View Full Version : Published - how to find a new dream?

10-20-2006, 11:34 AM
Ok, don't get me wrong, I do realize that my problem is one few have the luxury to experience. And I don't want to step on anybodys toes. But.

All of my life I've dreamt about being published. I've written, and later submitted, and been rejected. The dream carried me on, I dayreamed, I savoured it like a piece of candy: what will it be like once I get published? Will they call or write a letter? What will they say? How will it feel?

And now it has happened and I no longer have a dream! Of course I am happy, and of course I continue to write and want to continue getting published, developing myself, getting better. BUT I don't have anything to look forward to! I don't have any sweet castles in the air to put myself to sleep with! I never expected this to happen. And it feels so empty.

Anyone else out there who has experienced this? How have you tackled it? How can I find a new dream?

10-20-2006, 09:34 PM
Moonfish, you sound like me. Once I've accomplished something and become an expert at it, I get bored. The thing to do is to find a new challenge. Is there anything that interests you right now? Pursue it, research it, try it for yourself. I find that memoirs almost always make me want to try whatever the person writing has done, so you might try reading some memoirs.

Or, if you want to keep writing, challenge yourself with a completely different project (I think you said your planned second book is already different from the first). If you want to stay with writing, sign up for NaNoWriMo (I don't write fiction, but many of the novelists at AW are gearing up for this). It will give you automatic writing buddies to compete and commiserate with.

I know that let down feeling very well...

10-20-2006, 10:23 PM
You could audition for American Idol...

10-21-2006, 12:49 AM
Challenging yourself is a good idea. I find that when I sell pieces I get even more excited about selling more. It really motivates me. It's when I haven't sold anything for a while that I get bored and lazy.

If your dream was to be published and you accomplished that...change up the "dream" a little. Aim toward selling a certain kind of piece and work hard at it etc. The dream can still be to get publishded, but now you can be more specific.

Hope this helps a little bit.

10-21-2006, 04:39 AM
Moonfish, I know what you mean.

Back in the mid 90's I entered a playwriting competition. For the months I was writing it and then waiting for results, it's all I ever thought about. "What will it be like if I win it?' "How will I celebrate when I win?" "How will things change for me afterwards?" and even "What exactly will they say when they ring me to tell me I've won?"

As things turned out, I did win. And yes, it all lived up to my expectations. It was just as I had imagined it. I was the happiest person in the world.

And then I stopped writing for a while. It was like I'd done what I wanted to do; I'd proved to everyone that I could do it. What was left? But then I realised that I loved writing, and I wanted to keep doing it. If anything, the success that I had gave me more confidence to try for something more.

But the thing that really did it for me was when I started to think about what it would be like when I got older. I didn't want to be in my 80's and say to everyone "yeah, I won a play competition when I was 25." There had to be more, you know? So here I am now, nearly 40 and I'm just finishing off an entry for another competition. And after that I'll do another one.

Just keep writing. Join a writer's group. Set up a writer's group if you can't find one to join. Publish more stuff. I don't know. There's a million different types of writing. Why not try as many as you can?

10-21-2006, 06:35 AM
And now it has happened and I no longer have a dream!

Every new book is a new challenge, and a fresh dream. Surely you're not going to stop at being published ONCE! Where's the dream of having two books on the shelves at the same time?

10-21-2006, 06:36 AM
One word: Pulitzer.

10-21-2006, 06:43 AM
One word: Pulitzer.


Y'know, I get my kicks by entering my name in Google and seeing how many hits I get. (I'm still waiting to hit 1,000 but I'm over 900 now.) I have a silly dream of having some fan put up a website all about my books. I'd feel like I'd really "arrived" if that happened.

10-21-2006, 01:09 PM
My goal wasn't to get published, it was to write the best books I could. Getting published was a nice side effect, but I'm still determined to write novels until they cart me away in a box. That's why I've signed up for next month's NanoWrimo.

And apparently it's harder to stay published than to get published in the first place.

10-21-2006, 04:42 PM
And apparently it's harder to stay published than to get published in the first place.

10-21-2006, 09:15 PM
Isn't that the truth?!

10-23-2006, 03:25 PM
And apparently it's harder to stay published than to get published in the first place.

I guess so! And my plan is ABSOLUTELY to keep writing and get published again. And again and again... And I do want to try different genres, and get better all the time (I do NOT think I have just written the best book I can!), and be super-productive. I've just spent the weekend revising a manuscript. And I have signed up for nanowrimo for the second year!

But those are GOALS, not DREAMS...

Pulitzer would be lovely but hardly likely for a children's books-author...

10-23-2006, 03:58 PM
Pulitzer would be lovely but hardly likely for a children's books-author...

One more word: Newbury.

10-23-2006, 06:34 PM
I would start researching marketing plans, because authors are getting very creative these days in how they make readers aware of their books (websites, school visits, book store readings, free goodies, on and on). Sales will help you publish again.


10-23-2006, 10:44 PM
One more word: Newbury.
Ok, I'll be difficult: for a children's book-author who doesn't write in English...

But yeah, of course, winning awards would be nice! The biggest one is the Astrid Lindgren-prize, I think, which is like second to the Nobel. Millions. Last awarded to Philip Pullman I believe.