Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Dreams We Writers Follow

What Dreams We Writers Follow  

By Brad R Cook

All writers are dreamers. Every writer says they are following their dreams, but no one ever says, “My parents made me be a writer.”

Every writer I know, and I know a lot of them, is following a dream. Writing is a profession that calls to dreamers. We have all heard the muse whispering in our ears, day and night, whether we are in front of our computers or driving down the street. Being a writer is about following your dreams, but that is only the first step. You see, dreams can be fickle, they change, they adapt, they grow, and for a writer, once one is realized another one forms. This doesn’t just happen to writers, but we personify the endless quest. I think it’s one of the reasons so many seek out other pursuits and let the dream of writing slip away.  

For a writer the dream is simple, to mold words in a way that moves people. Hopefully they make sense, but that’s what editing is for.

At first, all we want is a finished book. For many, this dream will remain unrealized; I think it’s the first real test on the road to being an author. Ah yes, the dirty little secret about dreams they come with tests, with roadblocks, and hurdles that must be overcome.

All dreams come with challenges that bring greater meaning and depth to them. They aren’t meant to be easy, that’s why following them is so difficult. Once a writer has a book though, they may have completed the dream, but another permeates our soul – to see the manuscript in book form. I’m not sure why a cover and formatted pages is so important to the dream, perhaps it’s about providing your dream in a shareable form, but this is an unquenchable thirst for most writers. Agents, editors, and publishing house rejections will try and squash the dream. Contracts, cover art, and countless revisions will attempt to divert the dream, but writers remain undeterred. Did I mention that writers tenaciously follow their dreams; we’re like dogs that refuse to let go of the bone, but even after we fulfill the dream and the book arrives, it isn’t over.

All writers dream of success. Hoping their published dreams will carry them forward and pay a few bills. So begins the dream of being a noted author, one sought for conferences and interviewed on television for a human interest feature. Even this lofty height doesn’t end the dream; it’s time to recapture the magic for a second book.

My point, dreams are never ending, they adapt and grow just as we do, that is the beautiful thing about dreams – they propel us through life.

Writers are dream weavers. We take our visions, combine them with other people’s hopes and give them form through words. Since movies, video games, TV shows, music, and other cultural aspects draw from books it means writers are the ones who bring dreams to fruition.  

Writing is a passion. Something deep within all writers draws us to the pen or pc. We are craftsmen and words are our block of stone waiting to be carved, polished, and set atop a pillar for all to admire – or in writing terms – words are the art that must be edited, proofed, and front faced on the shelf for all to admire.

Dreams guide us, mold us, and in the end it is dreams that give us hope. But dreams are also intangible, they have no form, they don’t exist in any plane of reality except within each of us. You can’t go to a store and buy it, no corporation can bottle it, no government can control them, and no trademark can keep people from exploring them. However some dreams can twist into a nightmare – but that is a post for another day.

To write is to follow dreams wherever they take you. So follow yours.

Brad R. Cook is a historical fantasy writer and President of St. Louis Writers Guild. Please visit or follow me on Twitter @bradrcook
To learn more about St. Louis Writers Guild, visit Saint Louis Writers Guild on Facebook or on Twitter @stlwritersguild

1 comment:

  1. I loved the line about parents not making them be writers. In my own case, I think that my parents would have preferred me having ANY other passion. Their stance, of course, being purely out of concern that it would not be possible to make a decent living at it.

    They were probably right about that. However, now that I've made a decent living doing other things for about 40 years, I'm ready to follow my dream - even if it means becoming a starving artist.

    Wouldn't hurt me to miss a meal here and there, anyway.

    : )