We all have hopes that ride through life on a tandem bicycle with dreams. Those two wispy wants make up a big part of what makes us human, and vulnerable, and fearless. They give us courage when the starless night is too dark and strength when the last can of our proverbial spinach has expired. They’re different for every gloriously individual one of us, and especially so for writers.

The old man down the street hopes for even one more day that could match the best day ever of his long life. The little girl on the other side of the world hopes for a desperately needed gift of rain. The desperate housewife in suburbia hopes for one romantic spark from her husband of three decades. The soldier in a wartorn land hopes for the blessed sound of silence. The loyal hound longs for the loving stroke of its master’s hand along its shining coat.

These are all small portions of everyday lives. Hope wielding writers experience them in their own day to day journeys, and also through the characters they create. (The great science fiction author Fredric Brown wrote a wonderful story from a dog’s point of view that I’ve never forgotten.) Writers live their very own parallel lives, you know…the one they move through and the one that moves through their heads. They also have hopes “regular” people escape.

The writer hopes for inspiration. For a day’s high word count. For ideas and fortune and fame. For the mailbox/inbox not to be empty. Again. For the reviews to be good. For a few words of praise from an admired editor. From any editor at all. For the voices in their heads to never stop. To die with computer keys tapping beneath their fingers.

Hoping is a valuable aspect of human nature. It makes us strive, and reach, and live as if we can almost see an elusive tomorrow. Hoping is an artform. Writers take hoping to new and different heights. And hoping drives writers through the world they live in and the worlds that live in them.

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