Crushing Dreams by Michael R. Fletcher, Grimdark Magazine #16, 2018

This isn’t fiction. Rather, it’s a house call from a depressed neighbor you only half-know. They seem nice, but they always leave off the conversation with something a little odd. Like saying, “dreams are a motherfucker.”

And you’re like. . . they are?

16-monster-1-300x400But if asked a little more about what Mr. Fletcher means, it comes clear that his dreams have not been helpful. He had dreams of being a published author. Once he was one, he wanted to be famous, after that he wanted book sales that were higher than a relative flop from a Big Five publisher. And after that, he got really really drunk really really often because he didn’t seem to be getting past that last dream.

He came out of this depression when he realized his dreams weren’t helping him. They were actually a deterrent. They made him want to write “marketable books” rather than write what he wanted to write. His end-game dreams meant he would have to do stuff he didn’t really want to do, and that isn’t a happy thought. Instead, he started writing stuff he liked. He stopped caring about whether it was going to flop. He stopped caring about whether it turned copies at bookstores because he had been embraced by a lot of people on r/fantasy and the grimdark community. It’s a nice story, to be true. I like it because it’s a reminder not to get caught up on where you’re going with your writing. It’s a reminder to enjoy writing, because if you aren’t enjoying it. . . what’s the point?

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