The other day, my wife and I were having a spiritual discussion, about our roles in God’s plan, and what we’re supposed to do. She asked me a zinger of a question that I have had trouble answering. “Do I want to be known as a good person, or do I want to be known as a published author?”
Personally, I’d prefer to be both. But I’m not sure if that’s possible. If I was a famous author, with a book deal and bringing in enough money to support the lifestyle I’d like to have (which would probably include living in a castle in the middle of a dense forest), would I still be a good person? I know some people have been able to do it, but perhaps I don’t have the moral fortitude to be as good as them.
In a later conversation, my wife told me why November seems to be such a rough month for her / us. It’s because of my dedication to writing, and National Novel Writing Month. I get so caught up in my writing that, apparently, I become extremely scatterbrained and neglectful of my family. Now, what if I had the dedication to my writing that I was like that twelve months of the year? Would I still be a decent husband and father if I did pursue my goal of becoming an author?
The thing is, it’s always been my lifelong dream to be a professional writer. In fact, I gave up a decent paying, full-time job to try and pursue my dream. I figured that if I didn’t do it now, it’s never going to happen. I’m in my 40s, for goodness sake. Many successful authors have had three or four – or more – novels published by this time.
But if it means giving up my family for the sake of my dream? Is that really worth the cost? It was a tough question for me, but I think I finally decided on an answer. It’s a truth that I’ve had trouble accepting, but I’ve come to the realization that I’ve simply been denying it. It’s time to accept the truth, and move on.
Dreams are stupid. They only come true if you’re amazingly lucky, or incredibly blessed. For the rest of us, the best we can do is find a full time job that doesn’t make you want to kill yourself every day.
Or, in the words of Kenny Rogers, “the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”
So this year will probably be my last National Novel Writing Month. I’ve got six novels in various states (most completed and in “first draft” mode), including the one I’ve almost finished this year. But what’s the point of writing these if I’m never going to accomplish anything with them?
I’m still hoping to post this latest one online though, a chapter at a time. I’m thinking that it will be through Wattpad, mainly because Jukepop seemed to have a strong, anti-Christian vibe when I perused that site. Given that this year’s novel is firmly planted in the “Christian Fiction” genre, it probably wouldn’t get listed there.
If I get enough of a following, perhaps I’ll release my other books on Wattpad, a chapter at a time, just so people can read them. It might even give me the incentive to finish writing a couple of these novels, too. Just to get them out there, so someone can read them. That way they won’t simply die with me.
I’m still going to write game reviews for Christ Centered Gamer, the occasional short story, and this blog. But I’ve given up on trying to be a successful author. It’s just not my fate, it seems. At this point in my life, I’d be content to settle for mediocrity. I need to focus more on my family, and my relationship with God.
My dreams aren’t important any more. They’ve become pointless. It’s time to wake up to reality.