Since today is the first day of the A to Z challenge and it also happens to be April 1st, I considered playing some type of April Fool’s Joke. Instead, I’d prefer to say something about aspirations. I imagine many of the folks participating in this challenge are wannabe writers. Like me, they aspire to create a writing career that will support them spun wholly out of imagination. We all want to live the dream. Unfortunately, few of us ever will.
For most, whether novelists or biographers or what have you, that dream book they keep talking about never happens. They aspire, perhaps as much as anyone else, but they never get started on word one.
Others begin scads of books, but fail to finish them. They end up with half a dozen fizzled novels on their hard drives, moldering in electric perpetuity.
A few complete a novel, show it to someone, get a bad critique and quit. They let others dictate their efforts and even their aspirations.
And then there are the dwindled few who finish nearly every book they start. Writing one full-sized novel is an accomplishment. Going on to the second, third, even tenth book is a sign of grit. Such a feat is worth appreciation.
Among that small group are those with amazing talent, true wordsmiths who leave the rest of us gaping in awe. Sad to say, even those powerful writers aren’t guaranteed success in the publishing world. They may labor in obscurity for years and never gain more than a modicum of local (sometimes familial) success.
But does success, however you define it, quench or change aspiration? Personally, I can’t let it. Yes, I dream of quitting my day job (despite the fact that I love it) in order to write for a living. But can I say I aspire to do so? No. I aspire to write a great novel. And then another and another and another. If I can do that I believe I’ll meet my aspirations.
— david j.