A year ago, if you’d asked me my wildest dreams about my debut year, I would’ve gotten starry eyed and mentioned B&N’s most anticipated lists, LGBTQ awards, fanfiction, and fanart. Interviews and large convention invites. My favorite authors recognizing me. Then, if you’d pressed, I might have whispered things like the Hugo awards or what do you know about the Campbell?
After a year of really being in publishing and seeing how everything works, though, if you asked me now, I’d give a different response.
My wildest dreams include earning out, seeing royalties, selling enough that maybe I could write another novel or some novellas in this world.
I dream of my favorite/homebase book festival reaching out and asking me to come visit.
I dream of queer readers finding the representation they’ve been lacking.
I dream of the next book – my fourth – being picked up right away, without having to go on a lengthy submission process.
I dream of the authors I’ve already friended through debut groups and online being lifelong friends.
I dream of a career, of still being here, writing, in five, ten, fifteen years.
And of course I still dream of fanfic and fanart. 🙂
The difference between those two lists is fairly vast. At first I was a little bummed to let go of a few of those dreams, but I realize now that it’s all about experience. The more I know and understand the process, the more specific my dreams can be, the more I can actually work toward making them real. Some of those earlier dreams simply don’t work for who I am as a writer, and what my books are.
And that’s a better kind of dream.
Of course, if you ask my family, they still dream of movies and millions, but I’ve given up on trying to explain (with examples and spreadsheets) how impossible that dream is to them.
Sometimes, you gotta let people dream for you.