Learning to Dream Realistically

Writers are dreamers. We are people with our heads in the clouds, to some extent. After all, we have to be able to imagine up worlds unseen and people unknown.

But writers are also normal people like everyone else. Which means that we have to be realistic to an extent. And recently, I’ve realized I need to add a little bit of reality to my dreams.

For a long time, I dreamed of publishing a book before I graduated high school. Now, as I look at the calendar and see that I only have five more months of school left, I realize that that goal isn’t really realistic.

Publishing takes time. First, you need to write something with the potential. Then the book needs to be edited by you. Then it needs edits by a professional. After that, you try to land an agent. Then the agent tries to get a publishing house to pick up your stories. All of that takes time.

At this point, the odds of me getting published before I graduated are probably nonexistent. While I love the two novels I’ve written, I’m not sure if either of them have the potential to be published. Plus, I haven’t really edited either of them, much less had someone else edit them. And an agent isn’t even in the picture.

So what does that mean for me? After all, I’ve basically just proven that the dream of publication before graduation is dead, right?

While I most certainly won’t be published before I graduate, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop dreaming of publication. All I have to do is change where my sights are set a little.

Now, my goal is to draft a book, or start to draft one, that has the potential to be published before I graduate. I still want to achieve my long-time dream of being published. All I’ve done is change the timetable a little bit.

Dreaming is good. Setting goals and driving ourselves to pursue them is great. Without goals, I struggle to get things done in a timely manner. But we also have to be aware of making sure that we are making realistic goals. And now that I’ve adjusted my goals to something that fits a little better into reality and life, I am ready to actively chase after it.

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