“You can be anything that you want to be,” my dad would say as we drove to Saturday morning soccer games when I was a kid. Parents like mine, great parents, were full of good intentions and didn’t miss an opportunity to pump up their kids’ confidence. It didn’t matter if I was holding up the end of the bench, or if I was the starting midfielder for the varsity team. My parents were in the stands, shouting their unwavering support for me and my dreams. Be anything you want to be. It didn’t matter that, although I was a good high school player, I didn’t possess the skills to play in college or beyond. They had me gassed up with belief, until reality snatched the dream away. Funny thing is, I’ve taken that ridiculous confidence with me into adulthood; I’ve never been afraid to go all in and try anything and everything, until reality knocks me on my butt and the ref calls the fight over.
Reality kicking my ass. Is that where I am with the dream of being a professional writer? Its funny, even though I’ve had many successes at the office, I’ve never been a climb the corporate ladder type of guy. More power to the 5 year plan guys and gals , chasing down prestigious titles and breaking through those glass ceilings with a sledgehammer, I wish I was that guy, in a way, but I’ve always thought of my current career as something to do while I pursued full-time writing. I’ve sold a few articles and short stories in my writing career, and even moved more than a few copies of my 1st novel, but man, as the days go by, the dream of becoming a full-time writer dwindles as I wake up to the realities of the real world. I’m struggling with this one, even more than the failure to become a pro soccer player, because unlike the athletic body, the creative spirit doesn’t go away so easily. I mean, if I tried to quantify this whole writing gig in an hourly wage, you know what, I changed my mind, it’s probably better if I don’t go down that rabbit hole. Lets just say, I made more per hour working at McDonald’s as a kid, than I do with writing.
But I still enjoy the late nights, the early mornings, and the speed writing sessions during lunch at the office. I still listen to the voices in my head as they feed me story ideas and plot points while I’m in the shower. I love the planning and the process of creating short stories, novella’s and novels. But unlike the top writers in our field, i don’t see the full-time writer thing working out anytime soon. And maybe that’s OK. I have a great family and a great job. I ride motorcycles and stream video games in my spare time. Life isn’t bad at all. So, maybe the dream isn’t dead. Maybe I just have to tweak it a little.