Remember when you first started writing? How old were you? Five? Eleven? Eighteen? The younger a writer starts, the less afraid they are of writing, at the beginning. When you’re a kid, you don’t think about everything that could go wrong or how bad your story might be. All you wanted to do was write. Words flowed out of your pencil in your embarrassingly messy and uneven handwriting, and you wrote. You had your first character, and they had a pet dog, and they had a crush on the neighbor kid, and they chased frogs in the creek behind their house. You were immensely proud of that first story, all five pages of it.
And you weren’t embarrassed about it. You didn’t realize how dumb it was. You didn’t have a clue how cheeky the plot was. You loved your story and that was it.
But then you grew older, maybe became a teenager. Read more books. And the more stories you wrote, the more you didn’t like them and the more afraid you grew of never being able to write that book. The One book you really wanted to write that would make you famous.
So you stopped writing, even though your heart and soul cried for an outlet of all the words that still needed to be released. You still dreamed of writing; every once in a while you still found yourself imagining what it would be like to write a book about this, or that, or the other thing. But as soon as you realized you were dreaming again, you shoved that dream back down into the dark corner you kept it hidden in, hoping nobody had noticed.
Because really, writing is a silly dream right? A waste of time. The two times you ever told someone you wanted to write a book they gave you fourteen other things that were better ways to spend your time, better careers to pursue, and just better in general because… well…
Why are they better?
What is better than chasing your dream? And why on earth would you let some else stomp on your dream and tell you it’s a dumb idea and you should do all these other things because… they told you to?
It’s your life. You’re the one living it, not anyone else. No one else can feel your soul crave to smear those words on paper and create a picture. No one has any business telling you your dream is a waste of time.
So stop being afraid of your dream. Stop being afraid of not being able to chase it fast enough. Even if you never quite catch it, chasing it as far as you can is much better than standing still and watching it fade into the distance.
Stop being afraid of what other people tell you. Listen to your heart. Chase that dream.