Some of you may have already read agent Nathan Bransford’s post When Dreams Become Expectations. It brought a lot of “realness” to dreams and their connection to writer happiness.
This part of the post was especially interesting to me about what he had to say about dreams/goals:
“When you allow daydreams to fill that gap to get you through the tough times, or even when you’re just letting your imagination get the best of you, the dreams can gradually evolve into the reason you were writing in the first place. They were how you got through the tough times, so now they have to come true for it to be worth it. They start to become a crutch — take that crutch away and you fall over because you were leaning on an endlessly elusive dream.”
As writers, it’s very easy to get caught up in the grandeur of our dreams. We all do it. But we must be careful about how much weight we give to our dreams.
For me, I sometimes get frustrated with the progress of my writing journey but then again, I’m also grateful because I know how the “What-If” game can get you into trouble. Happiness doesn’t always start when you get an agent or even when you publish a book. Don’t get me wrong, when you hit those milestones, you should celebrate them and be proud of the accomplishment. But also remember that those goals achieved are always replaced with something else to achieve — and if you depend on that for happiness, you will be forever running the treadmill of the next “big” thing. And what if doesn’t happen? Then what?
I remember after getting my former agent how I got all caught up in what was going to happen next. It was exhilarating and fun — and in my head I planned all the glorious things ahead of me. When it didn’t happen, I got sort of crushed. After wallowing in disappointment, I dusted myself off and went back to the real reason I was writing novels for in the first place. It was then I realized that I had gotten caught up and it brought me back down to earth.
I still want to achieve my goals but now I’m more realistic about it and I know that it will take patience and more importantly working on my craft and making my novel the best it can be.
Every writer wants to be a success. Just remember to keep it in perspective.
How do balance your dreams and reality?