When you’re still new to the writing game, getting a book published can feel like a big dream. Most authors don’t begin their careers with much working knowledge of writing and publishing; it’s not a family business you can join after college. And so you set off on this journey, with vague maps you found describing other people’s treks. Sometimes these maps are useful; often they are not. Your dream is unique to you, after all. No one can dream it for you, nor would you want anyone to. But it can be a long journey sometimes, and this dream can start to seem like a fantasy. Time becomes your enemy, the real tick, tick, tick of the clock, and the passing days on the real calendar measure the unreality of your dream. No one can see that dream but you, anymore than they can see the stories you haven’t written. You may begin to view those people who say yes and no to your stories, those gatekeepers, as enemies. They are different than you; they have more power than you. They are real; you are a dream.
Until of course you meet one. This can sometimes be a little disappointing. It turns out they’re just like you. They have preferences and biases and fears and desires. They get bored and frustrated and are uncertain about the future. And they also have dreams. Many of these agents and editors dream of publishing beautiful and exciting and interesting and important books. They don’t know where these books are, or who’s written them, or what they’re about, they just know how they’ll feel when they read them, and how they feel when they publish them.
This is how books get published: dreams overlap. How this overlapping occurs can be mysterious, but dreams themselves are mysterious. What I understand most about my dreams is that I have them, and that they guide me in ways my intellect cannot. If I trust those dreams, they lead me to other people who have trusted theirs. What a nice moment that is. It’s like meeting an old friend who I thought had been lost to me by time. Yet there we are, two dreamers, suddenly awakened to a reality we both created.
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group coaching.
Fearless Writing: How to Create Boldly and Write With Confidence. You can find William at: williamkenower.com