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Friday, September 20, 2013

I've Got Dreams to Remember

When is it acceptable to stop...look...and listen to your heart and hear what its saying to you about your life? Is it before you realize that your dreams are just that; dreams that are fragile imaginings, or is it when you are facing the brick wall of realization?

How do you finally say "good-bye" to your precious dreams? How and when do you decide to carefully wrap them up and tuck them away in the farthest corners of your heart and the deepest recesses of your mind where they will forever reside? And...how do you face the reality that they will never come true and you have to go on with life minus the sustaining hope that someday your dreams will be fulfilled. Well, I guess that just depends on several factors. These factors include personal perspectives, goals, POA's (Points of views), definitions and how long and what lengths are involved, that someone is willing and able to incorporate to chase the dream. Or to be willing to separate dreams of possibilities from visions of fantasies.

Now, I want to present this outlook from my own personal POA, and discuss my dreams. A couple of years ago I began to nurture my dream of becoming a published author and I entertained the possibilities of becoming famous for my books. Well, part of this dream became true; I did become a published author. But, it was not like I had imagined it would be. I did not receive an offer of a contract and a big fat advance check from a publisher because they were excited about my book. I did however receive two offers of a contract from two different publishing houses, BUT...although they would be footing the cost for actual publishing my book, I would have to pony up a considerable sum of money and pay for my own marketing. This was a condition of the offer of a contract.

Since I did not have $4k, I had to pass on their offer. I went instead the "indie" route and used a self-publishing company. My book is in print, and it is for sale, and I have sold a good number of copies. That's a part of the dream. Here is the tough part. Self-marketing is hard. Very hard. You have to stay on top of it and do something nearly every day to keep your book title in front of people. It involves selling yourself as well. And guess what? People will get tired of that real quick. Oh sure, in the beginning there will be a number of supporters who will cheer you on and will buy your book.

There's the endless cycle of preparation and execution of marketing and promotion. Book trailer, book launching, invitations, brochures, and of course the actual hard selling of the book!

But after a  while the hype wears off and when you continue to advertise your book you are greeted by a wall of silence. Every once in a while, you will get the occasional buyer. But bottom line is without people who will work along with you tirelessly, or the money to hire a PR agent...this is what you can expect.

Next came the dream idea of developing a web show with the central character being the grandmothers from my blog. I wanted to hire a professional video producer and a cast. I actually I took a crash course in script writing, wrote a script and had it registered with the Writers Guild of America. My web series would go viral and I would become super rich!

Then,there was the dream that I had of becoming a reality television script writer. I was going to turn my blog into a reality show that a producer would grab up and sell to a network and I would become an instant success.  I was pumped up, excited and knew for sure that I could do what hundreds of other people did...and create a show that would be watched by millions and become an over nite sensation. After all; others did it all the time and look at their success, right? How hard could it be to get it done? Surely my ideas were every bit as marketable as what's on television today?

Well I got a rude awakening. I discovered that I could not write a proper script, and that my premise was not in line with what folks wanted to see on television. The big deal breaker was when I was told that Charlotte was not a large enough city where The Real Grandmothers could fly. It was with this remark that I packed away all of my paperwork, took down my cork board, rolled up my poster story boards...the whole shebang and hid them from my line of vision. Overnight, my office went from an overflowing mess to pristine perfection without the stuff around that my dreams were made of.

I guess what hurt the most was the lack of interest and encouragement that I had expected from people who I thought would have been in my corner. Instead I received cursory second hand, lukewarm congratulations, but no offers to buy a copy of  my book. Then, there were a few who had said during the video promotion that they couldn't wait to buy a copy, yet when I sent out invitations to my launch...nothing.

So, although I encourage each of you who has a dream of becoming a published author to get out there and pursue it with vigor, just be sure you have a very thick skin. No one will ever be able to appreciate your work as much as you do. It will never read as well to anyone else as it does to you. Try it anyway. You may end up being one of the lucky ones. All I ask is that when you hit the big time...dream a little dream of me.

1 comment:

elle said...

"You are never to old set another goal or to dream a new dream" -C.S. Lewis