My best friend, Rayna, and I still joke about the Dolphin Woman. During a meeting, Dolphin Woman took about an hour or more reading her piece, arguing with the critiques offered, and then listing the brain power and abilities of dolphins.
But Ms. Dolphin isn't the type to squelch your dreams of becoming published. Ms. The-Odds-Are-Against-You, though, may take a crack at it. And it's not that she's TRYING to dissuade you, but sometimes it feels like it.
Have you met people like this? The ones who feel it their duty to explain to you how impossible this business is? I totally have in my travels. More than once. I was in a group where a few traditionally published authors explained how unlikely it was that I'd get published. How long it'd take. How it was all a game of chance. And while in theory, I agree with some of what they said, we all know what their words really were:
A pat on my head. You know, the way an adult would pat the head of a child who explains that there are unicorns living in the back yard.
It kinda feels like that, doesn't it?
Of course these head-patters don't stop patting your head once you get full requests, or even once you sign with an agent. Because you still dream of unicorns in the back yard and they're still there to tell you such animals don't exist.
But there's a difference between simply dreaming for the sake of it, and actually doing something about that dream. A difference between wishing you were a published author and working toward becoming a published author.
I HAVE met people who explain that one day they will be published. They tell me their book idea, even graciously offer me the chance to write it for them (no thanks!). But they haven't once sat down to actually write the thing. To plot it. To research the process of becoming published, whether it be self or traditional or small press.
And that, my friends, is the HUGE difference. YOU ARE writing! You ARE researching. And you ARE working toward your dream. So when someone tries to pat you on the head for believing in such a ridiculous dream, just remind yourself that one day you'll get close enough to that unicorn in your back yard and YOU WILL ride it all the way to cloud nine!
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