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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Letting go of dreams

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a rock star, a teacher, and a writer.

Let's face it.  I had no chance of ever becoming a rock star.  I can't sing.  I quit the clarinet, and really, what rock band is looking for a woodwind player anyway?  Plus, I really don't want the rock star life.  I can sing in my car at the top of my lungs, and that makes me happy enough.  I let go of the rock star dream a long, long time ago.

I did end up becoming a teacher, though not at all in the way I had envisioned.  I was going to be a Social Studies teacher, and then I was going to be a school librarian, and then, well, it seems I became a homeschooler.  Trust me, that was not really on my radar until a few months before we decided to take the plunge.  So here we have a dream come true.

The third one, however, is a tough one.  I have an abundance of thoughts swirling in my head at all times.  Sometimes they are stories about made up lands and made up people, and sometimes I am really afraid that I am supposed to tell my own story.  I cannot even begin to tell you how terrifying that is to me.

I've always expressed myself best through writing.  I have a hard time being really open and real face-to-face.  Some of you are going to psychoanalyze that.  Anyway, it's so much easier for me to make sense out of all the noise in my head when I can take the time to write.  I'm not quick enough for most arguments.  I say the wrong thing ALL THE TIME.  Not just something that offends someone, or hurts someone's feelings, but I literally say things I don't mean, and then chastise myself for doing so.  I have to think out loud, and if someone isn't willing to listen to me go through that process, then there's a communication breakdown.  And believe me, it's not a trait that I am especially pleased to possess, but it's how I am wired.  My point is, writing helps me think out loud, but I can backspace and erase half of it and start over.  Verbal communication doesn't work like that.  I prefer writing.

When I was younger, I wrote constantly.  I wrote short stories.  I wrote (terrible) poetry.  I started writing a novel in junior high.  I journaled, a lot.  Really, this blog is my journal every now and then (like today), but I rarely journal anymore.  I did NaNoWriMo last year, and felt like a massive failure.  I wrote.  And wrote.  And it was just garbage.  Horrid.  I never let anyone read it, and I deleted it.

I have been thinking about becoming a writer, and maybe it's time for me to just let it go.  I mean, I got the teacher thing.  I feel like a rock star when I play Rock Band.  I don't need to hang on to being a writer.  I tell myself it's okay; I don't really have anything to say.  No one would want to hear it anyway.

On the one hand, I think I should just give up, and grow up, and let go of childish dreams.  On the other hand, I think dreams are one of the best things about life.  Writing has been that thing that I'll do one day.  I think this dream is part of who I am.

The other day I saw one of those cheesy quote things on Pinterest:

I realized something when I read this.  I am afraid of letting go and putting myself out there for critique and criticism.  I do not take criticism well at all.  I'm hard enough on myself that I can barely stand anything extra.  Fear is a terrible reason for me to stop dreaming about becoming a writer.  Quite honestly, I realized that I am already a writer.  No, I'm not a great writer, and that's okay.  But I do have something to say.  I have worlds to create, people to tell you about, and stories to share.  Maybe even my own.

I'm keeping this dream.


  1. Absolutely, you keep this dream. Unless the words in your head stop or God blocks them from coming through to your hands via pen or keyboard you are a writer! You write for God and for you just like you homeschool to honor God and serve your family. No one else has to like it, but I think if you let it out you'd find you have fans who would love to read what you have to share.

  2. I am so proud of you! Great job.

  3. Yep, looks to me like you are already a writer. Besides, Carrie, our dreams don't have to die because we have a family. One day those dear kids will be grown and gone! What will you do then? That serious writing dream will have its place in time.

    PS. If you wrote and wrote and wrote for NaNoWriMo, you succeeded. That's what NaNoWriMo is all about -- getting people to write. You did it!

  4. I have a similar dream, geared towards YA fantasy (crazy, I know). And I have similar fears so instead of writing something, I allow the fear of failure & criticism to cause me to fail without typing a single word. Maybe we should start a support group?

    I'm glad you are keeping your dream alive.

  5. What rock band is looking for a woodwind player?

    Audience was, that's who. The clarinet does a lot of what the lead guitar in any other band did, and ably well.

  6. I am working with all six Hydelings for homeschool this year, working part-time for the library, and decided to rip out my kitchen. I have not written since August. I have been feeling the itch, though--got that ol' Nanowrimo feeling. Up until about two hours ago I was like "Nanowrimo this year? No way!" All of a sudden, I'm like "Why not?" Ah, the winds of change...Not beginning a new novel, though. I think I will use the daily word count goal to FINISH the novel I was working on this summer. This past year has shown me that believing anyone else's definition of what a writer is a dangerous game for my personal creativity beast. Hey, fellow writer, it's writing time. Are you game, Carrie? ;)


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