The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres


When you leave school and spend several years unemployed or on government training schemes; when you return to education as a mature student; when you spend four years gaining an honours degree in philosophy: the dream of a well paid job grows ever larger.

When your boss fails to notice your talents but is quick to point out the smallest of mistakes; when you find yourself constantly thinking of ways the organisation could be run better but none of your suggestions will bring a pay rise or bonus; when you’re convinced you could do a better job yourself: the dream of independence grows ever larger.

With every condescending look you receive from those who believe the unemployed are scum of the earth; with every form you have to fill in to claim benefits to survive; with every rejection letter from your job applications: the dream of self employment grows ever larger.

When the bills are piling ever higher; when the orders are failing to materialise; when the idea of going to the office fills you with dread: the dream of a different business grows ever larger.

When you build a more successful business on the rubble of the first; when you become a respected figure in the business community; when you realise that you hate wearing a suit, handing out business cards with a firm handshake and missing your children growing up: the dream of selling up, moving house and writing the great novel grows ever larger.

When the savings you’ve been living on have all but disappeared; when the greatest novel never written lies abandoned in assorted files on the laptop; when your energy levels are drained by an unknown illness; the dream of finding success through a collection of blog posts grows ever larger.

Today is the 9th anniversary of becoming self employed, convinced I would be a millionaire within three years, and the 2nd anniversary of moving to this corner of Scotland, convinced I would be a best selling author with two.

Where would we be without our dreams?


Mary Witzl said...

I've been in a few of those places too. Few things have happened according to plan, but I still love the dreams and would never be without them.

Beautifully written post, Kim.

meleah rebeccah said...

Thank you for the comment!

meleah rebeccah said...

dreams are great to have, even better when they come true. I have a silly little dream that I hope one day will come true, and it is that very dream that keeps me going every day.

Kim Ayres said...

Mary - thank you

Meleah Rebecca - then it is neither silly nor little

BStrong said...


Were you reading my diary? With the exception of a few of the entries in the post it reads like a familiar autobiography in the making;) I’m just thankful that dreams don’t have an expiration date.

Have a great weekend and my congrats to Meg again on her medal.

quinn said...

hey is not always the destination ...but the journey day at a time my friend.

savannah said...

the pirate image is very apt, go that route striking out on your own, taking your family with you, is a leap of faith and one that is impossible not to continue once started...we've gone that route and i can honestly say, neither of us would have done one thing day at a time and hold fast to your dreams!

your pirate sister, savannah

Kanani said...

I was talking to myself again... and then later to friends about this whole writing schtick.

I think what you've described is fairly common, the circumstances in which one comes from to pursue a dream.

But what seals your self-identity as a writer isn't dependent on finishing the book, having things published or getting the limo.
Though, that's the critical and financial validation, which is also very important.

But on a very basic level, what make us writers is that we love it, and we do it whether or not we get paid.

It's a yearning you have always had, only sometimes you didn't know it. And you do it for no other reason than you feel compelled.

Those who understand never require an explanation, we just accept that you are here, a writer.

Thanks so much for making my world a bit wider.

The Hangar Queen said...

I'm 34 years old and in that time I've had enough adventures to fill a dozen lives.Some were planned and some were not but they were always interesting.
I had always imagined my dreams to be impossible.Despite this they never left me and often they were all I had in the world.
I know that last bit sounds like the worst kind of sentimentality but I would rather strive towards my dreams than be unconcious and content in mediocrity.
Keep at it Kim.You might not end up at where you imagine.It could be somewhere better.

Kim Ayres said...

BStrong - we've got to get together and have those long talks into the evening we've been promising for the past 18 months or more

Quinn - absolutely it's the journey that counts

Savannah - you're right, you can't go back, pirate sister. Almost everyone I know who is self employed now considers themselves to be unemployable

Kanani - I do love writing, it's true, but I actually have a piece of paper stuck on the wall above my head to remind me what truly drives me. It says:

"It's not about writing - it's about communicating"

Hangar Queen - considering your life changes, I can't imagine you ever being content with mediocrity.

SafeTinspector said...

Will there be new dreams, or will you revisit the old?

jennifergg said...

Dreams are the will find your way toward yours! And they are lovely.

Sayre said...

Dreams are what give us the courage to change. You have big dreams, obviously, as you have made big changes in your life. You are not afraid of those and someday, you will suddenly realize that you are indeed living your dreams. It may take longer than you anticipated, but I am confident that the day will come.

Jeff said...


My advise...

Don't let anybody steal your dreams brother.....

Turn up the volume on those dreams....turn up the color until they are so bright and vivid you can see them, taste them and smell them....and get up everyday knowing you are one step and one day closer.....

The great one said " If you can believe it you can achieve it"

You will do it and I hope to buy the first round when that novel hits the best seller list.


restaurant gal said...

I know, all too well, of what you speak. Of what you write.

jotcr2 said...

Dreams don't hurt a bit. It would be awful not to have them at all.

Eryl Shields said...

Kim, you're a poet.

Kim Ayres said...

Jennifer - our dreams shape our reality

Sayre - until very recently, it never occured to me to not have big dreams

Jeff - well if you'll buy it and tell your friends so it has a chance of hitting the best seller list...

Restaurant Gal - I feel the same thing in your writings

Jo - very true

Eryl - but I didn't knowit

Jupiter's Girl said...

Great post, Kim. It is my truth too. I have had so many jobs, it's not funny. I became determined a few years back to fulfill my newly recalled dreams or die trying. So many loved ones around me try to dissuade me, dangling job carrots in front of me. No matter what the paying job is that they are suggesting, I hear "why don't you suck on these lemons?" It is hard for them to understand since they are working at jobs they hate too and think that is what you are supposed to do. I have even felt their pity sometimes. I can't fault them because sometimes they have helped me out when bills needed to be paid, or groceries bought.

My dreams are alive and kicking. Every now and then I get a big sign that I am righteous in my efforts. Many times I have thought of giving them up as unrealistic, but I know that is an impossibility. I had suppressed them for 17 years, but was dying slowly and didn't know why.

I'll buy your book. I can't wait to read it. Turn it into a movie. I want a part in that.

Kim Ayres said...

I'm sure I could write in a role for an actress-astrologer :)

Shebah said...

I'm sorry to disagree with everybody, Kim, but I think these kind of dreams should stop when you are about 20. Action and hard work is what brings success - provided the talent is there to begin with. All those newly discovered talents have been slogging their guts out for years. I believe the first step is to have your written material assessed professionally and get some honest appraisals of your publishing potential (there are book fairs where publishers and authors attend and they look at work), or join a creative writing class where the tutor will give advice on how and where your work might sell. Believe me, they don't hold back on the criticism, so you need to develop a rhino hide, but if they think you have the X factor, they will spend time with you. It's all about marketing

Kim Ayres said...

I don't think you should ever stop dreaming, Shebah, or your life becomes empty.

If you spend your whole time dreaming and never bother putting anything into practice, then of course it's not doing much for you.

The point of this piece was how the dreams change as the circumstances and outcomes change, and thus how they drive you forward in different directions.

However, for me there's a bit of a twist at the end because I don't have the energy to follow through with my dreams at the moment and I find that instensely frustrating

Shebah said...

I do hope you get your energy levels back, Kim, as life can be really depressing if you feel knackered all the time. Have they yet diagnosed the cause of your tiredness?

Kim Ayres said...

Still ongoing I'm afraid, Shebah. ME is starting to be mentioned, but I don't suffer from muscle or joint pains so it could be a while before there's anything definitive.

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