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Beginning to follow our dreams..

May 7, 2017

Why is beginning to follow our dreams so scary? One reason might be that we have followed other dreams we’ve had, and after so much time and effort, nothing has turned out. So we follow other dreams, but do so more trepidatiously (and yes, that is a real world).

So what’s my dream then? Make money.. (hey.. how ’bout LOTS of money) by publishing books.. maybe short stories in magazines too.. not sure yet. I am thinking and hoping this is a good dream.. the right dream.

Sometimes I think I’m crazy to have this dream, and actually pursue it. But then, lots of authors are a bit, or more than a bit.. nuts. Hemingway, for example, did not exactly die of natural causes. Actually, many many authors have, or have had, shall we say, issues.

(Damn, I’m incredibly superstitious. Just by writing this post, I feel like I’m jinxing myself, but then.. maybe if I write about how I feel that I’m jinxing myself, I’m taking away the jinx. Or should I delete this post.. would that make the magic work? hmm…)

I’ve been writing nonfiction as an amateur for many years. However, I’m not interested in journalism, because I’d actually have to leave the house and talk to people.

Apart from having some social anxiety troubles, maybe I’d be a good interviewer..? Perhaps I could interview people via computer? Eh.. I’m not nosy enough. I like minding my own business. (Except on FB and other social media sites, including this one, of course. On these sites, we mind each others’ business). And I’d probably have to go to sleep before 5 am, so as to be awake during times when most people are not unconscious.

There are other ways of making a living as a nonfiction writer.. maybe I should explore those avenues, but mostly, that is not what I am interested in.

Except.. I might enjoy and be good at writing a human-interest column. That could be a pleasant vocation. And what about being a biographer? How does a biographer get a first gig?

Fiction writers (those who can support themselves solely by writing) can keep any hours they want, be as anti-social as they want, and drink as much as they want, as long as they stay home and don’t drive. Sounds like a good life to me. though I don’t drink much at all. Maybe I should work on that.. drinking is a writer’s tradition. Nah.. alcohol mostly just makes me sleepy.

But why so scared? Most people who find success as writers spend years working at their craft before they see a dime. Many more spend decades writing, and make no money at all.

Though I’ve had the dream of writing fiction for over 15 years, apart from very few fits and starts (and stops), I’ve just begun writing fiction.. might have years ahead of me before I get paid.

Would be nice if I’d started writing fiction while I was in my early teens, or even younger, but I was not interested in writing then.

Getting older.. I worry about spending time on the wrong things.. and the trouble with trying to turn any hobby and/or dream into something at least somewhat lucrative.. we cannot predict the future.

It’s a terrible thing to put a ladder up against a very high wall, climb the ladder, and then notice the ladder is up against the wrong wall. And there’s nothing on the other side of that wall, and I feel like jumping off that wall..

(Tom.. stop it with the ladders and walls.. think a happy thought. See.. I got issues. I’m being sincere, folks).

Still.. best to take a deep breath and think positive. I have time. I have some skill as a writer (and I’ve been writing fairly regularly since 2009). I have some vague ideas that I plan on turning into stories. Or at least one story.. ummm…

Even though I’ve not read huge amounts of science fiction, that is what I want to write. However, I do NOT want to write standard, cliched sci-fi. (How do I get the little accent mark to go above the “e” in “cliched?”) I like fiction that is genre-bending.

Best example of genre-bending fiction that I can think of is one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels. The Night Watch (not to be confused with the very cool Russian action/horror film of the same title) series (did you know the plural of “series” is “series?”) is set in a humorously Tolkienesque world, with lots of fanciful creatures and people (mostly humans, dwarfs and trolls), but the stories are not sword and sorcery (which I tend to find dull), they are police-procedural mysteries set within a fantasy context, which I think is awesome.

I believe it is still possible to be at least somewhat original.

Thing is.. lots of people apparently don’t want originality. There must be many thousands of thriller novels about detectives chasing serial killers, horror novels about evil supernatural beings from the buried past returning to haunt or destroy the living, and romance novels in which, well, people find romance.

(Actually, I do feel like having a drink right now, but it is 2:33 am.. too late to buy some, and I have no liquor in the house.. probably for the best, wouldn’t sleep for long if I had some hootch at this time).

Would originality even sell?

I hope to find out that the answer is yes.

Are you pursuing your dream or dreams? Have you yet to make any money? Let me know what you are working on.

Thanks for reading. I’ve been writing and revising for hours (hope I didn’t miss any typos or other mistakes..). I’ll stop now.

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