Monday, May 11, 2009

My Fantasy Life as a Published Author

Sometimes I get so caught up in my day-to-day responsibilities that I forget to stop and remember what I'm working for. Discouragement lurks behind me, waiting for me to have a weak moment. A few days ago, I had a particularly hectic morning. I finally poured myself a cup of hot tea, sat on my favorite chair, and smoothed a cozy throw over my lap.

And I started fantasizing about what life would be like...

I'm sitting at an outdoor table at a cafe in Paris. It's spring, of course, and the journal in front of me lies open with beautiful handwriting scrawled across the top half of the page. I sip coffee as I watch the happy couples walk by. The fresh tree blossoms float around me to the ground; I release a sigh of deep contentment. A sense of delightful anticipation shimmers. I plan my afternoon of window shopping, aimless wandering, and purchasing chocolates before meeting up with my darling husband for a spectacular meal.

My latest book will have just hit bookshelves to glowing reviews. Magazines clamor for interviews. I'm asked to be a keynote speaker at a conference. Life is good.
And the writing? Oh, the writing. Well, naturally, I never doubt my work. The books flow out of me like a waterfall in the rainforest, tumbling with ease and speed. Deadlines? What deadlines? Promotion? Piece of cake.
I scribble a note to self in the journal...
Nice fantasy, huh?

Okay, okay. So what will my future as a published author really look like?
Well, for one thing, my handwriting isn't going to magically become legible, so out that goes. And Paris may be in my future, but I'm restless and I don't know that I'd sit at a cafe for more than forty-five minutes. But a girl's got to have a dream, so dinner in Paris with the love of my life will be a part of my future. (And the chocolates stay, too!)
I'd still love the glowing reviews and to see my latest book on bookshelves, but not every book will get an A+. As long as I've written it to the best of my ability, I'll have to be content with whatever review I get. What about the magazine interviews? Hmm... The local paper might be interested; you never know! And I could be asked to be the keynote speaker at a small conference.
The writing? I don't think it will ever come without deep contemplation and planning, and I wouldn't want it to. I enjoy tripping over plot points, wrapping my brain around conflicts, realizing halfway through a manuscript that the emotion is flat. I don't really enjoy easy; it's the challenge that keeps me glued to the seat.
Oh, and I'm prepared for the cutting reviews by readers on Amazon. I realize an editor won't always approve or purchase the books I write. Deadlines will loom; life will interrupt, and promotion will be an ongoing--and time-consuming--process.
You know what? Reality looks even better than the fantasy! I wouldn't be happy with the fantasy because it doesn't suit me. I know who I am and I don't want to be anyone else.
What about you? What do you fantasize about in regards to becoming published? Are your dreams realistic? Who cares! That's why they're called fantasies!
Join me on Wednesday when I'll share the story of my first rejection.
Get Motivated! It's Monday!


  1. Great fantasy! Reality is good too! Right now - just getting published is fantasy that I dwell on quite often... one I hope becomes a reality.

    Why do I want to get published so badly? Not for the glory. Definitely not that. I just want to make some money from this - so I can stay home and do more of it!! Right now I have to work - and I hate being away from Brogan and feeling so crunched for time.

    In my fantasy, I'd make enough off my writing to stay home and write, hire a part time baby sitter, raise my children cook and clean for my husband! That sounds blissful.

    But reality is good too. I just realized my post sounds like I'm whining!

    I'm sorry about your rejection! But it is truly a rite of passage - one more step in this crazy journey!

  2. My fantasy is that I would have more chunks of uninterrupted time to write! But then I'd probably waste the time anyway by day dreaming! Having to write in smaller segments makes me have to focus and stay on task, or else I'd never get anything written! And of course I fantasize about writing a book that will stand out from the rest of the millions! But in reality, mine will sit on the shelves no longer than everyone else's!

    Have a great week!

  3. My fantasy is that my book will be read by someone who says, "I needed to read that!" ANd loved it! It would be nice to have my writing make a difference to someone:)

  4. Thanks for this, Jill. I found it inspiring.

    I don't know if I really have a publishing dream. What I really hope is to be so enthralled with my next wip that it keeps me humble and balanced. I think we can so often get caught up in the moment and blow it waaay out of proportion. So not where I want to be.

  5. I like the fantasy, but you're right - reality is so much better! :-) I don't know that I'm ready for the cutting reviews at, but I'm sure I'll develop a thick skin as time goes by.

  6. Love that pic!

    That's a lovely fantasy. Where did the fans go asking for your autograph??? I'd be one!

    Thank you for sharing this. It's a great idea to think about what we'd like things to be like and then compare them to the other fantasy of what they'll most likely be like. Hopefully we all reach a great middle ground!

  7. It sounds to me like you are ready! I also like a good challenge.

    Fantasy for me would be going places and seeing things I have yet to see b/c I'd have so much money to just throw around. :D

    Oh, and I'd pay someone to wash my hair every single day (I love that feeling).

    Reality: I write and write and write and who knows???

    Happy Monday,
    ~ Wendy

  8. The title of your post made me laugh. :)

    I have a fantasy of finding my book at Barnes and Noble. Oh, even better, of having it on a feature table there. Yes, that is a lovely thought.

  9. I like your fantasy. Mostly my fantasy consists of being able to write full-time and maybe, just maybe doing well enough at it that I can support my family. My husband says he'd love to be a stay-at-home dad. For us, that's the dream.

    My other thing is silly but I am still going to wait for it. Fan mail. Yep. Fan mail. I write with the hope of reaching people and I would love to hear back from people who really got something out of my book.

  10. I love this post! My fantasies are:

    To be interviewed by Charlie Rose

    To have Harold Bloom give me a glowing review

    To have readers run up to me, crying, because they thought my books was so beautiful.


  11. Boy, your comments really cheered me up today! I've been on the RWA website for five (yes 5!) hours trying desperately to log in and get an editor appointment for this year's National Conference.

    I'm this close to tears... But not now that I read all of your comments!

    Katie: Money's good! I'd like to be rewarded with income, although I'm not unrealistic about the amount. And I agree, staying home with your kids while doing what you love is a wonderful fantasy--one that hopefully will come true sooner than you expect. (P.S. I'm used to rejections!)

    Jody: Oh, yes! Lots of uninterrupted time--it will come! I can't wait to see your books on shelves.

    Terri: I'd like to make a difference too. Even if it's making someone laugh.

    Eileen: Yes, I know how to blow things way out of proportion. I may even be an expert! Glad I'm not alone...

    Melissa: I'll probably be crushed when I get bad reviews. Mental note to self: stock up on chocolates before book comes out.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Lady Glamis: Ha! Ha! I think we should have a signing together! Don't you? Everyone will want an autograph!

    Wendy: Yes, my fantasies always involve travel. I like the idea of the personal hairstylist--I'm snaggin' that one and adding it to my list!

    Tess: Every time I go to a bookstore, I find the romance section and locate exactly where my book would reside. I'm not sure if it's entertainment, torture, or obsession, but it's fun.

    Cindy: I am going to frame fan mail. Maybe even scrapbook it, even though I don't scrapbook? Hmmm....

    Davin: I'll call Charlie and have him set up an interview (wink, wink!). And yes, readers must come up to you in tears because your book is so good. I'm just praying they don't come up to me crying because my book is so bad. Yikes.

    Thanks again for stopping by and making my day!

  13. Very nice fantasy, but I agree, I wouldn't have reality any other way. It'd be nice sometimes to have everything be easy, but where would the challenge be in that? And there wouldn't be any growing going on.

    For me, I'll be happy if my stories bring enjoyment to others well enough that I can stay published. ;-)

  14. How fun! And a great fantasy!

    PS. LOVED your website! :) Nice job!

  15. Danyelle: Funny thing about those fantasies, huh? They never live up to reality.

    Jennifer: Thanks for checking it out!

    Have a fantastic night!

  16. Jill, I love, love, love your fantasy! To be able to quit my job, have loads of time to write, and then have money to go travel all over the it! Might as well win the lottery, huh? Isn't if fun to dream, though?

  17. Sherrinda, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that all writers are dreamers--and I'm a "dream big" kind of gal!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Love the fantasy, very similar to mine! Honestly upon publication life will never be the same for me on the inside.

  19. hey it is my picture !!


  20. T. Anne: There's going to be a BIG party when I get the call!

    Kimdochak: Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful pictures. I'm so grateful to everyone who posts their pictures in the Creative Commons. Gorgeous!


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