This will come as no surprise. I want to be a writer.
A lot of people say to me and all over the internet that ‘if you say you’re a writer, you’re a writer!’. I believe that’s true to an extent. I have this blog and I write every day, so technically I am already a writer. But that’s not the dream.
Here’s the way I see it in my head…
I have a beautiful house with a huge porch that wraps almost all the way around it. The yard is beautiful and full of green and pink trees. The fragrance is soft and clean, the light is diffused in a luminous way, and the atmosphere is quiet and serene. I get up every morning and make breakfast, something delicious and all-natural that makes me feel nourished and healthy. I wrap myself in the softest big knit sweater I can imagine, a soft dove grey colour, and I go into my office. It’s in the back of the house, the windows looking out to a garden or stream. It’s very shabby chic, creative and inspiring. The desk is white and large, repurposed from a really cool old carved wooden table. There are notes everywhere, carefully strung around the room in an organized chaos. It’s pretty and a little girly, soft pinks and dove greys. I start writing and nothing distracts me. This is my job. I don’t go to an office somewhere, I don’t have a ‘day job’ to support my creative side, I have enough money to live based on my writing. I can sit in this beautiful office all day and create fanciful worlds of love and adventure.
This is the writer I want to be. This is how I dream of my future. So yes, I am a writer, but I want to be so much more. I want to see my books on the shelves of bookstores, or online catalogues. I want to spend all my time creating new characters and new adventures. I want to be passionate about every single day I’m allowed to get up and write.
I’ve written a book. Maybe that surprises you, maybe not. I have a completed YA manuscript on my computer. For so long I could tell myself that I was writing and it would take time to get to the point of publishing. I didn’t have to think about it because I was working towards my dream already. It took my almost four years to look up one day and realize ‘holy crap, I have a book!’ A few drafts, a few readers, and it was done. That’s when the fear set in.
What do I do now? I need to send it to agents? Publishers? There’s a few different ways I could self-publish as well. I felt suddenly overwhelmed. Writing for me is something I do instinctually. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I lose myself in my stories and I just keep going. I never actually planned for the time things would be finished! Obviously to get published I need to send someone my book, but my heart was beating rapidly and I felt dread set in. When your dream is something floating around in the future, it’s easy to think ‘I’ll get there one day’. But when it’s suddenly within your grasp… well my instinct was to panic! What happens if I fail? Wait, let’s change the question around a little. What happens if I succeed? Nothing will happen if I fail. My heart may hurt, but I’ll still be in this life, a life I really like. So why worry about that? I’m afraid of putting myself out there and not getting it, but I don’t stand a chance of achieving anything unless I try! And what if, just what if, I can have everything I’ve ever dream of?
It took me months after that final draft to finally sit down and do the research. Publishes and Agents; that’s where I’ll start. Most publishers require agent submissions, but some don’t. Everyone wants something different. A one page synopsis and the first ten pages, a three page synopsis and the first fifteen pages. Some have a list; cover letter, synopsis, market analysis and full plot breakdown. I made a list of all the places I’m going to start with and what their requirements are. There are about fifteen different documents I needed to write to cover everything. First step, get them done. I wrote my cover letter, my synopsis (one page and three page), a market analysis, comparative document, etc. I asked a friend who used to edit my stories online to look over things for me. She gave me a little boost of confidence by saying she ‘can’t wait to read the book!’
One by one, I’m going to email or mail exactly what is required from each place. I think it’s super important to really follow instructions. I’m tempted to give them everything, but there’s a reason they’re asking only for certain things. In my industry I receive a ton of pitches for projects or clients, and if they haven’t followed the instructions I almost always instantly think something a tiny big negative of them. I feel like they’ll be difficult to work with. Simple instructions should be easily followed.
So this is the stage I’m in. Getting my work out there. I’m prepared, I’m afraid, but I’m determined to see that house with my home office somewhere. I’m determined to get up every day and write. I want to have it as my career. I want to be the writer in my dreams.
I know a lot of people say you should write for yourself and not an audience, but there are parts of my dream that require an audience. I’d love to be able to say I’d be satisfied just writing on the side, but my dream is to write full time, and that requires a certain amount of income from in. Being the next J.K. Rowling would be nice, but I’m not talking about billions of dollars. I’m talking a decent living so I can support myself without worrying about paying rent. The house I picture is not an epic mansion, it’s a beautiful little living space on a small amount of property. Big beautiful windows, summer days, green surroundings and renovated spaces. For some reason, I see it somewhere in the south, plantation style. I think it’s the style more than the location, and I can recreate that here.
So yes, I’m satisfied writing every day. I love writing for this blog. I love the stories I’ve written as a young woman and posted online to my little groups of fans. They are so much fun. But I want something bigger. And let’s not kid ourselves. I want people to love my stories. I want to be able to say to you that my dream isn’t dependant on others opinions, but it’s part of it. It’s part of being a writer. I want to hear that someone couldn’t put it down or read it in one sitting. That is part of the dream and I’m not going to ignore it or think of it as something way out in the future.
I want to be a working writer. Today, I’m already a writer. Tomorrow, I will be even more of a writer. And every day after that I will take one step closer to what I truly want. That is the dream.