I’ve had so many dreams over the years; dreams in the sense of wishes. My Great Dream™ has been to be a writer, a singer, an actress, a dancer (it was short lived), a painter, an astrophysicist, a teacher, a pianist, a chef, even a doctor (until I realised that I’d be exposed to vomit on a daily basis) and the list goes on. Most of these professions are creative, artistic professions and, if successful, involve a certain degree of fame.
In the end, the most frequently recurring of these dreams have been writer and singer, but within those categories I’ve also gone through a fairly large number of sub-Dreams.
I’ve wanted to be an opera singer, a popstar, a rockstar, a folk singer, a blues singer, a jazz singer, and I’ve gone back and forth between wanting to do almost all of these as a member of a band or as a solo artist.
I’ve wanted to be a children’s book author, a sci-fi author, a fantasy author, a poet, a music journalist, a young adult fiction author, a war correspondent, a crime novelist, and again, the list goes on.
I’ve had a lot of time the past few weeks, what with being practically unemployed and having had a lot of insomnia, to think about what it is I really want to do with my life. I’ve examined each of my Dreams in an attempt to figure out which one is really my True Great Dream™, or rather, my motivation for it.
Do I want to be famous? Perhaps a little bit. Every artist wants recognition for their work, and get that warm, fuzzy feeling when someone stops them in the street just to tell them that they’re fantastic (this has actually happened to me, though the person who did it was a person who went to the same school as me and whom I had just never met before, and he stopped me in a comic book shop rather than the actual street).
But I don’t really think fame is my primary motivation. I think that what I really want to do, and what I’ve wanted to do ever since I was old enough to think it, is tell stories. So I think I’ve narrowed it down. I sit with two Dreams that may, possibly, even be compatible, and I will share them with you.
Some of the first stories I ever heard were fairy tales, stories from Greek and Norse mythology, and Fantasy books. And while there are other genres that I have loved over the course of my life so far, none have thrilled me so much as Fantasy novels. So, if I am to be a writer, that must be my primary focus. I want to flit in and out of horror and children’s stories and sci-fi as well, but I need Fantasy like I need air. Okay, maybe not like air, maybe more like water, or food, or chocolate. The point is, I need it. Because the world is sad and dull and life is uneventful, and when it is eventful we just get stressed out, or it’s dangerous, or it results in sadness.
The other thing that I really, truly need is music. I love all music, but in the vein of telling stories, there is one genre or style that is capable of encompassing elements of nearly all the others while being message orientated, and this genre is folk.
When people think of folk music, they either imagine the traditional kind, from all over the world, or they think of a guy with a guitar singing protest ballads. These people exist. I know several. But that’s not all there is. I know jazz singers, blues guitarists and rock musicians who all profess to be folk performers, because folk music isn’t really a genre. It’s popular music at its purest and its most significant. It’s poetry and storytelling in musical form. It’s magic.
So, this is my action plan. I’m going to write, and I’m going to sing. Fantasy and Folk, stories and stories, words and words. I will be the starving artist, or the successful one, but whichever direction my life takes from here on out, I won’t lie to myself again. I won’t make up other, more attainable Dreams because I’m lazy or scared. I will tell stories.