I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was four years old.
Despite the twists and turns my life has taken, that dream has never changed, and certainly never died. I’ve never questioned the desire. But a couple of weeks ago, I read something that posed a question I’d rarely, if ever consciously considered.
Not “What do I want?” but “Why do I want it?”
That question made me stop. And think.
Two weeks on, I’m still thinking.
On the 9th of January, the always inspiring Vaughn Roycroft wrote a heartfelt blog post examining his motives for pursuing publication for his fantasy trilogy. His journey of self-discovery touched me deeply, and encouraged me to question my own thoughts, feelings, fears, and motivations.
Vaughn is a writer I admire deeply. I got to know him first through the Writer Unboxed Facebook Group, and then through his blog. He has the ability to express his thoughts and emotions in such a way that it’s almost impossible to avoid being drawn into his story, what ever that story may be. (And this is just one of the many reasons I’m eagerly awaiting the day when I can buy and read his novels.)
Over the last two weeks, I’ve thought about his post a lot. It’s rarely been far from my mind. And that’s why I want to share both Vaughn’s beautiful words of wisdom, and my own response to it. Please click through to Vaughn’s blog and read Goals & Desires — Not What But Why. I’m certain it will touch you as much as it touched me.
My comment in response to the question of why I’m seeking publication is as follows:
“I reveled in the glory, the friendship and the honor I found in the pages of historical fantasies. I felt renewed by the sacrifices for love, and experienced cathartic sorrow and release in the losses. In a real world that seemed unmistakably darker, I found light in fiction. I was healed, in no small way, by reading.”
This section of your wonderful post moved me to tears. I know what you mean. I’ve been there, more times than I care to count. When life is too dark and too heavy, fiction brings the light of hope and wonder into my heart and lets me see the darkness for what it truly is — a shadow that will pass in its own good time.
I read to feel. To feel warmth and love and pain and despair and passion and humour. To immerse myself in worlds where integrity and honour define success. To experience good triumphing over the darkest of evils. And I cherish those feelings, those experiences, and hold them close to my heart as armour against the emotional slings and arrows of the world.
I write to share my heart’s story. My pain and triumph, my love and fear, my uncertainty and my faith that the bad guys can never truly win as long as a single person is willing to stand against them. I write because in doing so, my heart is strengthened and my resolve renewed. And I share what I write in the hope that I can do for others what so many authors have done for me and set their minds and hearts free.
Have you stopped to think about WHY you’re pursuing your dream?