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But somewhere along the line, that dream began to fade. As I got older, becoming a singer seemed less attainable. I started noticing that I didn't sing as well as I thought I did, because I heard other singers that sounded so much better. There was no way I was going to be able to sing like that. Plus, I heard that becoming a singer is hard, and people would criticize you if you didn't have a good voice. I also heard many singers resort to drugs and alcohol, or just go down a destructive path. And so, that was the end of my dream. I didn't want to try and make it a reality anymore. I just let it die.
However, I didn't stop singing. I was still in the choir, and that was good enough for me. I stayed in the choir up until I graduated 8th grade. Then I joined a choir in high school, and even led it for a short time. During and after high school, I joined a youth choir at my local church. I eventually became the choir secretary.
Of course, the older I got, the more I learned that not all singers do drugs and go down a destructive path in life. But I no longer had that dream, and I was satisfied with where I was. I had a new dream, and that was to be a writer.
Writing is fun and therapeutic for me. Whenever I wrote in school, I didn't mind it, while the other kids groaned and complained. My best friend and I even used to role play together, which fueled my love for writing even more. It requires a lot of work and brainpower, but when I'm done for the day, I feel accomplished. It wasn't until several years ago that I thought about writing as a job.
At first, I wanted to publish books. A newbie at story-writing at about age 15, I almost published a very terribly written fan fiction with a publisher. I decided not to at the last minute. The thought of publishing books was still in my head, but I became a perfectionist. I felt like none of my stories were good enough to be finished and published, so they just sat there.
There is one story that I'm working on. I've given up on it and come back to it time and again. I finally decided to commit to it, but now, it's sitting there in my files waiting for me to finish another chapter. I've already posted the Prologue and Chapter 1 on Wattpad. I've been meaning to get back to it, but I get caught up with writing other things, and I forget. I would definitely like to finish and publish the story one day. That's a long-term project I'm excited about.
How will I go about publishing a story? Self-publishing, or with a publisher? Should I publish other writings of mine, like short stories and other creative works? I don't know, but the fact that I have these questions tells me something: I'm making this writing dream a reality. Slowly, but surely.
I'm also getting into freelance writing. The fact that I'm on this site shows that much.
Make It Real!
But why is this different? How come I wasn't willing to try and overcome difficulties when I had other dreams?
Here's my hypothesis. Dreams from when you were young tend to change. As you get older, you discover more about yourself and what you like. Perhaps the things you used to like as a child or teenager have changed. This is the case for me, at least. Some people still have their childhood dream, which is perfectly ok. My dreams changed. And when they did, I pursued my new dream. I decided to make it a reality, and when I did that, my dream became my goal.
Dreams are in your head. They're things you contemplate on doing, but haven't done yet. Goals are dreams put on paper and made into something attainable. You have to complete several other things before you reach your goal, but if you stay determined, you'll get there.
Have you ever had people (family, friends, coworkers) tell you that you can't achieve your dream? Or maybe they haven't outright told you that. Maybe you're on your way to achieving your newfound dream--now your goal--but they don't acknowledge each accomplishment you make that gets you closer to achieving it? Raise your hand if you've ever experienced that or something related to that.
Being told you can't achieve something is disheartening. Especially if you've tried to progress, but fail each time. Or you haven't even tried yet, and people are already saying you can't do it. Why do people do that?
Some people may do that because they have different plans for you. These could be your parents or other relatives. Perhaps they don't like that you want to work in a prison, or be an artist, or a performer. Instead, they want you to be something totally different. A teacher, maybe, or a lawyer, or a variety of other things. Maybe you told your friends about your dream and they laughed at you, and say that you'll starve. Maybe you haven't told anyone at all, and you're experiencing self-doubt.
Here's my advice. It's simple to say, but hard to do: Don't listen to people who tell you that you can't do it.
You have a dream. Perhaps it's gone through a bunch of revisions, or it's been completely changed, but you have one. Perhaps you have multiple dreams. Make them real. Make them goals. There are too many people who wake up in the morning and hate what they do. At some point in their life, someone discouraged them from pursuing their dream. Don't let it happen to you.