Friday, 19 February 2010


I was reading someone's blog just now. They were talking about dreams, about what the future holds. I had a small pang, as I realised I have let go of my dreams. I still think about the future, but it's more pragmatic now. As someone close to me said, it's nice to see me excited about something realistic for once.

Is this a good thing? Did I spend too much time in the past on impossible wishes? Am I more rooted now, moving towards an achievable future for once?

I don't know. I think I might be growing up. Finally.


Queenie said...

I think you've been growing up all along. Don't you still have small dreams, connected with your new career and other aspects of your life? Even if you only dream of a free afternoon in a hammock with a good book, that's still a dream. And I bet you'll develop new bigger dreams, in time, when you're ready.

Andrea said...

Ummm the previous commenter has an interesting comment and an even more interesting hyperlink! DON'T CLICK IT though!! Every dot seems to be linked upto a different web page.

Personally my makers are my Mum and Dad and they often call... not so much recall though. :-)

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

I've got rid of said comment. Didn't click the links, assume it was nasty porn.

LOL re makers and recall!

JoeinVegas said...

You don't have to grow up. What is the expression, young at heart forever?

Megan said...

So why do I find this rather sad? Because I am growing up and resent it or because growing up means losing dreams and I don't wanna? Maybe reserve a bit of the brain for one or two wildly improbable dreams just because. I mean, pragmatism is important too, but a bit of castle-in-air is loverly.

Andrea said...

I have a theory that we are essentially all out fishing. Quite happy to sit there all day and wait. Imagining all kinds of fish that we might catch. As soon as we get a bite though, all our attention is drawn to reeling that fish in. Bask in our achievement and get a sense of satisfaction. But soon after we reload the hook with bait and get back to fishing again.

You haven't lost your dreams, you are just busy reeling in one of them. :-)

You are an imaginative, highly motivated person with an enormous drive. You have followed a lot of your dreams and achieved a great deal already. This dream is realistic and practical, and it will still give you a sense of satisfaction and achievement - perhaps even more so due to its very practicalness.

Other dreams will follow though :-) And they are to be enjoyed too.

Sarsparilla said...

Do you believe that growing up is a process of losing your dreams, then?

What has made you come to believe such a thing?

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Not losing your dreams, but giving up on the impossible ones.

I have new dreams, and they're achievable. Before, I spent a lot of time chasing rainbows.

Now I'm more sensible and realistic, and yes, those feel like attributes one might give to a more mature person.

There's also that thing of having less energy and more responsibility. I'm not the only person I have to look out for now, and my mind and body are slightly more fragile and need protecting - by me - from more of life's dangers.

But this achievable dream thing... it's coincidental I think that you should have arrived here today, the first day in weeks that this blog had fresh content... content which details (see here) my latest dream. This new dream is an example of the less-likely-to-be-possible replaced by the definitely-possible. Not long ago I was a full time writer, chasing after a dream of stardom. Now I've given up on that, which means that instead of panting on the heels of dismissive publishers I can happily announce Fuck All That and publish my own book with impunity.

Self-publishing is unadvisable for a writer trying to get the attention of mainstream publishers. It actively disimpresses them. Getting the attention of these people is something you do if you want to be a "successful" writer, when success is measured by how many books you sell and how many good reviews you get. But there are literally millions of writers and not enough publishing deals to go around... and even if you get published there aren't enough readers either (if you're chasing "success" on publishers' terms), so you have to jump through a million hoops in your efforts to get the attention of publishers and readers... unless you stop, step back, rethink what it's all about. What if what really matters is that you produce a beautiful book? One that you are proud of, that a small number of people can read? People you actually know? People whose opinions matter because you genuinely care what they think, instead of strangers pitching into your meaningless popularity contest? If that's your aim, then self publishing is an entirely reasonable enterprise.

And I think that counts as growing up: working out what will really make you happy, instead of chasing miserably after things which won't make you happy even if you catch them.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

... to which I'd like to add that another reason I was chasing mainstream publishers was that I wanted to make a living from novel-writing, which is impossible without massive book sales.

Why did I want to make a living from it? So that I could do it all the time and not have to lose all that lovely writing time on Making Money To Feed The Kids.

But why did I want to write all the time? Because I wanted a life of dreaming, instead of a life trying to make money. But what if the dreams become your means of getting money? Then they stop being dreams, they start being work, they stop being fun, they start to destroy the very soul you were trying to preserve.

I know there are full time novelists who are happy that way and find a route through all this, but I wasn't one of them.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

By the way Sarsparilla, I used to enjoy reading your blog, but now I can't get at it! Boo. Do I have to be invited? Would you consider inviting me?