You can have a dream for a very long time before seeing it come true. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, it seems like it’s never going to happen. That the dreams are just that, ethereal snippets of a life you wistfully remember wanting while the grind of daily life and the reality of responsibilities chip away at your resolve to make them come true.
That’s pretty much where my emotions are at the moment with all of my writing. Not a single bit of writing I have done, whether it be short stories, scripts (so many comics, TV shows, movies, et al), novels or various other sundries, feel like they belong anywhere but in my head or on my hard drive, deteriorating into 1s and 0s that will eventually corrupt themselves, lost to the pixelated gods we all worship daily as their memories degrade into non-functional hazardous waste.
As Harry Chapin once sang in “There Only Was One Choice”:
Good dreams don’t come cheap
You’ve got to pay for them
If you just dream when you’re asleep
There is no way for them
To come alive
I started out with daydreams. I remember report cards as early as third grade telling my family that I needed to stop daydreaming and be more focused.
(An interesting aside: after that first report card in third grade saying I needed to stop daydreaming I was presented with an award for music appreciation because of my eclectic taste and appreciation for all kinds and genres of music. Mixed messages, yeah? Stop daydreaming but good job on liking creative arts.)
Besides a few one offs of questionable quality I learned that I cannot draw for anything. After breaking my back and neck almost fifteen years ago? The finer motor controls I had in my hands and arms are gone. Even writing with a pen is a chore as my hands continually betray the letters I am trying to write out. I have to consciously think about what I’m going to write and have extra paper around to start over. Greeting cards come with their own brand of terror.
Despite what some will say to the contrary, I can’t sing. Throughout my life I’ve had people tell me I have a great singing voice. I can belt out a tune or two now and again, but nothing that would sustain a career in music. The aforementioned hand issues also put the majority of instruments out of the realm of possibility.
It came down to words being my talent. Despite abundant evidence to the contrary I am quite good with words. Writing (when accomplished via keyboard), speaking, presentations, training people, diffusing situations or even just in general conversation I have a great relationship with words. I’m the one who, most of the time, can find the right thing to say when someone is hurting or needs cheering up. I can explain to anyone, in a way they will understand, a concept or a procedure.
I’ve also been told I can write a pretty damned good story.
And just as I start feeling good about stuff I’ve written life gets in the way. Bills, jobs, responsibilities… everything that can bog a brain down. I feel like I’m perpetually being put in a holding pattern. I’m on the wrong side of thirty and my future hasn’t gone from dream to reality. I’m feeling the crunch of time become stronger every day. I feel as if my chance to sprinkle the dust that makes my dreams a real boy has moved on without me. The vibrant fantasies have been replaced by real life greyscale.
Who knows… maybe something will eventually come of all this. I’m not going to stop writing because I can’t, it’s ingrained in me. But I think, for a little while at least, I’m going to stop thinking, “This! This is the one!” and just write whatever I write, good or bad.