Novel Aspirations: My Greatest Dream in Life

Those of you reading this who are writers will know what I mean when I say that I am having one of those days when I want to write about so many things but my mind can’t seem to slow down long enough to settle on any of them.  I love nursing, I really do, but my greatest career aspiration is to be a writer.  I don’t even really think of writing as a career because writing a novel has always been my greatest dream, going all the way back to childhood.  I’ve always been fascinated with books and stories and the older I get the more my love for reading (and writing) grows.  I want desperately to write the kind of novel that really makes people think, that makes readers really examine their own lives and beliefs.  But I have no idea where to start, and at twenty-four (almost twenty-five) years old, I figure I haven’t experienced enough of life to be able to write such a thing anyway.  There’s a part of my brain that tells me I’m crazy for thinking I could ever influence people with my words, whether written or spoken.  I try not to listen to that voice but there are days, like today, when that voice is louder than the other voices in my head.  I’m not schizophrenic or anything but we all have voices in our heads, you know the positive ones that say “You can do it,” usually followed quite swiftly by the negative ones that say “You’re crazy for dreaming such things.”

writing a book

I was talking to a dear friend of mine recently about the struggle we all face to feel normal in a world that sometimes seems to do nothing but scream “You’re weird!” every time you walk out the door.  Her response was “No one ever changed the world by being normal.”  I love that so much and I fully believe it’s true.  I used to think I couldn’t be happy in life if I didn’t become famous somehow.  Now I realize how foolish that was, but there is still a part of me that feels like I won’t be fully satisfied with my life if I don’t really make a difference in this world (the poem I wrote that is the title of this blog was about this exact struggle; see my post “Inspiration Behind the Blog”).  I’m old enough now to realize that you don’t have to be the next Mother Teresa or Gandhi to make a positive difference in the world; actually we can all do that just by being good decent people every day that we live.  By reaching out to those in need, by showing mercy when it would be easier not to, by baring our souls about the struggles we all face so that our friends and acquaintances realize that deep down we’re really all the same.  And yet I keep coming back to writing.  As much as I love nursing and realize that my career offers me a multitude of opportunities to help others every day (or night) that I work, I can’t help but feel that no matter what I accomplish as a nurse, or even as a mom someday, I’ll still want more.  I still want to write a book.  I still feel like that’s the best way in which I can touch this world.

At the rate I’m going now, I don’t know if my book will ever happen.  At this point in my life I’m still much too worried about what others would think about some of the things I want to write.  I know I have to move past such trivialities if I want to ever write something truly great, but that isn’t going to happen overnight.  I also realize that even if I do actually write a novel, it might never get published.  And even if it did get published, that’s no guarantee anyone would actually read it.  But I still feel like I have to try, because as I told a friend yesterday, I write principally for myself, to bring peace to my own soul.  Of course if my writing can somehow inspire others, then that is a wonderful bonus.

I have no idea where I’m going with this post but I just knew that I wouldn’t get anything accomplished today and most importantly I wouldn’t be at peace with myself until I wrote about something.  Even if it was something as ironic as writing about writing, as the case may be.  In any case, I like to think that this blog is a small step in the right direction toward accomplishing my dream.

For those of you reading who would like to share what your greatest dream(s) is in life, I’d love to hear from you.

The Inspiration Behind the Blog

I’ve been meaning to share this for a while & honestly just keep forgetting. I figured some of you might like to know the inspiration behind the title of this blog. If you’ve read the “About” page you know it’s from a poem I wrote a while ago but I’ve never shared the poem on here. I wrote the poem about 3:00 am one night last year when I couldn’t sleep because my mind was just wandering & doing its usual bit of simply THINKING too darn much. I wanted desperately to write about how I was feeling but the words just wouldn’t come. So I wrote a poem about not being able to write . . . and it worked! I don’t always get that lucky but I remember feeling so relieved after writing this poem because it restored my faith in myself as a writer & in general my faith that life, though difficult at times, is well worth the struggle.


I’ve written quite a few poems in my life & plan to share more of them on here in the future. I must say this one is one of my favorites because it really was a moment of catharsis for me when I wrote it, I suppose because to me it so perfectly describes how my mind feels so much of the time: lost in a thicket of musings, or in other words pondering entirely too many ideas at once so that it’s difficult for me to ever truly relax. And quite often when I try to verbalize all of these “musings,” whether in spoken conversation or in writing, I’m suddenly left quite speechless & unable to describe them at all. I also love that I was able to touch on several other important themes in my life including the desire to be a writer above all else, the desire to change or leave some important mark on the world, & the feeling that maybe I am really a bit crazy after all.

I started this blog mostly as a way for me to “vent” all of my ideas & feelings about life & in doing so to hopefully reduce my own stress & anxiety levels while also perhaps inspiring or encouraging others to do the same or to ponder the same questions I have about life. That is why I thought the title A Thicket of Musings was so fitting for this blog. To a certain extent I think my mind will always be caught in a thicket of musings because it’s just a part of my very nature to think, think, think about everything all the time. But I find that in writing I feel less lost in this proverbial thicket of musings & more capable of enjoying the process. Some days I feel certain I’d trade just about anything to just not THINK so much about everything but in my heart I know I belong in a thicket of musings & I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

What about you? Do you ever feel like you just can’t stop thinking about things? Like there are so many ideas swarming around in your head but you can’t actually pin down any of them? Do you ever wonder if you’re the only person to ponder certain things (even though logically you know with six billion or more people in the world that’s nigh impossible)? If so, join me in A Thicket of Musings today & let me know your strategies for dealing with these thoughts.

Ok, enough talk about it.  Here’s the poem:

I used to be able to write poems

Nothing great or fancy

Just short little ditties

That somehow healed the wounds in my soul

Which life inevitably brings

But now words never seem to come to me

I’m lost in a thicket of musings

That I can never quite define

If could be anything in the world

I’d be a writer

When I was in fifth grade that’s all I wanted

I wrote about it in my autobiography that year

But all the great ideas that are in my head

Never seem to make it onto paper

(Or since this is the digital age

Perhaps I should say the computer screen)

It’s 3:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep

My body is exhausted but my mind is wide awake

When I was a child I thought I’d be a failure in life

If I didn’t somehow become famous someday

But now I don’t envy celebrities of anything

I think their lives are mostly miserable

Nonetheless I won’t be satisfied

If I don’t leave a mark on this world somehow

Is it normal to wonder about such things at 3:00 a.m.?

Or even at all?

Or am I just as strange and crazy as I’ve always feared?

Ah, you see what I just did there?

I wrote a poem about not being able to write a poem

Maybe there is still hope after all

Good night . . .

Or is it good morning?