Being a writer has always been my dream. Guess what? I am a writer. I write nonfiction for my day job, and I write middle-grade fiction as a passion. I've even been published.
So why doesn't it feel like a dream come true?
Because you can't live a dream. You can only live real life.
There are dream-like moments -- getting an offer from an agent, a contract, an award, a bestseller (some of those remains dreams) -- but reality is much more mundane. Big contracts come with pressure and deadlines. So do small ones. So does self-publishing, only the people cracking the whip are readers who demand more.
Agents and editors and readers often don't have the same ideas as you do. They don't always like your latest work. There are reviews, returns, and unearned royalties along the way. There are disappointing sales and dropped contracts. There are empty book signings, readings that fall flat, endless blog posts, and internet controversies. Hopefully there is plenty of writing and more books along the way too.
Writing can be a good job or bad one. Well paid, poorly paid, or unpaid. It can be a very good life, and I'm grateful for the one I have. But it's always work.
So what about the other part of my dream -- a pot of dark-brewed coffee and a thousand words, a long walk on a crisp sunny fall day, another thousand words?
That's not real life. That's a writer's retreat.