A real writer has dreams. I’m not talking about dreams of commercial success, fame, wealth, etc, though we have those too. No, the real dreams are to tell stories. A true writer is a reader and the stories we dream of creating are stories to match or rival those we grew up with.
Dreams are why we write. We have thoughts and imaginations and storylines flowing through our heads. We put them together in new ways and spin new stories, ever striving to create something that can live up to our dreams. Even if we actually do achieve something that others see as living up to what we are striving for, we have elevated our dreams higher that the works that inspired them.
Our dreams are on a pedestal and they are hard to match. What we need is a dose of realism when we look back at our writing. How many writers out there think they are not good enough. How many gems lie hidden in drawers or boxes, forgotten because the writer doesn’t think they stack up.
I was recently reminded of this when I stumbled upon a place where writers were encouraged to post their work. It was the hard work of obvious amateurs, but it was still their hard work, their attempt to reach the dream. But at the same time, I have seen writers ten times as talented who balk at letting people read their work. Sometimes that is because they have no support for their dreams. Sometimes it is just insecurity. Whatever the reason, all writers, of whatever level, should find other writers who will give them an honest opinion. The bad need to be told that they have a long way to got, but the great need to be told they are great.
I think back to the stories that I read when I was young. They are better in my memory than they really are in some cases. They are the dream I aspire to. I am a horrible judge of my own work. I find it flawed and often wonder if it is worth trying to see it published. Then I am encouraged by those who read it. It is encouraging when my fellow writers give the same comments my early readers do. But still I doubt. My own stories don’t compare to the dream I aspire to. It drives me on to always aspire to writing better.