When I was a child, before the craziness of high school, I invented stories constantly. I still remember writing them in pencil with crayon drawings in second grade and folding the pages so they looked like a book. When I wasn’t writing, I invented plots at play with my brother or friends. I was never satisfied unless the story was tense and dramatic, complete with villainy, heroism, and a captivating love interest—no kissing allowed. And usually, I played the hero. My brother was gracious enough to constantly portray my arch-nemesis in whatever story we spun together.
Then I came to a startling and dream shattering realization. Most people who wanted to be an author never made it, and those that did had to fight tooth and nail to get paid enough to live on. Figures like Steven King or Michael Crichton were few and far between. My reaction: I went mad and gave up writing.
Now, I am an interesting character when I don’t write. I’m sullen, grumpy, melancholy, and far more difficult to tolerate. Days hold little cheer, and my nights grow darker as my dreams try to compensate for the lack of a creative outlet. I need that release of story to function properly. For me, it is essential as water or air. Well, maybe not quite that essential, but you get the idea.
Periodically, I delved into the world of story and got just enough to carry me on for a while. I took a creative writing class in high school and dragged out stories and poetry from my creativity starved soul that almost hurt to write at first. My brother introduced me to role playing, and that was a salve for quite a while.
Then, partially from gaming, I decided to try writing once more. In fact, I decided to write the tale of a game we’d played. Naturally, this isn’t something I’m proud enough of to dare send to a publisher, but it awoke a part of my soul that had long since lain half sleeping. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that I would have to fight through rejection upon rejection—more than I ever expected, in truth. It didn’t matter that I might not ever make enough to buy a castle or see all of Europe. What mattered was that I had found a part of myself that I’d long ago nearly killed. I have not turned back since.
Granted, there are times when writing falls to the wayside for a little while, times when I get so caught up in editing or researching, the critical elements of writing, that I start back toward the grumpy part of myself. At times like that, my husband kicks me in the butt and makes me go back to the computer to compose something new. (He’s a wonderful man, and I’d never do what I do as well without him.)
So what are your lost dreams? Perhaps you’ve found them after a time of turning your back on them. Perhaps you realized how valuable they were and have not let go of them since. Once you’ve shared or even just acknowledged it in your own heart, grasp that dream, old or new, long lost or recently found, and make it your reality.