person, this needs to be reported to the welfare office.
    They are going to have to make up their minds: are they disabled, or are they functioning, employable nomads?
    And just go off camping somewhere [and basically forgetting the whole thing] is to shoot yourself in the foot. Crowd funding works for the formation of good causes, like, for example, starting an orphanage somewhere. But it falls flat for people who are trying to use it to acquire basic necessities like food and gas for the rig. There’s not much difference there between that and street begging. It’s very similar, only being done electronically. And any money taken in this way would destroy being able to be on any kind of welfare/disability benefits, because you can’t be making much money and be on disability benefits at the same time.
    So these people have some basic choices to make: Are they disabled, or are they not? And with a lawyer and a doctor helping them, they’d better give up trying to do anything else but be disabled, and let these experts help them. Or, they could easily be accused of welfare fraud.
    And, they need to quit trying to have a public intercessor and to stand up on their own two feet and fight for themselves. You can fight for them as their friend, but they need to engage in their own “battles.” If they speak for themselves, then they aren’t violating HIPAA. And they need one goal, not 3 or more.

    • They have a whole website and community

      https://nanowrimo.org/

      Every year I know someone who’s participating but I haven’t yet worked up.the necessary combination of time, space (headspace, silence – there’s almost always some kind of chaos swirling in my “assigned space”), and sheer physical energy necessary to participate

  2. My Wish,
    To complete a 400 page romance novel by December 31st, 2024.

    My obstacles,
    There are no success teams in my city, and have never been no matter how many times I looked. I even tried forming my own, but the folks were not serious, and it failed. I do not wish to lead a team, but I would like to join one. I am not no social media (and don’t wish to be), but I can do email, or phone. I also have a difficult time thinking of a good concept for a romance novel.

    • Hi Ella!

      I am running an accountability group with for people currently working toward a goal. It sounds like a potential good fit for you. People have different goals, but we do have 2 writers in the group.

      It’s not a success team, but I follow a lot of the same concepts (I’m a huge barbara fan) For example, we have a portion of time where we brainstorm for problems people are running into.

      We meet every week for 45 minutes on Sunday, 10 am PST. Payment is donation-based – not required and helps out a ton if you can afford to.
      For more information and to apply, please see the website: https://chinesemonkeywarrior.com/

      — Em

    • Ella, I know next to nothing about writing romance novels, but I am so curious about how you chose 400 pages (100,000 words in 39 days!) before the concept. And a couple of tech suggestions: dictate it (Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional software or Otter.ai online) unless you’re a very fast typist, and use Scrivener (from Literature and Latte) to organize and reorganize your characters, plot, and chapters, importing the transcripts as text files.

      • Hi Patty,
        I choose 400 pages for a whole year. I choose 400 pages because the romance novels from authors that I’ve really liked with well developed characters and storylines were around 400 pages or more. I looked at that NanoWrimo site that Beckie had suggested and realized that it was to finish a novel in 30 days. I couldn’t do that if I tried. Ha. Though I do see that they have other options. I will look more into that.

        I also looked into the group that Emma suggested, and it looked great. But I don’t use Paypal or Venmo to donate to the group. And if I used it, I would like to donate.

        • Hi Ella, yes it is a higly ambitious task I think the point is quantity over quality to get it all out and do a real rough draft. But I know they ahve online networks and you can use the website as a place to track what your doing outside of the November timescale. Also I think there are locl and online group meet ups. I just thoguht it was a coincidence you posted on the 1st!

        • Haha don’t let paypal/venmo stop you from joining our accountability group! If you wanna donate I’m sure we can find a way. Feel free to join first, we can always discuss possibilities after you try out the group.

    • Hi Ella,
      I can’t help with a success team or any ideas about writing but I have one minor thing that I can offer if you’re interested: I have some experience with proofreading. I would be willing to proofread your novel for free if you want.

      Keep in mind, I am no professional. I proofread my brother’s books (he is a self-published author) and college essays for friends/classmates/friends of friends. I’ve never trained for proofreading, I just happen to be decent at it.

      I can’t help you with content editing. But, after your novel is finished, if you just want someone to double check all the spelling and grammar (i.e. proofread), send me an email and I’d be happy to: dakotanovasatus@gmail.com.

      Best of luck!

      • Dakota,
        That is so sweet of you. I could care less if you’ve had formal training or not, proofreading is something I’ve learned that a lot of folks are just naturally good at (not me). I would love to take you up on your offer!!! Please let me know if you might have anything that you may need that I could help you with.

  3. My WISH:
    to share my dreams with other dreamers in the mean of a success team. The ways I can offer to connect are: in person, via phone or email. Language: German.

    My Obstacles:
    * don’t know people to join me (tried to engage with friends or people around)
    * no zoom, no social media (facebook or else), no mobile / apps
    * living far away in the country (no sucess teams offered out here)

    My first-of-all-dream would be a very practical one: to work on a full space clearing for my flat. An overflow of material of all kinds shall be set free to open the field for going for a vivid life und so many dreams of mine.

    The company of a success team would be a great way to keep me going.

      • Dear Patty,

        didn’t know about freeconferencecall, thank you for letting me know. I’ll see whether this might be a fit for me and fellows-to-be-found. As I am more kind of an analog person I am not shure about that on my behalf.

        I had checked in years on wishcraft-online.de but no offer at my place far far away in the countryside. This made me jump in right here on this networking ideaparty to encourage myself and not loose my track.

        Any of our few places that you mention for putting up a poster simply disappeared in times of – nearly – everything becoming digital. But your hint reminded me to think of those possibilties which ARE present. And real paper flyers could still work to find my people.

        Obstacle: it’s really few people around. And I became pessimistic to find any free spirits who are open to Barbaras “School”. I am happy to inspire people but done with educating others.

        My first dream now became: to work on putting up a team.

        Next steps:
        * ask a younger friend this week for her inspiration how to call in people for a team
        * work on a flyer and collect ideas where to spread them
        * think of an announcement through a magazine (paper wise) to call in open minded people from other places. Mentioning my place.

        All the time: practise to talk about any wish AND obstacle on my way to put up a sucess team – to call people in for creative support.

        I’d love to find more inspiration and encouragement working on my project from visitors on this side – please tell me any idea you have reading all this.

        So happy to be here – thank you everyone!

  4. My daugter in law is a Brazillian girl and she has 17 years old. She´s preparing herself to study Film Making abroad. She did her first short movie and was selected for an international Festival, ConnectHer Film Festival.

    She was the most voted video on the category People´s Choice Award. Among the 10 most voted videos, the judges would choose three for finalists and she was one of the three selected.

    The ConnectHer Film Festival Award Cerimony is in Austin, Texas on the 11th November 2023. At the Cerimony they will announce the winner for all the categories and for the People´s Choice Award.

    We want her to go to the cerimony, the ConnectHer Film Festival pays some days of hotel stay, but we unfortunately can´t afford her airplane ticket (from Brasília, Brazil – BSB – to Austin Texas and we also don´t have money for her to pay for food and the expenses in there.

    She has the Visa for United States, so she needs the airplane ticket and some money to stay there.

    Here is the link for her short movie and the link for the ConnectHer film Festival nominatons:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kukIN6N0OgY&t=3s

    https://connectherfilmfest.org/connecther-film-festival-2023-finalists/?fbclid=IwAR3qXzS55rGei8LfcP3HzIoJ42rdwclgCasBaRymRDnR28OUEuxhFNgKO2Q_aem_AZYqilqUxNm4Cr-rmwJVMGU9oxYOnPYnmpeqEb0XFX4RoDEuB0PvjkuzarhbXWCQ4Cc&mibextid=2JQ9oc

    She appeared in more than 5 local newspapers and in a radio interview.

    Here are the links to the newspapers:

    https://www.correiobraziliense.com.br/diversao-e-arte/2023/08/5115740-filme-de-brasiliense-de-17-anos-e-selecionado-para-premiacao.html

    https://gpsbrasilia.com.br/make-me-laugh-conheca-o-unico-filme-brasileiro-que-compete-no-connecther-film-festival/

    https://diadeajudar.com.br/mundo/filme-de-jovem-cineasta-brasileira-se-destaca-como-unico-representante-nacional-em-renomado-festival-de-cinema-internacional/

    https://www.esperancafm.com.br/noticia/jovem-de-17-anos-produz-unico-filme-brasileiro-selecionado-em-festival-internacional

    https://aventurasnahistoria.uol.com.br/noticias/historia-hoje/jovem-de-17-anos-produz-unico-filme-brasileiro-selecionado-em-festival-internacional.phtml

    https://brasilia.colegiosmaristas.com.br/noticias/curta-de-brasiliense-de-17-anos-e-selecionado-para-premiacao-internacional/

    And the link for the radio interview:

    https://youtu.be/SlwV6G1Jsug

    • Hello,
      I just watched her Film – impressive – congratualtions.
      So would crowdfunding be a possibility to finance the travel? or just setting up a paypal-me account, so that those who want to support her art, could give some money?

      or this platform https://www.buymeacoffee.com/ ?

      It would be a pity, if she missed out this chance to meet other fiilmmakers life and if she could only send a video-mesage to the festival.

      Best wishes – Astrid

      • Hi Astrid,

        thank you so much for your reply and for watching her short movie.

        We are open to all suggestions… We will check the site you just sent. Thank you again!

  5. Idea Party Alert!!!
    This weekend- 3 Philly PA Invitations:
    When & Where:
    2 PM & 5 PM Sat Sept 9th, 2023
    at Black Turtle Coffee
    2100 Chestnut Street
    Center City Philly 19103
    AND
    1 PM Sun Sept 10th, 2023
    at Kennedy Food Garden Deli
    1901 JFK Blvd
    Center City Philly 19103
    (Free street parking on Sundays)
    What:
    Neighboring Community Idea Parties via the concepts of Barbara Sher’s YouTubed TEDx Talk “Isolation is the Dream-Killer”: https://youtu.be/H2rG4Dg6xyI .
    All welcome- ages 8 to 88 and beyond!!!
    For more info:
    Please leave a voicemail message only at 215.618.1572 for Uda.

  6. This weekend- 3 Philly PA Idea Party Invitations:
    When & Where:
    2 PM & 5 PM Sat Sept 9th, 2023
    at Black Turtle Coffee
    2100 Chestnut Street
    Center City Philly 19103
    AND
    1 PM Sun Sept 10th, 2023
    at Kennedy Food Garden Deli
    1901 JFK Blvd
    Center City Philly 19103
    (Free street parking on Sundays)
    What:
    Neighboring Community Idea Parties via the concepts of Barbara Sher’s YouTubed TEDx Talk “Isolation is the Dream-Killer”: https://youtu.be/H2rG4Dg6xyI .
    All welcome- ages 8 to 88 and beyond!!!
    For more info:
    Please leave a voicemail message only at 215.618.1572 for Uda.

  7. Hi Everyone,

    My longstanding Wish is to become a retreat leader and plan my first wellness retreat to Hawaii for people with fibromyalgia .

    I travel there every 2 years and have been visiting since 2009.

    Obstacle:
    I have never done a retreat and am concerned about pricing to ensure my not for profit makes a profit to cover our costs for marketing and planning. Other obstacles the legal aspect of it such as dealing with what to do should someone get sick, or injured and how to handle cancellations and no shows, dealing with speakers.

    Also, what would be the best minimum and maximum number of days for it? I have people from Canada willing to travel for 7 days.

    Some in Illinois also like 7 days.

    Due to distance and cost 5-7 days seems ok for the retreat and if they desire to stay longer after it ends they would be responsible for added hotel stays.

    I have a travel agent I use frequently and she would handle booking of the hotel and the housing. That part is easy.

    But, dealing with legal issues to protect myself and my non profit is a big concern for me. I have seen many people advertising enrolling in their retreat course to learn how to be a retreat leader and planner but not willing to pay them $4.000 for their course.

    I know the perfect place for it in Hawaii. I have a couple people interested in the retreat.

    As I type this right now it doesn’t seem so difficult after all. Perhaps I could ask an attorney to draw up a retreat contract with terms and conditions.

    • Hi Everyone,

      I forgot to mention when I am there I am pain free and it’s a magical place.

      The healing energy and being near the ocean calls my body down. Even when I return home the endorphins and healing energy is still there in my body.

      • Dear Necie,
        I have never coordinated a whole bunch of speakers for an extended workshop, but my experience has been as a speaker who has been a presenter at retreat centers many times, running my own workshops via an affiliate organization–I was presenting their material, that I’d been trained to present. But, independently making my own arrangements.
        As to the liability question, the people who presented for this organization were always instructed to use waiver forms for each participant, and workshop fees and signed waiver forms were collected before each workshop began. The wording of the waiver forms was already worked out by the sponsoring organization.
        Pricing is based, to a great extent, on what your workshop retreat location wants to charge, and this varies enormously. These were in rustic settings. One retreat center allowed us to potluck the dinner on the Friday night before, and the rest of our meals, too. We just used their kitchen facilities and cleaned up after ourselves. Another retreat center had a staff that prepared meals for us, so that cost had to be factored into the price per attendee. They had a standard price they charged attendees, and I had my standard honorarium.
        The duration of the workshop is not determined by the time it takes to travel there. It is solely determined by the content you and other speakers want to produce,. and how many presenters you will have. Getting there and back is outside of the workshop parameters, and is entirely the responsibility of those attending. They have to make their own arrangements to get there on time and back home on time. The timing of the workshop doesn’t vary to accommodate them.
        You develop your own policies to handle cancellations and no shows. If the workshop was expensive, I had attendees make a deposit and then pay the remainder by a certain date. If they were a cancellation after a certain date, or if they were a no show, they wouldn’t get their deposit back. This gave them the incentive to be responsible and show up. In all the years that I’ve done this, I’ve never had a no show. That’s the way I’ve handled that situation. But you set the timing, and stick to it. You never survey the audience on this, to see what they’d like. You are in charge. Your timing, your price, deposit, if any, and cancellation and no show policies are clearly announced in the initial publicity that you send out to potential attendees and any additional publicity you send to them prior to the workshop. They make their own travel arrangements. You do not need to be providing them a travel agent. That’s their responsibility.
        You’ll have to consider how many speakers you’re going to have, and how long each day will be, and for how many days will the workshop go, based on the content produced and presented. You’ll have to consider what you’re going to have to pay for those speakers. Typically, a speaker has an honorarium and they will want all costs that they incur to be covered by you, including their airfare, their ground transportation, their meals, and their lodgings, so that these things are not having to be paid for by them. A presenter is there to get paid, not to have to pay in order to speak. Airfare may be negotiable, but this is a sticky wicket. Better to be prepared to pay it for them.
        To set the price and arrive at a fair price for yourself, you must find out the cost of whatever your venue charges, which will usually be some standard, though some places will provide certain group rates. And then you tack on whatever you will need to cover your costs plus whatever profit you want to make, and this figure, divided by the number of attendees, is what you charge. You will have a set minimum and maximum number of attendees figured out. Those numbers don’t change. There will be a certain number of “slots” to fill with attendees. And it’s up to you to publicize, furiously, for several times in advance of the date, to fill them. Get started well in advance, like up to 6 months in advance, or more. Many speakers will book their calendars up to two years in advance, and a year in advance is typical. They’d be working on their 2024 calendars now. So, if you want to pull this off, you have to be planning Well In Advance, and contacting people. A good professional presenter will provide you with a speaker’s proposal, or contract, of their own. It ‘ll contain a synopsis of the content of their presentation, a short bio that you can use when you do your publicity, possibly a head shot, and their non-negotiable honorarium, as a minimum. There may well be other elements to it as well. So You need to determine the length of the workshop, how many speakers you want, get them booked well in advance, and get the whole thing set up and ready to go, including how many slots there are for attendees. Then, you are ready to start publicizing to attendees. Travel arrangements are on them. Staying on after is entirely on them, and something they’d have to book for themselves with the venue in advance of the workshop, and not something you’d have to concern yourself with or handle in any way. You’ll have enough to do, trust me, to just organize the workshop. Typically, a person has a helper to help them with registration and publicity. I had a publicist working with me to help publicize the events that I did, and I worked out a deal with her that we’d share a percentage of the profits. So, it would behoove her to publicize like crazy.
        Basically, the venue has to be paid, the speakers have to be paid, and the publicist has to be paid. So do any helpers who may be helping you with registration. That’s how I’ve done things. I hope this helps to straighten out a few things. I believe that you are trying, at this point, to involve yourself with some aspects of doing this which aren’t your responsibility. The most difficult part of all this is getting a suitable-sized audience. It takes expertise in the business of doing publicity. It’s possible to make money at this–I have–and it’s also possible to lose your shirt. I wish you luck, and I hope that these things have helped. But then, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

        • Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. The speakers and honorarium that I am very clear on

          I should not have added concerns about speakers I was typing to quickly.

          When I worked in pharma I funded numerous medical events and honoraria we covered certain things which is why I am using local or surrounding speakers.

          Regarding the air fare some retreat planners I had observed wanted to do the booking for that.

          But, attendees I will leave up to them to figure out.

          But, after reading your comments will leave that up to the participants.

          I appreciate all the information you shared and provided.

          You are correct I am focusing on things I don’t need to.

          Great advice about the helper as I have someone helping me with that.

          All my speakers will come from the island I have selected.

          I have to plans to fly in a speaker and it’s more affordable to use a speaker on the island knowledgeable about fibromyalgia.

          They have many and have been working on this project for a while.

          You post is a great roadmap!

          Mahalo

          • Necie,
            Even with waiver forms, you may want purchase liability insurance. You can buy liability insurance just for your event at a reasonable rate. The liability insurance should cover any damage to the facility as well as well as any issues that may arise, or be perceived to arise directly or indirectly from the workshop. Otherwise, think of the disclaimer language for retreats, books, courses.

            When I was licensed as Louise Hay, Heal your Life Teacher it was impressed upon us the importance of liability insurance.

            Story: A woman attended a workshop, had a breakthrough that brought up some “issues”. After the workshop, her children sued – nutshell, no details. For me, that incident shown the light of how important Liability insurance can be.

            On the other hand, the hotel where guests are staying should have liability insurance for any “slip and falls” etc. Participants could be encouraged to purchase travel/ trip insurance and check their current insurance policies to see in they can use their regular health insurance in case of an emergency.

            @MaryAnn seems to have covered everything in her response. Awesome!!!

  8. Hello there is a dream that is almost coming true. Living the Andalusian life in Spain.. My first vacation since years Sooo happy. Only for two weeks

    Unexpected BIG obstacle my cats, can NOT find a person or pension to take care of my two cats.

    My house is in renovation so not suitable for a stayover for a catsitter.

    Guess I have to cancel my trip..

    Due to work obligations and school holidays no option to delay and reschedule

    So now or never..

    My plane will depart within a couple of days. I guess cats can not stay alone so I have to cancel my dream

    • Dear Sara,
      I hope you have not already cancelled your trip. How much do you want your dream? A lot! I can tell.
      A friend of mine did house sitting and plant sitting and pet sitting for decades. Every kind and variation of it that you can think of. And sometimes, she took care of cats when their people were gone, but for whatever reasons, she couldn’t stay with the cats. So the arrangement was that she went over to their house, made sure the cats had enough food, the right food, and that the water was adequate and also clean. And she kept their litter box cleaned out, and re-supplied with litter when the time was right. She also greeted the cats if they weren’t hiding from her, and if they wanted some cuddles, they got some cuddles too. And then she’d leave and come back later. Maybe she’d go over twice a day. And the cats survived! They did fine!
      This worked, and is workable. Don’t Cancel Your Dream! Get a pet sitter, and lay out the plan to them, and go for it! Don’t Cancel Your Life!

    • Definitely you can leave cats alone and have someone come by to feed them and change kitty litter. and of course love them up 🙂 There are also Cat Kennels that will take them in for extended visits that you can check into.

      • Thank you, that’s what I thought but I have asked everyone I know, to just refresh the water and check the food.. friends, family, neighbours, no one was available, called every kennel/pension I could think of, all full no place left.. so really don’t know what to do.

        I meant cats can not stay alone without someone checking in on them

        • Dear Sara,
          I hope your plane hasn’t flown already. There are regestries of house sitters. And they are well qualified and experienced.
          I am sure they can be found by googling them. This is do-able. Heck, if by the remote chance that you live in my region, I’D do it! I live in Tacoma, Washington, 30 miles south of Seattle. I am reachable via lebergm83@gmail.com.

    • How long are you going for? Perhaps again reach out to all and anyone you have asked and say how much you are struggling. Be upfront and ask for what you need and say you may have to cancel your trip which you are sad about. Rather than have one person suggest that you create a rota of where different people can and can’t help. Is there a cat flap or high window you can leave open and maybe a shed or somewhere for outside food so that worse case if there is a day no one is around they have food and shelter? Create a group we use WhatsApp for everything in the UK but there’s probably soemthing similar and everyone can communicate on there. Buy a coded lockbox for your keys and share the code there. Trust me it’s doable. For a year I ahd no childcare on a Saturday when I was working and just rotaed a different person every week. Stressful coordinating but very possible! And maybe you can’t pay people but you can owe favours. Maybe people have kids or Gardens you can offer to help with or take them a meal to say thanks when you’re back.

    • Sara,
      Look at local homesteaders in your area. They often have plenty of animals to care for that a few more won’t be a burden and if you offer some pay for their trouble or perhaps even more valuable to help them with something when you return. Or how about contacting a local homeschool group. Teens may want to care for animals for experience and a small income or a homeschool family may be willing to “foster” for the 2 weeks so they can determine if they would want a pet long term. You just need to get a bit creative at this point.

  9. My name is Dorothy Vee and I’ve been a fan of Barbara Sher for MANY years. I am now retired and able to choose the life I love. Being a scanner has made that quite difficult to do.But I am leaning towards becoming a polyglot. I was an English as a 2nd Language teacher, and now I am free to explore the languages I love: Arabic, German, Italian, French, and Advanced Spanish.I know and speak heritage Spanish, but I wish I was at an academic level – reading, writing, speaking, even comprehending what I hear.
    Anyway, my obstacle is I want to learn them all simultaneously, but I know to really master one it has to be rigorous for just that one. I don’t know how to set my objectives so that I feel I’m on the road to being a polyglot. So far I know only Spanish and English, and I’m a beginner level at the other four. I ultimately want to master all of them. I am now 65, so I’m in a bit of a rush here!

    • Dear Dorothy,
      If I were doing it, here’s what I would do: Sign up for an immersion Spanish class through a college or university. Since Italian is a closely related language, I probably would also sign up for a different language too, like French or German, so that I would not get the two confused while bringing the Spanish up to speed and learning Italian. So, two languages at once. I had two years of immersion French in the university when I was working on my B.A., and before I was through with it, I was dreaming in French, and could definitely read it, write it, speak it, and was comprehending what I heard. Those are the requirements of such a class. Beyond that, I was getting so that I could just do things in French without having to translate. And I was dreaming in French before I was through. So, my recommendation is to study two dissimilar languages for two years at the university level. You will have gained proficiency. Then, sign up for Italian and the other dissimilar language that you didn’t sign up for at first, at the university level, for another 2 years. In 4 years’ time, you’ll be proficient in 4 languages. And then you sign up for Arabic–I don’t know where or how you’ll find courses in Arabic, but you’ll need to do immersion again, for another 2 years until you attain proficiency in it. You’ll already have the others, and the Arabic will be the “icing on the cake.” This is what I would do. Yes, it’ll take time, but heck, time will pass anyway, and you might as well attain your dream. Don’t settle for a cheap shot, like learning a little Berlitz. Go for the gold standard, and get 4 years of university-level language study under your belt. I would start with the Spanish, and a dissimilar language, either French or German, because you already know some Spanish, so this part of the work would be easier. Then, into the Italian and the other dissimilar language.
      Good luck with all this, and bonne chance!

      • Thank you, Mary Ann. Everything you recommended makes sense. I have ADHD and was always afraid I wouldn’t get to things, and I haven’t. But I think I can give myself permission to master 2 languages at a time. I’ve been using daily Duolingo for 2 years taking turns with each language and I’m really getting a sense of them, Italian, German, and French. Arabic really requires learning the script, and I have, but I haven’t learned to recognize words yet. That one is almost like learning Math! So many symbols to memorize and combine! But thank you so kindly for your advice, I’ve been making myself crazy about how to proceed and feel loyal to all my languages. I’ll work out a new plan.

    • Hi Dorothy,

      I love your dream. I have always wanted to learn more languages and improve the ones that I already know but I never thought that I could actually accomplish that … I always thought it was too far fetched.
      I was just wondering whether you would be interested in creating a plan, checking out the different options, swapping ideas, brainstorming with me and maybe become accountability buddies? If yes, send me a message on almazarchetypes@gmail.com

      Take care,

      Almaz

    • Dorothy,
      Are you aware of italki.com? It’s a site where you can practice speaking any language with a native speaker. It really gets you up to speed quickly. You can pay for a tutor, but if you dig around the site, there are people who just want to practice for free. (You can also sign up to teach English yourself, for free or for a small fee per hour.)
      It’s a great way to become fluent in almost any language.
      Best of luck!

      • Bless you, my ! That’s a great website. I’m shy to speak in another language, but it’s what I need most! Thank you
        Dorothy

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