Friday, July 9, 2010

Believing Smaller

While I’ve been deciding what to write next, I’ve been taking a little walk through some of the stories I’ve written in the past couple years. This has been a fun exercise, mostly. One thing that has been a bit challenging is what I will call my Former Writer Self Time Travel Moments. What does that mean? Well, as I’ve been reading the words my former writer self wrote, I remember with perfect clarity exactly what I was thinking while I was writing. How I thought this writing journey would go. I’m sure I’m not alone in believing that I would be an instant success, lauded by the masses, the most successful writer ever to walk (though I would levitate regularly) the earth. I think we all need to believe that success will come easily in order to have the confidence to get out of the gate. Of course, I now know all about rejection and how hard it is to keep believing, but had I known all of that then, I might never have dared to send out that first query.

I pride myself on my ability to “just keep swimming” (my little ode to the fabulous Dory from Finding Nemo) no matter how close I get and how far it feels like I have to go. I literally use this mantra during my open-water swimming outings. And I will keep on going, no matter how hard it gets, but I have to say that my little time traveling moments have been rougher than I would have thought. This journey is all about believing, but I think I have a better sense about the size of my belief now. And to be honest, I’m believing smaller these days. No shiny tiaras. No brunches with Stephenie Meyer, C.S. Lewis (who was only too happy to come back from the dead for brunch with me), Han Suyin, and J.R.R. Tolkien (also back for a limited engagement). Just a lot of work, a dose of faith, and maybe one day, the chance to share my stories with more than my circle of friends and family.

Quote for the Day from C.S. Lewis

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

5 comments:

Indigo said...

I honestly believe when you reach this type of understanding, you finally grasp what being a writer is all about.

I had my awakening back in April. The rejection was expected. The writer I am now, knew that particuliar book wasn't the best I had to offer.

Now I'm a little quieter, center, and like you I swear I see things as they truly are. You and I will keep writing, because it's more than the publicity or the popularity - it's a passion. (Hugs)Indigo

Jemi Fraser said...

Dreaming small is a good thing. It stops things for being overwhelming - or maybe that's just me. For now, I'm dreaming about writing a query that's not complete jibberish :)

Julie said...

Indigo,

What a lovely comment. Thanks. And it's true, I feel a little quieter within myself about the whole thing. Sure, there's a sadness that the journey doesn't look like the fantasies, but when I look at all I've learned, the path doesn't seem wrong. Just different from what I'd thought it would be. And how boring and pointless would it be/feel if life worked the way we thought it would, without surprises and lessons and the depth that the journey brings.

And you're right, we won't stop. We're writers, this is what we do. :)

Julie said...

Jemi,

I agree, and it is the expectations that drop us, not the realities, I think.

Ah, query letters. Let's all sing an "Ode to How Fun They are To Write."

If you need an outside perspective on what you've got so far, I'd be happy to take a look, but I'm not a query guru or anything. :)

Debra L. Schubert said...

Dreams change, as does everything in life. "... changes aren't permanent, but change is..." (Rush, Tom Sawyer)
I sure as heck never thought I'd be going through what I am now. When the rug is pulled out from under you, you have to regroup. You are a talented writer. Your time will come. Hang in there and never stop believing in yourself.