Many of us authors can truthfully answer, "We always dreamed of being a novelist." But is that strictly true?
Drawing on every scrap of paper or margins of newspapers and notebooks drove me to dream about being a famous artist. My idols at an early age were book illustrators. Those guys could draw anything and everything. When I got married my grandmother gifted me with several notebooks of drawings she had saved from those early days. I've continued to draw and paint portraits of interesting people for many years, but famous - I think not.
As a teen, in between art class and choir, I tried my hand at writing poetry and song lyrics. I believe I filled one notebook and realized I wasn't destined to be a poet or song writer (too verbose).
My best friend Maxine told me I've always been a writer, expressing the most interesting situations via notes in class. Another friend, Karen, said my chatty letters made her feel like I was narrating instead of just telling the latest news. In college, I began to dream of writing a novel (as if I didn't already have plenty of papers to write). One of my professors encouraged me to pursue my fiction writing dream and so it began. Notebooks filled with scenes and characters, which led me to my first novel, Feisty Family Values. It took ten years from conception to print, but it's a beautiful book. (Five Star does great covers!)
Now, instead of creating portraits with paint, I create them with words. It's still a fairly long process, often starting with a picture in my mind of a character, a place, a scene, and a feeling. All authors strive to invoke feeling in our readers and to create a world they want to visit.
Did I dream of being a novelist? Yes, and I kept at it until I learned the craft, understood the publishing industry (which we all know is constantly changing), and ultimately told a story that others wanted to read.
Personally, I think I've learned that we need our dreams. They may change over time, but they are important and worth following. The key: Enjoying the journey.
So, tell me the truth, what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you on your way? If not, what are you waiting for?