If you live inside your head, people are likely to think you’re crazy. But doing so can actually be comforting. Productive, even.
As I grew older, reality trounced my dreams one by one. I found myself retreating a little more from reality and living inside my head. Perhaps, my imaginings helped me cope with failed dreams.
But to live inside your head is not entirely a bad thing. It was in entertaining visions of what could be that I discovered my creative side. Not just in writing but also in art. You could say that after years of allowing my left brain to dominate my life, I let my right brain kick in. I’ve never been sorry for it. My imagination led me to a side of me I was not aware I had.
But what I am and what I do now require a good sense of humor. Art and writing are both hard-sell efforts and I often wonder why I do them.
Uncertainties did not plague me quite so much in my old profession. If not necessarily more precise, science has better articulated standards for what is acceptable or, at least, reasonable. In contrast, so much in art and writing is subject to personal tastes and opinions. You’re never quite sure where you stand or whether anybody cares a fig about what you produce.
The external rewards in writing are not immediate or always forthcoming.
You need a great sense of humor to preserve your ego from self-doubts and the buffeting it will surely get when you put your work out there.
So why do we write?
To write a novel is to embark on a quest that is very romantic. People have visions, and the next step is to execute them. That’s a very romantic project.
Joyce Carol Oates
If you have visions of a story itching to be spilled onto countless pages of paper, Joyce Carol Oates thinks you’re on a quest for the romantic. Maybe any quest is inherently romantic. Writing a novel certainly is. But so is exploring a country and a culture strange to you. Or mastering an untried and intimidating skill. Or falling in love.
Most of the world will agree falling in love is synonymous with romance. But there is some common denominator in all quests. Adventure, for one. Investment, not only of your time and effort, but of yourself, your ego and who you are. Danger or the possibility of getting hurt. The promise of experiences that matter to you. Internal rewards, for sure, especially those that feed your psyche. Maybe, the thrill of the new and the conquest of something once unknown or challenging.
Behind every quest is a vision, a dream. A dream so intense you need to go after it.
So, go ahead, keep those visions coming.