When I first started writing fiction the possibility of getting my novel published seemed remote. This was back in the nineties when the internet was in its infancy; there weren’t dozens of authors blogging about their publication stories.
I didn’t know anyone who had ever published a book. I lived in medium-sized city in Georgia, and only a few people I knew read a lot of books much less wrote them. Getting published seemed like an impossible dream.
But then I went to my first writers’ conference, and I encountered real-life published authors, swilling beer and milling about just like normal people.
Shortly afterwards I met an author who read my stuff and actually liked it. Finally I felt like I had permission to imagine myself as a writer. At another writing conference, I bumped into other writers who also wanted to get published, and we started a writers’ group and the dream got even little closer.
After a year, I finished a novel and queried agents and actually had one call me because she liked my writing so much, and finally the dream was almost close enough to touch.
Finally after submissions and revisions, I got an offer from a major publisher and the dream coalesced into a reality.
That’s the way dreams come true, even though, at first, my dream seemed so far away it was as if I was looking at it through the wrong end of binoculars.
It only began to be possible when I imagined myself living the dream, and closing in on what I wanted, step by step.
I met resistance along the way; friends and family told me my dreams were frivolous and impossible.
I came to realize these were people who had given up on their own dreams, and thus felt threatened by mine.
It goes without saying that if you encounter naysayers on your journey, while you should be respectful of them and wish them well, you must not listen to them.
Surprisingly, though, the most serious resistance sometimes came from within me.
When you declare your dream to the universe, forces will begin align to make it come true. Sometimes I sabotaged myself by having my own ideas about how my dream should manifest.
Frequently I turned away those who were willing to help me in my writing career. Sometimes I ignored wise advice, assuming I knew what was best.
That’s why I now remain alert and mindful to any assistance that comes my way so I don’t accidentally discount it. I’ve learned that sometimes what looks like a wormy apple might actually be sweet and delicious once I bite into it.
Many times I experienced frustration and setbacks, and instead of accepting them as part of the journey, I was tempted to use them as excuses to quit plugging away.
I still have plenty of writing dreams, and whenever I get discouraged or feel doubtful, I go outside and look at the moon.
I like to imagine the first person who actually had the audacity to think it was possible to travel there. Can you imagine the doubters he encountered and the obstacles he overcame?
And yet somehow that dream, that journey of nearly 239,000 miles into space got closer and closer, until one day magical day, Neal Armstrong lumbered across the lunar surface. The impossible became possible.
If you want to achieve your own writing dreams, there are several steps to follow.
1. Declare your dream. Write it down or shout into a canyon or hire a skywriter, but make your intentions known.
2. Do what it takes to make the impossible seem possible. For instance when I finally met real-life writers and realized they were mortals who didn’t have words shooting magically out of their fingers, I could finally imagine being one of them.
3. Refuse to listen to doubt from others or from yourself.
4. Be alert to any assistance that comes your way, and be careful you don’t discount or ignore it. Don’t get too attached to how and when the dream will manifest. Just keep yourself aligned with the end result.
5. Embrace frustrations and setbacks as part of the journey.
What is your wildest writing dream?
If you enjoy these posts, consider signing up to receive them in your email box.