By: Tiarnan Hatchell, IATG ContributorAugust 15, 2016
Have you ever had a dream that you were incredibly passionate about only to have people tell you it’s stupid, impossible or not practical? More likely than not, for many of us the answer is yes.
This is usually experienced when we’re children. We have dreams of being astronauts, superheroes, movie stars, or singers. We want to be like the people we see on TV, we want to change people’s lives, or go into space. When you’re young, adults will indulge these fantasies and tell you that you can be anything you want to be as long as you just put your mind to it. So then why do they turn on this sentiment as we grow older? They build us up to believe we can become president or the next big thing in Hollywood, only to do a 180 a few years later by saying, “dream smaller” or “be more practical.” While I don’t agree with parents doing this sort of thing, the really important part is how we respond.
The majority of people will let this criticism get to them. It weighs on their minds and gnaws at them anytime they want to do something adventurous or outside the box. They are forced to think, “Oh no, this isn’t practical. I shouldn’t do this.” I have seen this happen to friends of mine who don’t want to take risks. While I agree that we shouldn’t dive blindly into everything we do and should try to think things through, we should dare to dream big?
I want to be a filmmaker when I’m older. I want to write screenplays. I want to tell stories, and I want to think of new words and ideas that no one else has. No matter how many people I mention this to, I typically get the same reply. It’s something along the lines of, “That’s ambitious, but what’s your back-up?” They’ve been brought up to think that wanting to do something unusual and different from everyone else just isn't practical and to risky. They see me and they believe the chances of my success are pretty slim.
This was something that I struggled with for the longest time. I would spend all this time trying to write a story, poem or screenplay, but when I would go back to review, I would only see the flaws. I would read my own work and say to myself, “no one wants to read this.” It really hindered my progress as a writer.
When people told me they liked my work, I never believed them; I had conditioned myself to think that they were only being nice. However, one day I sat down to write a short story. It was nothing crazy, just a story about two long-distance lovers reuniting for one night. Something was different about this particular story though. When I would read it back to myself, I enjoyed it. I believed that it was good. I saw the flaws in it, but I also saw the positives. I showed it to my friends, and when they told me it was good, I believed them.
Then, a short while later, I wrote another story. This time it was about two lovers (I write a lot of romance) at the messy end of their relationship. I was going to show it to my friends like the last one, but something was stopped me. I didn’t think it was as good as my previous story. Then the doubt started to set in. I let it sit on my computer for days without anyone seeing it. Then I stopped and asked myself, “Why do I care what people think of it?” I had a lot of fun writing that story, and it meant something to me. So why should I have to seek validation from someone else’s opinion?
Why should I let them take away the enjoyment and pride I had in my work?
In February of 2016, I finished my first feature length screenplay. It focuses on a young musician who has to deal with the fact that she just missed out on a major record deal. I really think that script is the best thing I’ve ever written (so far), so I decided to let some of the people who had previously doubted me read it. Do you know what they told me? They told me that it was a good script; that if I kept at my writing I could really go somewhere with it.
There will be people in your life who tell you that can’t or shouldn’t do something because it’s an “unrealistic dream,” but remember that every other musician, actor, astronaut, or whatever it is you want to be had people like that in their lives too. The only difference between them and everyone else is the fact that they had the drive to make their dreams a reality. So when people say you can’t do what you want to, do it anyway. If you’re having fun doing the things you love, who cares what other people think?
What have you always dreamed of becoming? What was your childhood goal? Don’t give up on it so easily. Dream big. Write down your goals. Never stop pursuing your passions.
I'm an 18 year old guy from Ireland. I am a fan of films and I love going to the cinema anytime I can, or else watching my favourite movies at home. I also love to write my own film scripts, poetry and short stories. I also love music and I am constantly listening to my favourite albums on vinyl, going to gigs or releasing my own music (www.idolisedidiot.bandcamp.com).