Dreaming is a wonderful pastime. It can take a person to far away places. But dreaming, by itself is a pretty useless waste of time unless……you learn to chase them.
Taking a dream, and using it to fuel the pursuit of the dream, can be energizing, exciting, and potentially lucrative. That’s such a fun word…lucrative…it can mean monetary value, which in my case happens infrequently, but it can also mean rewarding, beneficial, and productive.
I’m chasing a dream. I’ve been chasing the dream for over twenty years. Closer to 45 if I’m being completely honest. I started writing in high school but only seriously started chasing the dream when I started driving my son to Easter Seals and I was bored out of my mind waiting for his classes to get over.
I used writing to entertain myself. It was cheaper to write my stories, than to buy them and I went through a lot of stories. Josh went to East Seals for seven years before entering the public school system. He attended the public school system for five more years so I had lots and lots of hours to fill.
For a long time, writing was simply my hobby. A way to pass the time. But some life-changing episodes changed my perspective. My husband was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer and we didn’t know what his prognosis was. Suddenly, I was looking at perhaps being alone with no way to work outside the home.
Desperation had me looking at my dreams with brand-new eyes. How could I take this hobby, that had entertained me for so many years, and make it lucrative? I wish I could tell you that it happened overnight, but that would be a lie. I’m still chasing the dream.
But I’m getting closer. I can feel the energy welling up in me. I have spent years learning my craft. I recently attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference and I came away with something new. New for me, anyway. I realized that I’m ready for the next step. I’m ready to make my dream a reality. I have the skills. I have the knowledge. Do I have the nerve?
They say only fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I feel no fear for the next big step in my dream chasing. I feel eagerness and excitement, but no fear. I don’t know if that’s because I lack experience, or if I’m simply ready.
There is a lot of controversy going on right now in the publishing world. Traditional vs. e-pubbing. I’ve been leaning toward e-pubbing for at least two years. When I do the numbers, it makes sense. When I look at the benefits to the writer who e-pubs, vs. traditional, the trade-off isn’t as clear.
For me it’s a numbers game, and I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about age. I’m older than I care to admit. I send off my queries, like I’m supposed to, and I can’t quite seem to catch the brass ring. But I know me. I know my work ethic. I know what I’m capable of. I know that my product is good. I’m easy to work with and I’m passionate about my product.
I’ve spent the last ten years learning how to market. I do it every day to help my son chase his dreams. He’s a disabled artist with a better sense of business than I will ever possess. I’ve learned how to do the face to face sales. How to establish an online presence. I can do all of that.
For an agent, or a publisher, to tell me that they don’t accept my work on the basis of a query letter makes no sense to me. I’m literate. I write with passion and heart. I meet my deadlines. I can do this job as well as anybody out there. I refuse to be told…no.
I will write my books. They will go through a rigorous editing process. I know my weaknesses and I’m willing to invest in myself. I will produce a product I’m proud of and my readers will enjoy. I want to build a partnership with my readers. A promise to them that when they pick up my book, they will be entertained.
At some point, my worth as a writer will be seen. Agents and publishers will view me through different eyes. I feel very much like the little Red Hen who kept asking if someone would help her and nobody would until the work was all done. If I succeed, and I have every intention of doing so, will I be willing to let somebody step in then? I think it will depend on the numbers.
I know where I was. I know where I am. And I’m nowhere near where I will be. The dream belongs to me. All I need to do is chase it.