If I Can Be Honest for a Moment: Time to Be Serious About My Dreams

I am not sure if I've ever been entirely open about how much my dreams have mutated into a giant, slobbering, Rampage-style city destroying monster. I've confessed that my ambitions overwhelm me, and my own self-doubt has successfully sabotaged them more than I'd ever actually like to admit, as I'm still holding out hope that I can trick you into thinking I am suave and cool. But I've often tried to bury the dreams and visions that I've let run wild in my mind, because if no one knows about them, then failing to achieve them will have less of a blow. Or so, those pesky dark voices tell me.

I don't just want to publish a novel, but I want to be a best-selling novelist that crafts many entertaining books that inspire and motivate others.

I don't want to just sell those novels for movie rights, but I want to write a script for them or a screenplay for a totally original idea.

If I really allow myself to dream, I would love to really challenge myself by directing a feature, but the dark voices are very loud against this one saying that I am too old and incompetent. But when I muffle them for a few seconds. . . 

If we're really throwing out the big dreams, if I am directing, then I'd love to put that childhood drama class and high school theatre to work by at least acting in a small role in a feature some day.

This humble blog has had a facelift over the last few years. I have started rebranding it as a pop culture and movie site. I even have a great contributing writer in my dear friend and terrific podcast co-host, Scott Martin. But I don't just want to grow readers for this site, because I want it to be a site that has a strong and large reader-base. I want to make money off the site. I even sometimes dream about being able to hire multiple writers and allow it to start becoming a real-life business.

On this site has always been The Movie Breakdown. The podcast had a big moment when it joined Spreaker Prime and started to actually have a team to help with its marketing and growth. But I don't just want to grow the listeners, but I want to make it big enough to justify daily shows, and to expand it to being both audio on podcast sites and a video show on YouTube. I have thought of airing a few live shows or even doing a major show at a venue. I have visions of the podcast one day hosting a film festival or being in partnership with a small independent movie that we can champion with a special screening. I don't really share these things, because they are years away, but I am also embarrassed about how much I want them, but also how much my self-doubt says this is foolish.

Speaking of YouTube, I haven't even broken into that platform, and I have many ideas for shows and projects that I want to do with it, including various shorter movie themed shows that may appeal to those that may not be as excited about a long podcast. I also envision short movies that can go on there and different fun daily videos. I dream of people subscribing and looking forward to my creations.

This isn't all. I have non-fiction books that I want to publish and various other creative endeavours that have been bouncing around in my head for years.

I don't like to mention most of this stuff because it hasn't become reality yet. If it never becomes reality, then I'm going to reinforce my self doubt and negativity.

But that is the problem. If I keep remaining timid and giving those voice any power then I'll be here dreaming for the rest of my life with possible readers, viewers and listeners being forced to go elsewhere. But I want them here. I want to try to enrich this world with all the creativity that is swirling around my mind, heart and soul. I want it more than my actual output would reveal. 

I have for the last decade had a bad case of imposter syndrome. Sure, I have readers on this site, I've been hired to write various articles, a growing an audience of listeners for the podcast and many story ideas seeping from my pores, but what if I've just fooled everyone including myself and all my work is garbage.

But then I remind myself that I'll never know if this is all destined for the dumpster until I take a chance. Until I push myself and put forth my best effort, and dare to be awful and risk cataclysmic failure. Then at least a decade from now, I can be confident that I took a chance on these dreams, and I believed in myself rather than listened to those nagging dark voices of doubt. 

The plan was the big push towards my dream would happen in January 2022 with the relaunch of Beyond the Balcony where Scott would come on as contributing writer and together there would be at least two new articles on the weekdays and at least two more on the weekend. While thanks mostly to the great effort by Scott, there has been at least one thing on here every single day this year, but it hasn't been the number of reviews, creative writing and articles that I had envisioned on January 1st, 2022.

I've had excuses.

The kids were home at the start of the year due to a shift to online schooling in Ontario. My kids are interruption ninjas. They are great at constantly breaking my flow during the day, and then even better at declaring that I have worked too long, even though I had spent more time with them than my work throughout the day.

The kids eventually went back to school. My day job mostly consists of writing different forms of what is essentially writing ads or marketing material for various companies. I also write a few articles for various publications. I enjoy the work, because it allows me to use my skills and express form of creativity for money. A lot of the work, especially after losing so many clients due to the pandemic, has been meetings and pitching for various gigs or long-term contracts. This is less fun, but the hustle is the name of the game in freelancing.

This takes up a great deal of my day. A day that is 9:30 to 3 (and early morning up until whenever the kids come stomping down), before I need to get the kids and throw them back in the mix with their delightful distractions. The time during the day seems to be faster than the Road Runner and treats me like poor Wile E. Coyote. Often when the day ends, I realize it is yet another one where I didn't have time to craft prose for the site or start working on a book or video or other projects that isn't client work.

I also need to reveal that another aspect that consumes free time is prepping for the podcast and doing promotion for my various work, and different administrative work that is sneaky in how much time it gobbles up.

Here is something that bounced off my head this weekend. My hope was to write three reviews over the weekend in the way overdue Ambulance, as well as the new The Northman and The Bad Guys. Due to the delightful distractions of my kids and other things that jumped into the weekend agenda, I never got to the reviews because my non-family time was occupied by finishing up client work and getting ready for a rather big episode of The Movie Breakdown.

But as I was faced with another lost weekend that I absolutely loved spending with my family, but I had failed to complete important reviews that would help draw readers to the site that I want to grow. I realized it was time for me to answer a crucial question.

Do I want the rest of my career to be writing ad copy for clients or do I want to turn my dreams of having successful pop culture site, published novels, a popular podcast, highly viewed YouTube videos and various other creative projects become a major part of my career? 

Option 2, please.

What this means is that I still do need to continue the client work, because it is the regular work. But I need to start slotting out a part of each day dedicated to my non-client other projects. I also need to start out slow rather than burn myself out with my ambition. I need to focus on these dream and put a little bit of work into it everyday. If I am good and worthy of these dreams, then it will all start to manifest into the physical world.

I hope that excites you. Because if it does, then it hopefully means you will become a regular reader, listener or viewer. I want to create stuff that will entertain, inspire, motivate, challenge and encourage you. I want to start making these dreams a priority. And to start taking them more serious than I've done in the past.

Where do I start?

Well, I will continue to make The Movie Breakdown the best and most engaging movie podcast that I can along with Scott.

I will start becoming an actual daily contributor to my own site again. I'll start with finally posting those reviews, and not allowing my self-doubt to convince me to erase them because they aren't perfect (a secret shame that has happened more than I want to admit with various prose). If that means they are only a few hundred words, then so be it, because they can still be read when short. 

I also really want to write a piece on Monkey Island that is weeks late, but I'll try to spin it to make it relevant. Also, I need to start the way-too-long promised series reviews of the MCU and theatrical animated Disney releases. If I'm confessing to things that have been hyped but never delivered, I need to get to work on the serialized weekly fiction that I believe can be a fun addition to the site.

As I build those two things, I'll slowly work away on those books, novels and videos, and continue to put myself out there to really risk actual success. In a year, my hope is there is at least a manuscript being shopped around, a site and podcast that has grown in popularity, and a self-conscious writer starting to believe in himself a bit more.

I know that I am not the only person overwhelmed by their dreams and struggles with fears of failure. I am being honest here to let other possible readers know that they aren't alone. We can support each other, and we can all achieve success and our dreams. 

This is the next step in my journey. When I start achieving more success and uncovering the reality of my dreams, I hope that I can use that to encourage, motivate and inspire others. If this 44-year-old-dreamer riddled with self-doubt can achieve his goals, then everyone reading this can do it too.

What are some of your overly ambitious dreams that you hope to achieve in the next several years?


  1. Anonymous11:15 pm

    Yes!! Aim high and go! Love you Chris!


    1. Thank you! I always appreciate your support.


Post a Comment