Ben (the copywriter who replaced me at my last employment) is going through a crisis of faith at the moment. Not a religious crisis but a battle with writing. He has written short stories and scripts for media and plays, and he has diligently and tirelessly hone his skills. He has done everything right yet he is starting to wonder why he is doing all this. He has even thought of giving up writing for waitering; as he points out, he puts in a lot of time into writing which makes him feel more and more like drilling himself in the forehead with his ball pen-screwdriver. Repeatedly.
If you ask me if he is wasting his time, I'd strongly believe that if he sticks with writing long enough, he will definitely make it - considering he just started writing commercially a year ago. He is truly smart, talented and funny (although with his low self-esteem, he will deny it). But I think it would be impossible for him to keep writing without these qualities transcended onto the pages of his masterpiece. Sooner or later, someone will fall in love and he will be appreciated.
If he is willing to pay the price... that is!
What price, you may ask. Well, we are living in a very materialistic world, everything has a price tag - even dreams. Speaking from experience, the price can be a gigantic and if you are not prepared to carry the yolk, you may wake up one day to find that you have paid with everything you ever loved and everything you ever had, and what you get in return isn't quite enough.
How much will you have to pay to be a writer?
I can't tell you because in every dream, not just writing... you might have to give up everything and live in poverty. You might lose your job, your friends or family, your children or your spouse. Your dream might cost you your health. Your happiness. Your life. In short, almost everything.
I'm not saying that if you want to be a writer or to live your dreams, you need to run out and get a divorce and be a drunkard. Far from it because I didn't. A strong, stable relationship can get you through some wretched moments. And only fools scrabble for inspiration in the bottom of a bottle or the high of powders.
What I'm trying to say is that if you desire to pursue your dream, some other parts of your life will definitely fall by the wayside - it's the law of give and take. This is the time where your ability to balance between reality and dream, love and passion will be put to test. You can't know what will strike you yet, but if you persist, you will find out.
I'm not stopping anyone from becoming a writer, because you can. If no one has ever told you so, I'm telling you now: YOU CAN BE A WRITER! The question is should you be?
If you can answer, "Yes, I should be a writer!" again and again every time you pay the price... then you should. Write only because you love to write, because sitting down and playing with words makes your heart merry and your pulse race. Write only because it makes you happy... not just because you're good at it.
Contrarily, if writing is your heart and soul and yet you choose to abandon your dream just because you are afraid, there is a price to pay as well. One day you'll wake up and discover that the part of yourself that knew how to laugh and dream and how to fly - has died, and all you have is the memory that once you had wings.
There is a price for whoever we choose to be, and I hope Ben makes a decision after a thorough consideration. A dreamer has a price to pay, and so does every runaway who fears to dream.
Are you the dreamer or the runaway?