Beyond those childhood, fantastical dreams of being a swashbuckling pirate or a spaceship captain or Arthurian knight, my earliest dream was to be an author.
I loved writing as a kid. English was always my favorite class. I even look back at my earliest writing assignments and find myself tickled by some of the humor and insight. Of course, it was rough, often trite writing, but I can spot the young, natural talent with words.
I even remember writing my first "book" at the age of nine or ten, an epic story of good and evil told in about thirty pages. I wrote over the span of about two weeks on my dad's Macintosh SE and printed it out on the noisiest printer ever designed, the Dot Matrix.
I can't find the story anymore, having lost it through one of several moves over the years, but I recall it being inspired by my Christian Baptist upbringing and involving angels and demons.
Through the years, I found new interests in other arts, from classic magic, to theater and film. I was often distracted from the purpose of writing, yet throughout all of these diversions, I always returned to writing. I rarely finished what I started and ideas were often all over the place, and I jumped from script writing to short stories to failed attempts at full length novels. At points, it was merely the writerly version of a sketch on a napkin. But I consistently wrote. Something. My north star was always writing.
Despite many failures, I have held onto my dream of being a properly published author and making a living on it.
Hold fast to those dreams. Without them, we cease to live.