While some of us are dreaming of a white Christmas right about now, I've been dreaming of a book deal...quite literally actually...for the past five days. Also, while I like to be optimistic I'm not sure a white Christmas is on the menu for me this year anyway...I mean the sky is the most perfect easter egg blue, and that usually isn't a portent for snow. Not that I'm complaining mind you...it's beautiful.
But I digress.
It's a lovely dream (the book deal thing, not the snow), and it's always just a little bit different. Of course it's always filled with the utter bizarreness of most dreams, like monkeys on roller skates doing the limbo...but...you know. Still. So while we're all dreaming of either publication, a magical winter wonderland, or a little of both...I thought I'd take a bit of time to talk about the dreams that drive us.
I truly believe that whatever your dreams are...whether it's to run a poodle fluff and curl hair salon, open a restaurant, marry the man or woman of your dreams, or become happily published, that it has to be everything. It has to be what you breathe, eat, sleep, the driving force around which all else revolves. I think some people are afraid to dream that hard. Why? Because...what if you don't "make it?" Then it will be such a let down. You'll have put all your eggs in that one basket all for nothing.
What a waste.
But is it really?
I believe that "making it" is always a sliding scale. For now, you might just want to be published (if you aren't already.) But when that happens, you'll want more. More books, more readers. The more success you have, the more you'll likely want. You'll be like some kind of crazed nympho...except hopefully you won't be dry humping your readers like a dog. That's not very polite.
If you ever hit anything “NEAR” the big time, you'll probably want to be on the bestseller list. If you do that, you'll want to STAY on the bestseller list. Then you'll want to be a “bestselling author” that has several books that have been on the bestseller list.
I mean don't get me wrong, you can be wonderfully successful and never reach this list, but let's face it, it's great publicity to be there, and so many writers aspire to it, even if only secretly. I mean certainly practically EVERYONE wants to be on that list...it's like the movie actor who someday wants to receive an Oscar. Not the mental giant gymnastics here. Most of us want it, and the earlier you are in your career the more of a pipe dream it is...still it's there. Then...assuming you do that, you might then want movies and action figures and blah blah blah. So it never stops. Understand that.
I've known people who get involved in a "cause" you know...to save Christmas or create a law, or save some whales and dolphins, etc. They seem to live under the delusion that they will make their change and that will be the end of it. But it won't. When you pick a 'cause' or reason to get up in the morning, it never really ends. Writing for publication is like that I think.
As long as you still have the dream, you will either be working for success or working to keep it. If you truly understand that, you can relax a tiny bit. You may have this idea that one day promoting yourself just stops. It'll be some self-run machine and you can sit back and let the money or whatever flow in. But it won't be like that.
You'll always be working toward the next goal, the next dream. Because that's who we are as humans. Our dream just happens to be the writing dream. The odds are just in sharper relief. So keep dreaming and working toward your dreams but recognize that the more you dream and the more you accomplish the more you'll likely want. That's okay.
If you never reach any of your goals, then make sure you die trying. There are few things nobler than being so tenacious that you never give up on what you want no matter whether you have any guarantees of getting there or not. Ok...so maybe if you ran into a burning building and saved a baby, two kittens and a three-legged puppy, THAT would be more noble...but we aren't all superheroes here. ;)