I've written before about how my dad was instrumental (forgive me for the pun!) in shaping my musical tastes. He taught me all about classical music and introduced me to some of the finest artists out there. A favorite that has come to play in my later years is Harry Chapin. He wrote this amazing song...Dreams Go By. It fits so well with my thoughts for today... (And you can listen to it below!)
The chorus says, "And so you and I, We'll watch our years go by, We'll watch our sweet dreams fly, Far away, but maybe someday, I don't know when, But we will dream again, And we'll be happy then, Till our time just drifts away." The gist of the song is about a couple whose lives take different paths than what they dreamed about as children.
Doesn't that ring true for all of us?
I like to tell my kids about my adult aspirations from childhood. I wanted to train monkeys in the deserts of Arizona. As I grew older, my mom and I had a dream about finding a little Thomas Kinkade cottage where we could raise geese. I became involved with theatre, and I was sure I was going to be a stage manager on Broadway, where my hidden talents would be discovered, launching me into super stage stardom.
Life had a different plan, though. No monkeys (although now I have three kids.) No geese or Thomas Kinkade cottage (although I live in a beautiful home and I'm currently writing about a character named Kincade.) And I never made it Broadway (although I got to travel to NYC and see a show once.)
I'm not complaining. I wouldn't trade the differences for anything. I've done some pretty awesome things, if I do say so myself. And that's why I'm not too worried about what might lie ahead.
I took on this dream of being an author. I will admit, when I first put words on the page, I thought for certain I'd be on the New York Times bestseller list. A publisher would pick up my first draft, recognize the brilliance, and I'd be an overnight success.
Not so much.
I've faced more rejection than I ever thought possible. That rejection prompted me to learn more about the craft of writing. Once I had more knowledge under my belt, I tried a different avenue. That resulted in success as my manuscript won a writing contest. I thought for sure that this would be my springboard into the upper echelons of writers. Nope! The path twisted again, sending me down a rabbit trail of learning about the publishing industry. All the while, I kept writing, kept hoping.
Agent after agent. Editor after editor. I'd get so close, but not quite there. Until I finally got a contract with a small press! No, it wasn't Del Rey or Tor or any of the other big sci-fi publishers. But it was a contract!
And that didn't pan out, either. My standards and expectations were just too high. With my contract dissolved and my rights reverting back to me, I had two choices. I could hide, lick my wounds, and hope that maybe down the road I'd find another contact, or I could take matters into my own hands and jump into the frying pan.
I never wanted to be a self-published author. I never wanted to learn about typesetting and how to create different headers for different pages in the same document. I never wanted to face the frustrations of an ill-fated marketing promotion.
Yet, here I am.
And I wouldn't change it.
I no longer have to face rejection. Sure, it's a bit of a hurdle to win over readers. It's tough work to get my books out there. But my dreams have changed, and I've learned to accept it. I'm okay with selling just a few books to my friends and family. I no longer have to make compromises on my work. I no longer have to compete with other writers.
I am free.
And although I've watched some dreams go by, I'm enjoying living out the ones that fill my every day. My amazing husband and children. My job. My friends. And the worlds I've created in my stories.
That's what it's all about, after all.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3