Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Writer’s Ego vs. Dreams of Failure

By Darvell Hunt

I didn’t sleep well the other night. I don’t think it’s a Freudian hang-up or anything, just that things in my life are changing. One of my dreams (from when I did find some sleep) wasn’t a particularly pleasant one: it was a dream of failure.

I was attending a writing class taught by a published author—a writer that I don’t think really exists outside of my own dream world. She had been excited to read a new novel I had submitted to her because she had seen other samples of my writing. I think she was somehow hoping to ride a wave of success by discovering me as a new best-selling author.

In my dream, my instructor became depressed—even angry—when she discovered the low quality of my submitted novel. Her dream (which is funny, because she’s a dream character herself) of discovering the next J. K. Rowling had been dashed, and because she apparently wasn’t a very good writer herself, saw her chance at real fame going down the drain along with mine.

I think dreams of failure like this—or at least the fear of failure—is what keeps many of us writers from walking out on a limb and taking a chance. It takes a big ego to be a writer. It’s scary to be told that your writing is garbage and that you might be better off to find a better “hobby” in which you actually have some skill.

Fortunately for me, my writing is not garbage and my nocturnal writing class was just a stupid dream. At the risk of sounding egotistical, though, I must admit that I survived the experience with a healthy Writer’s Ego—which is good, I believe: if the future is anything like the past, I think I’m going to need it.


Anonymous said...

Dreams can sure seem real, even when we know they aren't. You did a good job of writing about it, which proves it was,indeed, only a dream! (Or a nightmare, as the case may be.)

Keith Fisher said...

Glad to see you back posting. I sure hope things calm down in your life so we can see you every week. I agree with anon., Your writing proves that it was only a dream.