Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stop Dreaming and ...

I read a story in the Kansas City newspaper this morning about a woman whose dream involved starting a food van cupcake business. She didn't stop at just dreaming, she set about making it happen. The cupcake vending in the truck was so successful that she started dreaming of a brick and mortar kind of business for her oversized and delicious cupcakes. She got busy and made that happen, too. It's the kind of success story we all like to read about. Read the full story here.

It also made me think about a lot of writers who end up dreaming about being published but that's where it ends. Some writers spend all their time writing, reading about writing, or talking about writing. But they do little or nothing to attempt to have their work published. Why? Let me add that spending time writing is a good thing, and I'm not putting that down at all.

There are many reasons why some writers don't submit their writing to an editor. Sometimes it's just plain fear of rejection. No one likes to be rejected, but if you adjust your attitude a little, it's less painful. When an editor says no, it's not a personal rejection. The story may not fit their publication, or it may be excellent but they have just published a similar story. There are many reasons but hating you as a person is not one of them.

Strange as it sounds, fear of success can also be a factor. If you suddenly start selling your work, more will be expected and maybe you don't want to work that hard. It's then that you need to examine your desire to write and be published. How strong is it?

Another reason it's easier to only dream about seeing your work in print, is that it's darned hard work to market the stories, essays and articles you have written. Time to study the marketplace is greater than most beginning writers are aware of. Checking and following guidelines is of great importance and also time consuming. Putting what you've written in proper submission form also takes time and effort. I've often commented that the writing is the easy part.

If you truly want to see your work published, stop dreaming and do it. Select your best work and start searching for a market. If it comes back, send it somewhere else. As many times as it takes. If you don't try, you'll never achieve the dream. The cupcake lady did it, and you can, too.


  1. Hi Nancy,
    Many thanks for your blog entry. Over the past two years, I have lost my job, my marriage, my house and now my only daughter has left home.
    Fighting my way through the many trials and tribulations life has thrown my way, with despair now running through my veins; and all dreams lost, I turned to my passion; writing. With my limited vocabulary I etched out my thoughts. I am slowly beginning to see that it's not what you lose in life, yet what the loss teaches you. I realise I now have the whole world waiting for me, with no restrictions, no responsibilities, my pen, paper and the tent I will soon be living in; I AM FREE! I came across your blog and thought yes, now is the time to stop dreaming, embrace the fear of rejection and see where my thoughts will lead me.
    Thank you. :)

  2. Victoria, I was very touched by your comment on this post. Despite the problems you've encountered, you have a positive attitude and a goal to achieve. I wish you well in your writing endeavor. It's a learning process with emotional highs and lows. Even so, I've found writing to be fulfilling and rewarding in so many ways and hope you will, too.