The Dream?

Riding quads w/my babe – part of the dream

The dream was… to become a novelist. A working novelist – writing and editing and marketing and maybe getting picked up one day by a house. But a dream needs a plan, and a plan needs execution, and execution takes time and effort, and time and effort take dedication. That’s what my dream lacks.

Or at least what that dream lacks. I’m living my overall dream – of life. Being practical, working in IT, enjoying time with my girlfriend, out doing stuff like quad and moto riding, road trips, shooting pool, and generally having fun. Payin’ the bills, living in the now, making it all work. That’s not a bad dream to be having, believe me. So, has my dream of writing died?

No. I’m acknowledging that the dedication isn’t there because I don’t have the passion to write right now, and without passion there is no need. In that regard, I’m not being practical about achieving my dream. If I really wanted it, I would let myself need it… and I know to do that, I’ll have to set all things aside – all things but the basics (work and sleep). Creating the need means putting the writing at the center of my being, lighting it afire, and focusing on it, immersing in it. I have to need it to come alive before I can engage in a way that will birth the dedication.

And I know that’s not going to happen right now.

They say that we all paint our world, that we create it with our thoughts. So am I painting a restricted mode of thought that prevents me from writing and living my current dreams, too? Why can’t I write during the week and spend the weekend at Sand Mountain riding and partying with friends? Because the week is painted with 9+ hours of IT work, every day. My energy and creativity levels are typically quite low come evening. Mornings are tiny blips between getting out of bed and arriving at work. So the week doesn’t hold much promise.

I’ve read about dedicating just one hour a day to writing. Just one hour. The idea seems “doable” and sparks my interest in theory. But in practice, I too frequently find myself hovering uninspired over the keyboard, feeling the minutes pass dryly without the juice of creativity. The thought, “life is too short” pops in and I postpone the effort for another time.

So for me, creative writing requires a focus and dedication that I can only muster with sacrifice, dramatic isolation, and need. While that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, I sense a future where I am more free to dedicate myself to creating the passion. I’m not sure how far out it is, but something tells me I will write one day, the way I’ve always imagined I would. Until then, I’ll be living the dream this way and loving every moment of it.

-Michael Parks