I honestly can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been told to “be practical”. I’ve been told to “think of something else” and push my passion in life to the sidelines - to keep it as a “hobby”. Even the thought of that causes my insides to tear into shreds and emotion to swell up inside me. I simply cannot do that.
I cannot stay in a job I don’t want to be doing just because the one profession I’ve always wanted to be a part of isn’t the steadiest career path out there. Just because it won’t necessarily give me the best income.
The words “put your dreams on hold” may not have been spoken to me directly, but they’re the words I’ve heard. Those are the words that cut me in two.
When I was younger, when careers and adult life were just a distant thought thrown about here and there as a rough reminder, many of the adults around me would praise my writing. I suppose it was the fact that I was being creative or developing a skill. They said I wrote ‘maturely’ and teachers would always mention book deals to me whenever I showed them some of my work (something I’m not sure they should have done now that I think about it).
Then I grew up a bit. I became a teenager, nearing the end of my school career, heading off to college with uni around the corner, and the praise turned into “you should look at your options”. The talks of book deals switched to “have you ever thought of this?” Talk of accomplishing my dreams morphed into the serious conversations on practicality.
“Keep writing as a hobby.”
I don’t know where my love for writing stemmed from. Perhaps it was the bookish family I was born into or the stories we were told in nursery. All I know is that, since I can remember, I’ve had this intense need to tell the stories locked up inside of me. For me it’s something I’ve been called to do and have to do; if I didn’t I’d simply implode.
I know that I’m going to have to make sacrifices and take up other jobs in order to create my writing career. Believe me I know that. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t have to take on another job while they chase their dreams? But whenever anyone asks me what I do, being a writer will always come first, because that’s what I primarily am.
We all have dreams, and they are there for a reason. Without my dreams I would not be motivated to do anything - I mean anything. It is my dreams that give me the drive to work hard and get on with it; to keep doing what I love and ensuing that I will grow into the best writer I can be. Without my dreams I would be nowhere, with no sense of self and no apparent purpose. I would be like a version of myself after a dementor’s kiss.
I will not give up on my dreams. I will not shunt them or push them to one side. I will fight to make my dreams a reality.