One of the groups I'm in on Facebook asked a pair of interesting questions. 'What did you want to do when you grew up? Did you do it?' The majority of the 120 people who answered said no.
I knew I wanted to be a writer. I wanted people to be excited and amazed by the stories I wrote, and to know me intimately through my poetry.
Outside of publishing individual poems in various publications, relentlessly pursuing a Bachelor's degree in English/creative writing, and submitting pieces to Odyssey every week, I am still no closer to being the writer I've always wanted to be.
I feel like it was much easier to achieve my dream before the technology age. There were rolemodels who already blazed the path of finding success publishing the same subject matters I write. Publishing in the same way I wanted to publish.
Building a platform was much simpler. Readers actually read paper books. Information was at its greatest peak with the turn of a page instead of at the click of a mouse or at the tap of an electronic keyboard.
Don't mistake my longing for simpler times that I want my dream career just handed to me. As Josephine March narrates in the movie version of Little Women, "Necessity is indeed the mother of invention." I'm not afraid to make a new path for my own success, but I fear that it will not pay off.
I am finding professors within my colleges' English department to critique my poetry books. Once all the poetry that needs work is rewritten, I will try to have it published through a First Book Competition and on Amazon.
I'm still on the lookout for a way to have my stories critiqued. Then once they are rewritten, I want to find a (or preferably more than one) publication that publishes the stories I like to write so I can get a name for myself in the literary world.
I never anticipated that I'd want to add journalism, playwriting/producing, and editor/publisher to my writing resume as well, but I do.
I'm happy to say that I have so many clips out there that I needed a better tracking system for them. Still no substantial or paying success, but I'm published nonetheless. My love of Shakespeare's plays and going to the theatre regularly has inspired me to learn more about playwriting in general. There are also local opportunities for newbie playwrights to produce their works. And of course, I still hope to get my magazine off the ground someday. Nothing would please me more than to offer other writers like me a platform for success.
Honestly, the only things that have stopped me from being the writer I want to be are fear, assistance, time, and money.
Fear that no one will care about my stories and thoughts and that they'll just take up space on shelves. I need assistance putting my magazine together having my work critiqued for publication. Each moment in time that passes is a time I could've been published. Putting aside time is hard when I work full time, go to school full time, and have family, friends, and other hobbies that demand my attention as well. And of course I need money to pay for assistance, to pay to make my magazine a legal business entity, to pay for the supplies needed to create in the first place.
I think if our young can be thoroughly prepared for the realties and hardships of making their dreams come true, then society wouldn't have to wonder where are the doctors, lawyers, firefighters, police, teachers, and writers.