The Dream of Being an Author
by Alexa Ann Martin
Everyone has (or should have) a dream; something they want so badly they can almost taste it. No matter what that dream is, it’s important to go after it because that dream comes from the very heart of your being. It’s part of the definition of who you are. It’s your reason to be here.
You see little follow-your-heart effigies everywhere; signs that imply you’ll find your nirvana if you just do whatever your soul is nagging you to do. Do it and the seas will part and great fortunes will befall you. It’s easy, right?
Not so much.
Especially if you’re a creative type. Artists are not wired the way regular people are and the drive to create can be especially deep. If you’re not creating, somehow you just don’t feel right.
For writers, creation comes in the form of telling stories. You can spend days mulling over a plot, or a character’s personality. Strangers on the street become the inspiration for your latest hero…or villain. Your wall might be covered with notes about the story forming in your head. You feel like you actually know your characters as real people.
But what happens when you’ve poured your very soul into your story and said what you needed to say and those characters came and went? What happens after you’ve typed “The End”?
Writers want to believe they’ve created the next Harry Potter series, or the next Star Wars. They want agents calling and movie producers anxious to bring those beloved characters to the screen. What if that doesn’t happen?
Enter insecurity, that nagging feeling that you might not be good enough. Suddenly you see all these other authors getting agents, contracts, and they seem to be more popular/successful than you fear you’ll ever be. You wonder if it’s worth all the pain you went through to create your masterpiece. You still haven’t found a publisher who wants it and you start thinking that maybe you just weren’t cut out for this sort of life. Anger and jealousy set in. Why them and not you?
The truth is, the writer’s life isn’t easy and not everyone makes it. Why? Because they don’t believe in themselves and their work. They let other things get in the way, thinking they’re just saving themselves from continued failure. They decide it just wasn’t meant to be.
Choosing to chase a dream takes enormous commitment. There will always be failures, and perhaps most importantly, there will always be writers who are better than you. That’s the hard truth. But, you’re not without your own resources. You have an ability to write, a story to tell, and you need to tell it. You have to keep going, no matter what. You have to believe that this is who you are and you can’t let anything or anyone stand in your way. You must believe this with every fiber of your being. No matter what.
That belief gives you the power to face whatever obstacles life decides to throw in your path. It gives you the courage to continue.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t look at reasons why you’re failing. Maybe you need to adjust the path you’re on, and that’s not the same as giving up. It’s looking objectively at what’s happening in your life. Could be the adjustment is a minor one. Only you will know for sure.
You owe it to yourself and the world to chase your dream. It’s there for a reason. They say what you want wants you. This is your life and your reason for being here. Stay true to who you are. Believe in yourself.