Today’s guest is author David Klein. David’s second page-turning novel, Clean Break, the story of four lives intersecting when a woman leaves her abusive husband, is receiving high praise from readers and critics alike. Klein is joining us to share his dream of becoming a writer that inspired him, angered him and even depressed him.
A Dream Goes on Forever
For years I had the dream of becoming a published novelist. The dream made me hungry. The dream inspired and motivated me. At times, it left me frustrated, angered, and depressed. But the dream would not let go.
It stayed with me through countless short stories (a few of them published), a screenplay, and four “practice” novels, three of which are hidden forever in a dark drawer, one of which deserved nothing except to be thrown away, and was. I held onto my dream through month after month of getting up before the birds and sitting at my desk to write. Through long, fallow periods of blank pages. Through one agent, and then another, and then another.
A more rational person might have surrendered. A smarter person might have recognized a mismatch between marginal talent and overwhelming desire. But I didn’t. The dream had become so engrained in the fabric of my persona and my identity as a writer that it was as essential to me as an organ needed for survival.
And then the dream came true. In 2009, my agent sold one of my novels to Random House. Stash was published in July 2010. This was followed by the publication of my second novel, Clean Break, in June of this year. And so here I am, the dream fulfilled.
Except not quite.
Of course I’m thrilled to have two novels published. I realize how lucky I am, how grateful that the hard work and endless hours and bouts of self-doubt and moments of supreme confidence have led me to where I am today. Yet the dream is still with me. It’s simply shifted shape, become stronger, larger, more insistent. No longer is it enough to be a published novelist with a following. Now I dream of awards and prizes. Now I fantasize about the bestseller list. Now I crave to see one of my novels made into a movie starring Laura Linney and Viggo Mortensen.
I already know that if or when any of these next dreams come true, yet another dream will take its place. You might say this is the curse of the person who is never satisfied, but I believe it’s the blessing that keeps me writing. Every writer must take time to celebrate an achievement, both the tiny ones and the tall ones—whether a well-constructed sentence, a compelling scene, or a finished book—and then move forward.
Writers will always need to write, through failure and success. There will always be one dream, and then another. And really it’s all shades of the same dream. Todd Rundgren composed a beautiful song many years ago: “A Dream Goes On Forever.” Isn’t this the nature of being a writer? What do you think?
Here’s a link to Todd Rundgren performing “A Dream Goes On Forever.”
Photo courtesy Flickr’s Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi