Famous for Fairy Tales
Artists--perhaps more so than any other category of people--are painfully familiar with the hopelessness and despair that finds company with broken dreams. (Either that or black clothing's good for hiding coffee stains.) Prone to developing grandiose illusions, artists often set unattainable goals, only to plummet into the angst of reality. Writer Hans Christian Andersen knew this free-fall hell quite well.
Far taller and ganglier than most anyone he encountered, Hans was simply too awkward for the elegance of the 19-century Danish stage. He also repeatedly proved to be a disappointing pupil and heartbroken lover. Over and over again, his friends and mentors tried to push him into an apprenticeship, so he could support himself by learning a skilled trade. Hans retaliated each and every time, insisting that he was meant to be a great actor. Thus, more often than not, Hans subjected himself to pitiable living conditions, which he occasionally escaped thanks to others' kindness.
After many failed attempts to secure steady acting work, Hans turned to playwriting and eventually writing short stories. His inventive fairy tales gained him fame that persists around the world even today. If you grew up with “The Little Mermaid,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Princess and the Pea,” “Thumbelina,” “The Emperor's New Suit,” or “The Snow Queen,” you grew up with Hans Christian Andersen's brainchildren—or at least bastardized versions of them. During his lifetime, Hans published 168 fairy tales. In other words, his Plan C worked.
Fledglings, if you need some motivation after a few nasty hiccups, look at Hans. Pick up one of his fairy tales or check out a biography for the details of his early misery. In Hans' case, the answer to the fame he craved really did lie in fairy tales—the very things that had caused so many of his personal mishaps. His imagination was simply too big for other peoples' taste. That is, until he matched his imagination with discipline and got to writing what he was meant to write.
Maybe you can find a way to get your perception of truth and The Ultimate Truth to walk hand in hand like Hansie Boy did.