(outtake from a real conversation)
“How are things going with the book, mom? Have you gotten anymore reviews?”
“I have and they are all pretty good. One girl told me she loved it and hoped I would be as successful as Fifty Shades of Grey and Harry Potter. I told her, I wish!”
“Maybe you will be.”
“That would be awesome but those books were wildly successful. I don’t have that high of expectations for this.”
“Why? It could happen.”
“It’s better for me to have realistic expectations, that way I don’t get disappointed.”
“Not me. I always think I’m going to be really successful. It’s okay to dream, mom. If you don’t have a high goal, you’ll never reach it. Some things will work out and some won’t. But you never know, so be positive.”
He’s twelve. I wasn’t looking for a pep talk or a life lesson from my youngest son, but I got one. It wasn’t just what he said, but how he said it. He has so much self-confidence and I know it’ll take him far in life. I envied him at that moment because I so wanted to have as much confidence and belief in myself as he does.
It’s a windy road
I have come to learn that the writing journey I’m on isn’t completely illuminated, it certainly isn’t straight and I really have no clue where it leads, but I’m hoping it’s somewhere great. What I do know is that there are days when I’m on top of the world: I see a good review, I know I’ve sold a few books, people are engaging with me about it, and as a result, I dream big about what’s going to happen.
There are also days when the dream feels like a nightmare; when I’m stuck in an uncreative place (where I can’t seem to get the words on the page), someone has something critical to say that makes me want to quit or, or I have deal, yet again, with the negative ramifications of making a poor self-publishing decision. On those days, the only place you find me is under a rock.
I try really, really hard to always find the positive, but it’s not easy. This is so personal and having dreams and expectations means I run the risk of being disappointed or let down. On the flipside, it also means that I push myself and have things to look forward to, which ultimately is really more important.
I’m going to keep this blog nearby, not because it’s the greatest thing I have ever written, but because I often need the reminder my son gave me, “it’s okay to dream mom.”
Image credit: Brendan DeBrincat