Many people dreamed of becoming writers when they were younger. They spent teenage years crafting short stories, building fantasy worlds or reading cereal boxes while eating breakfast. Words were part of their lives. They voraciously read every book they could get their hands on, spent hours walking through bookstores and filled shelves with beloved novels.
Then they grew up. They finished their schooling, got jobs somewhere, and set aside their childhood dreams of becoming a writer. Their love for writing never really went away, but its importance faded, set aside because of other adult priorities, like schooling, work and family.
Dreams never die, though. They may fade over time or change and become something even better, but they always stay a part of us, niggling at us deep inside. They want out – if we’ll let them.
What’s In Pandora’s Box?
Today, many people realize they can pursue their dreams of becoming a writer, and that tends to happen when they begin exploring the online world. They discover that being a writer is feasible – nay, easy, even! Websites tell them so.
It’s Pandora’s box – and they open it.
These new writers start dabbling. They begin pursuing the dream of writing as a career. Some seize the opportunity and throw themselves into it with a passion. Fantastic, I say. Go for it. Embrace it and love it.
But then something happens. One disappointment occurs, and then another. A critical client. Not enough work. Too many revisions. Low paying jobs. Costly lessons that only result in sinking self-confidence and increasing self-doubts.
These writers lose heart, and they start to think they should give up. The dream tarnishes.
What This Place Needs Is A Hero
The best stories, the best movies, the best songs… They all involve vanquishing huge odds and achieving victory. The poor, downtrodden hero finally – finally! – gets the girl, destroys the demon or reaches his goals.
Well, writing for a living is like that. There are odds stacked against you, and there are obstacles in your way. There are challenges that you’ll have to face and demons to overcome. Most of them are right inside you. They’re the whispers that take up residence, the ones that tell you to give up.
Think about all your favorite heroes and the struggles they lived through that made their story so great. What good is a movie that’s over within minutes or a book that ends at page two, all because the hero got whatever he wanted without even trying?
Heroes work hard to reach their goals, and you’ll have to work hard, too. Heroes find a way around their obstacles, and you’ll need to find your solution, too. Heroes face their challenges and take a stand against their inner demons.
You’re going to need to do that, too – and you can. This is your life. You’re crafting your own script, living your own story – and your fantastic, victorious moment of glory is waiting for you. All you have to do is write what comes next.
What about you? Do you feel like you’re just not cut out to reach your dreams? What discourages you from pursuing them? What’s holding you back? Is it… yourself?