From the time I was a teenager I wanted to be a writer. When I was in my early 20s I dreamed of being signed to Harlequin, and thought that was something that would automatically happen. When reality slapped me in the face with rejections, I stopped trying. Until two and a half years ago when I got off my duff and got serious about my craft again.
Recently I signed with Samhain Publishing for the first in my Elementals series. The book is scheduled to come out in May of 2016, tentatively. I’m alternating between elation and a feeling of “holy cow, this really happened.” So I am wondering, what happens after you achieve something that has been a long standing dream?
There are many more steps to go. Now come the edits from the publisher, and I will have a quick turnaround time on those. Then I assume covers and layout and other planning…but I don’t really know. Everything I’ve done up until now has been self-publishing or short stories. This dream, this amazing culmination of all that I have been working for, seems like something sepia toned and wreathed in mist, an unreal specter hiding in the shadows.
And yet when I look back, over the last two and a half years I have been relentlessly chasing this goal, pursuing the fulfillment of a writing career with dogged determination. It has morphed several times even in this short span. First my intention was only to self-publish. Then I entered contests and placed. Then I started writing short stories. Finally I decided to go for that goal, that elusive brass ring and pitched Samhain at a conference in late March of this year. Now, in October, here we are with a publishing deal and a happy writer.
It’s cast things into high contrast all of a sudden. I went from writing every day but with no clear end game, except for the deadlines imposed by the call for submissions for the short stories, to realizing that each one of the five books in the series was now on the block. Mind you, the second one is done, I’m working on the second draft of the third, the fourth has a first draft and I’m writing the fifth, but there was still that moment of panic in my mind, that feeling of “what if they want them NOW?” I went from taking my time to having a sense of urgency. It’s a very different feeling. I still write every day but it has taken on greater meaning, a deeper purpose.
So what does happen when you fulfill a dream? I think it becomes another milestone. A huge milestone to be sure, but it’s a mile marker I have crossed and there are many more ahead. I look forward to working with Samhain on this and hopefully other books in the series, and will continue to work on the next series after that, and the next. I won’t lose sight of the short stories, either. I love writing those. They speak to a different side of me and allow me to branch out in different genres. Fulfilling my dream just means there are more dreams ahead, more mile markers to pass. I will aim toward every one and always try to do my best to reach them.