04-20-19 – In Praise of a “Bad Pick” by Linda Lovely and Robin Weaver

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Of Dreams and Elephants

Dreams are essential. Dreams give us purpose and having a purpose is one of the steps to being happy. I have to admit that with regards to my writing, I don’t dream big. Well not that I consciously admit to anyone, or myself. I think I am guarding myself from failure but the big dreams flit through my mind now and then, they just don’t settle. This is because I believe the best way to achieve the big dreams is to start small – and achievable.

My biggest writing dream (and probably that of most writers) is to make reasonable money from writing. A worthy dream, but one that (to quote a well known tv ad) won’t happen overnight. Rather than wasting emotional energy on bemoaning the fact that that’s not the current situation, and beating myself up because it’s not happening, it’s more productive (practically and emotionally) to concentrate on smaller steps that can be taken to get there.

 Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

One writing dream (naturally) was ‘to be published’. I’m a lazy writer and it wasn’t a dream I pursued with any real determination (the reasons why would take a month's worth of blog posts) but having multiple stories with only three chapters written didn’t help!) When I saw a call for short romance from a small publisher I thought ‘why not?’ It was more to motivate me to actually finish something and send it out, which I did. When my story was accepted, that was a ‘dream come true’. A publisher (didn’t matter they were small) thought my work was good enough to put out into the world. Such a confidence boost. Maybe I could actually write !

With that story, and my next two with the same publisher, I probably made enough money to have a nice dinner out, but it was a small bite into my 'elephant', and it was a start. 

My elephant is still very much in tact, but I’m planning my next bites. My small, achievable dreams.

Another nibble will be to put out a couple of box sets. I have the rights back to my published ‘shorts’ and instead of leaving them to languish in my ‘re-release’ folder, I’m going to bundle them up and self-publish. The bigger part of the dream is that some people might actually buy and read them ! Oh, and like them!

I will also clear my ‘started bits’ and ‘ideas’ folders by writing the stories that have started to brew in my imagination but I’m trying to be disciplined and just work on one project at a time. 

Submitting to publishers again will take a chunk out of the elephant. While self-publishing has come such a long way in a short time, and is now well-respected and has credibility, a part of me still craves the affirmation of ‘professionals’ that I’m good at what I do. The RWAustralia conference is in my home town of Melbourne next year and I'll be pitching the completed first book of my planned Bedford Brothers series (it's here in writing so now I have to take this 'bite').

Even once I've 'eaten the elephant', there is no guarantee my big dream will materialize, but in the process I'm lucky enough to be able to  'live the dream' of being an author. Of having as much time as I need to pursue my passion, of having an awesome 'tribe' to share the journey

As for other dreams, right at this moment it's of the cup of coffee I can rewarding myself with for finishing this post!

Visit Andra at www.andraashe.com


Sarah Raplee said...

Great post, Andra! i, too, would love to make'reasonable money' from my writing, but I fear that may never happen. Nonetheless, I think it's more fun than most of the alternatives, so I'm not giving up. Your plans seem doable. You go, Girl!!!

Judith Ashley said...

Love the elephant analogy. My elephant may be missing part of a leg? Maybe?