Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Guest Blog Week: What's Your Writing Dream?

Hi everyone! Blogger picked a bad time for its auto publish function to stop working, but I just posted yesterday´s post as well. Please make sure to check it out below this one.

By: Steph Damore (aka Allegory19)

You all have one right? The Best Sellers lists, literary acclaim, book tours, six-figure advances… or maybe your dream is smaller, like walking into the bookstore and seeing your novel on the shelf.

Me?

I have this dream. It’s summer time. I wake up at 6 a.m. and lie in bed for a few minutes. It doesn’t take long for my mind to wake up and the writing to start. Afraid the ideas will slip away, I get up and escape down the hall to the computer room. The house is quiet, and I can just write and write and write.

This is actually the dream that I get to live every day. I’m not published. I’ve never sold any of my work. But I’m blessed.

So what about you? What’s your writing dream?






129 comments:

D. G. Hudson said...

My dream is about the same as yours, Allegory, except I wake up in a beach house, go for a leisurely walk on the beach, then settle in to write with my coffee and laptop. My novels are published and I have an agent who respects my work and makes great deals from which we both benefit.

Great question that we all love to answer. Makes me feel better just imagining it. Now back to my writing and pursuing that dream.

Mira said...

This is truly lovely. Beautiful and from the heart.

I love this piece. Simple and elegant. Oh, good job, Stephanie.

I'll post about my own dream later, thanks for setting up that discussion.

nkrell said...

My dream? It depends on the day.

L. V. Gaudet said...

My writing dream is to have the time to do the one thing I love most. That is to completely immerse myself in writing, feeling the story as it flows from that strange place, wherever it is that it comes from, a tingling knot in my stomach tightening with the next revelation, living the story as it flows and evolves almost of its own through me to the keyboard ...

And not being woken as if from a dream by the non-stop distractions of my darling children drawing blood upon one another.

Rick Daley said...

I would like to be able to write full time, generating enough income to provide a comfortable lifestyle for my family.

Kristi said...

I used to think my dream was to be able to write all day long - preferably somewhere that guaranteed creative epiphanies - like a cabin by a lake.

Although that might be nice as a vacation, I now realize that I do my best work when I'm juggling many things at once (two of those things being small children). Having only about an hour to write a day keeps me focused and organized, and my kids provide an endless stream of story ideas (e.g. my 5-year-old asked me yesterday how it was decided who was in charge of the rotating the Earth - he said he would like a turn because it's not going fast enough).

So, I guess my dream is what I'm currently doing, although having an agent/contract/ etc. at some point will be fabulous. :)

Anonymous said...

My dream is to get back to where you're at, Allegory. I have an agent and I'm doing revisions for him preparing for submission. Everyone on the I'm-looking-for-an-agent side thinks I'm golden. And I am fortunate. But some of my enthusiasm has been beaten down by the process--and it is quite a process. I am working on trying to block out all the negative and get back to the pleasure of writing. And I WILL get back there.

Anonymous said...

My dream is to create stories that other people will love too and to spread some joy of discovery.

It would be nice if it had a published audience. That -and an income- are dreams I almost don't dare dream.

I would love to see some of my stories become movies.

Big, happy dreams.

Bane of Anubis said...

It sure as hell doesn't start at 6 a.m. :)

As for my dream -- sustainability.

Linnea said...

My dream is pretty simple - to have a quiet room all to myself. I wrote my first novel partly in the kitchen, partly in the livingroom and occassionally in the bedroom. My stuff was spread all over the house. While working on my second novel our house burned down and I lost all my research material and my manuscript. We're rebuilding and living in an RV on the property until the house is finished. The only writing surface is the tiny kitchenette table and that's taken up with cell phones and chargers, vitamins to keep us going and stuff for making coffee. I dream, dream, dream about that private writing space once the house is finished.

Cynthia said...

Okay I have two.

The Fake Dream:

My books sells and garners a great deal.I throw down the advance for a huge Puffy-Style party at one of those crazy suites with the waterfalls in Las Vegas and invite all of my friends (and my agent, naturally)Everyone wears white, drinks Cristal and worships my brilliant prose making. And then we dance. Aw yeah.

The book becomes a runaway success. Movie and merch rights... the works. Because I'm a mildly obscure author in SF, no one pesters me in my daily life but I am recognized by my peers as a rock star writer.

Okay... now The Real Dream.

My book sells and does well enough to afford me the opportunity to do it again.

(#2, really, is better. I can't dance.)

RW said...

To finish a book and to have it published in a way that it finds readers.

Ink said...

My dream is to write something great. Not good, but truly great. I want to write something that is the perfection of all my talents, that is the endpoint of my potential. I don't think I need awards or anything for it, but merely that sense of self-acknowledgment. And I probably won't reach that point. I'm not sure anyone does, but that striving probably helps them get as far as they possibly can. But realistic or not, that's my dream: to write my perfect story.

And, you know, making a living at this whole writing thing would be mighty nice, too. Baby needs booties, you know.

allegory19 said...

anon@12:24
An income? Now that would be a dream. Or hopefully some day a reality.

Ulysses said...

Okay, so I wake up, and my bed is actually a giant book with a big fluffy bookmark for a pillow. But sometime during the night, all the print has come off onto my skin and now I'm being followed by tons of librarians in big glasses with yardsticks and they're chasing me with date stamps because so many people want to read me and...

Okay, so this isn't exactly the kind of writing dream everyone has. I think I'd just like to be able to call myself a writer without eliciting guffaws.

Emily Cross said...

All of the above ;)

Really though my writing dream is :

a] live off my writing
b] my writing be of a decent standard

and well you know

c] win the booker man prize ;)

Kristan said...

Aww!

Admittedly, my dream is to make a living off my writing -- not make a killing, just a living. (Hmm, I just noticed the irony of those two phrases... Anyway.)

But your dream is beautiful. :) I actually really loved this post.

Laurel said...

Great post! My dream is similar except it involves a whole weekend by myself and full of a fresh new idea to play with.

And more ideas, always more.

Christi said...

My dream...that my book sells quickly, and with enough of an advance to pay for my little boy's much needed surgery.
No pressure.

Kiersten said...

Dude, that sounds about right to me. I'd definitely like to sell at some point, too, but thanks for reminding me why I really do this.

The freedom to write however long I wanted to? Oh baby. Must go clean something before I start drooling.

A Paperback Writer said...

Steph,
my dream's a lot like yours except that it also involves all my neighbors' kids, dogs, lawnmowers, and stereos being abducted by aliens so that I don't have to listen to them while I write.

dan radke said...

Publication. I don't even care if I can never quit my day job. Just a book on the shelves with my name on it.

Well, I guess people being entertained by it would be pretty sweet, too.

Rebecca Knight said...

This is a great post :).

The Dream: Make a living off my writing. A tiny living would be just fine. I just want enough to be able to stay home and help my husband pay bills.

The Dream + Super Extra Awesomeness: Make enough of a living that my husband can stay home, too, and do artistic things.

The Dream + Super Extra Incredible Awesomeness: Win a Hugo Award.

Seriously, if I won a Hugo Award, I would pee myself.

Dream # 1 would be just amazing :).

genelladegrey said...

I wish to entertain the masses. Making a living at it would be nice, too.

And like Bane of Anubis said:
"It sure as hell doesn't start at 6 a.m."

Yeah, no bloody kidding.
:D
G.

thoughtful1 said...

I like your dream. It has a certain peace to it. My dream seems scratchier. I want to find that twist of ideas I am pursuing. I have trod down path after path and find myself spreading out the knotted mess until it is thin and vaporous and inferior to what I intended. I dream of finding that thorny, biting twist that does not disappear while I pursue it. And then what I write will be significant to me and those who read it. And it wouldn't hurt to make some money to live by while I do this and hopefully repeat doing it.

Jordan McCollum said...

Sheesh, I don't know. . . . I'm really bad at this part. I guess I'll never feel like I've "arrived," because I have no goals, other than just making my book as awesome as possible and getting it published. Sigh.

I like Cynthia's real[istic!] dream.

My ultimate dream: there are enough hours in the day that I can write to my heart's content without neglecting my children, husband, home or other responsibilities and hobbies (and sleep). Oh, and I'm really awesome at ALL of the above (especially sleep. And writing.).

KellieS said...

My writing dream consists of three points.

1. That I always stay true to myself in my writing projects.

2. That people are not only entertained by my books, blogs...or grocery lists, but they actually get something out of them...an epiphany, a gold nugget of advice, or at least the haphazard ingredients that go into my "caserole surprise."

3. And...I really want the Marc Jacobs handbag that I promised myself when I sell my first novel. $$$$$$$$$

Vacuum Queen said...

That's interesting...my dream is similar. My dreams at this point involve being able to get my thoughts down on paper as they appear in my head. I wish I could just write and write and write. Instead, I have a life as a mom to 3 kids, which is wonderful but includes endless interruptions.

So for me, as much as I want to be published, I mainly dream of simply being able to write as best I can.

Cynthia said...

New Fake Dream: Rebecca pees herself at my Puffy Party because she won the Hugo.

That would be awesome.

Laura Martone said...

Thanks for the post, Steph. I second what Mira said (even though I'm mad at her for what she wrote in Eric's comments - harumph!)... this truly is a lovely post. Simple and thought-provoking.

It's not as if I - and surely everyone else here - haven't thought about this question before... but I can really visualize your dream, Steph.

Mine, like Kristi's used to be, occurs in a cabin by a wooded lake (and a couple hours AFTER 6 a.m.)... I'm able to write for much of the day, to really immerse myself in my made-up world... and I'm able to make a modest living doing what I love. In fact, I like how Rebecca Knight put it. I, too, want "The Dream + Super Extra Incredible Awesomeness" - except I'd settle for a Pulitzer.

Hey, a girl can dream, right? That IS the point of this post, after all. :-)

Jenna Alexander said...

To walk by the mall bookstore and see piles of my chick lit novel displayed right in the front where the linoleum meets the carpet.

Jenna

Silicon Valley Diva said...

I dream of having a few short stories published and eventually getting at least two novels published (but heck, I'd take 1 LOL).

Of course, I would love if my novels become best-sellers, but really I just long for my readers to enjoy my writing and adore the characters that I bring to life.

I also envision having a great working relationship with the VIP people behind the scenes. And, I would love to hang out with a bunch of my writing buddies.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

My dream, upon waking at 6 am - after the kaleidoscopic collision of sensory awareness drags my consciousness from the other realities - is that I could simply write.

Anna said...

My dream is to just keep writing, as long as it holds. When it runs out, hopefully there will be chocolate close by...

Anonymous said...

My everyday dream is to sell my books to all the libraries, so kids who can’t afford to buy them can find them. My secret fantasy dream is to write as well as Scott Westerfeld. My cake and ice cream dream is to write a best seller.

Victoria Mixon said...

Steph,

Thanks for putting this out there and reminding us why we write.

Because we're dreamers!

best,
Victoria

allegory19 said...

You're right Laura - that IS the point of this post.

I love reading all the dreams. Especially Ink's dream of writing the perfect story. That's really poetic, and something we could all aspire to.

Thermocline said...

My dream is to know what I'm really capable of writing. I like my WIP, but it's so much at the forefront, on the surface of all my thoughts. I want to find out what's in the well shaft, what hasn't even begun to bubble and parse it self out to my subconscious. I know it's there, though.

pjd said...

You know those videos of old Beatles concerts where thousands of girls are screaming and swooning when they walk on stage?

Yeah, something like that.

Marsha Sigman said...

Mine is simple:
I want to see my book on a shelf at my local Barnes and Noble.

I would hang out all day bothering customers, pointing and saying "See that? Thats me!!"

My husband's dream is for me to make enough so he can retire early. He promises to be my house man(slightly older cabana boy). I will definitely hold him to that!

Mira said...

Cynthia - Lol.

Okay, my dream, other than that Laura will forgive me, is I want to write something that will make a difference.

Totally serious now - I'd like to write something that captures what I've learned through having a rather difficult life. And working in the helping profession, well I've seen so much human suffering. I'd like to write something that helps people suffer less, that helps them heal or...perhaps even more important, helps them transform their suffering into great growth.

If I could do that....well, I'd like to do that. That's my dream.

Laura Martone said...

Marsha, my husband has the SAME dream! He hopes that I'll make enough money from my writing that he can stop running film fests - and, maybe, make a film of his own! (That's why I can appreciate Rebecca's dream so much - as does my hubby, of course.)

Lisa said...

My dream is simple: My baby wakes up at 6:00 a.m. and understands my desire to have a few uninterrupted hours to write (and sleep, but that’s another dream). She miraculously begins speaking and says, “Gosh mommy, I’ve really been hogging your time, haven’t I? I’ll just lie here for a few hours while you write. It’s okay, my diaper isn’t that messy; I mean, the yellow stuff hasn’t actually blown out of the back of my diaper. Yet. And, I’m not that hungry. The two ounces from 4:00 a.m. just plum filled me up. Really, you write, and I’ll just stare longingly at your boobies. And drool.”

Mira said...

Oh.

I have another dream. How could I forget!

I'm more an essayist/non-fiction writer, and I would like to be able to write fiction.

Where do you get your stories from????

Laura Martone said...

Of course, I forgive you, Mira. Silly willy. I mean, it's not as if you DID, in fact, use my identity to harass Curtis Brown. Right? Right?! Darn it, no wonder I've been blocked from their website! Now, they think I'M the stalker!

Ahem. Back to Mira. And her dream. Her very poignant, noble dream.

Although my life hasn't been terribly hard thus far, I, too, hope that my work will inspire, heal, and transform at least a handful of people. THAT is my true dream... though I'd still accept the Pulitzer. I may be noble-hearted at times, but I guarantee they'd have to pry that sucker outta my cold, dead hands.

I'm just sayin'.

Scott said...

I'll take Steph's dream. If someone is supporting you so you can write all day, who needs to be published?

Dawn Maria said...

Well, I would love to walk into a bookstore and see my book displayed.

The big dream is to have a career that resembles that of some my favorite authors like Jennifer Weiner, Jane Green and Claire Cook. Not necessarily in terms of sales (though I wouldn't complain) but in terms of how well these women seem to balance writing and their family life.

Livia said...

My dream is to get a few letters a week from teenagers who've found my book and liked it enough to share their thoughts with me. What characters did they like? What did they wish would happen? Were they upset that the heroine didn't marry the hero?

Anonymous said...

1. Win the Pulitzer.

2. Have 25 published books.

3. Be represented by Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown, L.T.D.

4. Make millions.

Does not have to be in that order.

Dolores said...

When Oprah puts my book on her list, I will die a happy woman.

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'd like to be rolling in money from royalties. Simply rolling in it.

Matilda McCloud said...

Lovely post...thanks...

My dream is to have the proverbial room of one's own...I write on the family's communal computer in a tiny apartment. Although my sons do have PC laptops, they like my Mac better!

My room would have French doors opening to a cottage garden with roses and hollyhocks.

Jessie said...

Great post Stephanie!

Bane of Anubis said...

My current dream, however, is to get a call from the 212 :)

allegory19 said...

Hey Mira,

I used to tell my husband that I wanted to win the lottery so I could change the world. To which he replied, "you don't need to win the lottery to change the world."

Good point.

Something tells me that you don't need to write a book to help people with their suffering. I'm sure you've already done more than enough, "working in the helping profession" and all... cheers to you.

Anita Davison said...

I am small press published and I go into Waterstones, call up my book online on every machine in the 'search' section and then walk away. Then I go to the shelf for Da-Dn and make a space there for my books.
Not a dream - I have actually done it.
The dream is - I must finish the novel that is actually going to make it to that shelf!

Mira said...

Hey Allegory,

Thanks. But I want to do more. I want to spread my helping net so far and wide that even those who neither want nor need my help are trapped until they beg me to stop helping them.....hmmmm. Maybe I need to re-evaluate this dream of mine.

I also, btw, have many other lovely dreams, such as being published and seeing my name in print, owning two houses, having lots of money and being represented by a certain agent. But I figured this one sounded better.

I also, btw, love your post.

Anonymous said...

I'd like Stephanie Meyer to apologize to me.

Maryann Miller said...

Nice post, Steph. I think my dream is to have enough hours to get it all done in one day. The writing, the marketing, the promoting..... :-) Or better yet, have an assistant who could do all the marketing and promoting so I could just write.

Diana Byron said...

Thanks to a well-placed friend, I'm already living the dream of writing for a (meager) living. As I continue to write, my bottom line continues to expand. Unfortunately, it's not my fiscal bottom line that's growing ... there's just too much sitting involved with this gig.

Therefore, my current dream is to find a way to ingest enough coffee and chocolate (and yes, alright - wine, but only after quitting time) to bring a project to completion without it wreaking havoc on the size of my butt.

Sandra K. said...

I like this.

My dream is to be published. That's all. Just to be published.

Anonymous said...

"The Best Sellers lists, literary acclaim, book tours, six-figure advances… or maybe your dream is smaller, like walking into the bookstore and seeing your novel on the shelf."

Yep. All of the above.

Mike said...

Right now I'll settle for a ham sandwich.

Mara Wolfe said...

My writing dream is a bit more extravagant. It's to give fantasy readers a different kind of fantasy, clean, without sex, violence, and swearing, but still with a great story. If I can publish a couple of novels in that category, I'll consider my dream fulfilled.

abc said...

The dream is much the way I live now. Life in coffee shops or in bed at home, laptop in hand, cookie crumbs sprinkling around me and a big mug of coffee. I'll be writing, napping, hanging out. Just add paychecks. I don't even need acclaim. I'd be happy with the opportunity to get paid to write for teens and almost teens. I'd like to travel now and then. A humble cottage. Fine art films. A few magazine subscriptions. I'm easy to please.

Under no circumstances would my dream involve getting up at 6am, though. Let's change that to a more reasonable 9am. I'd also like a husband who loves nothing more than to make me a morning soy latte, but we can't have everything.

Great question!

Taryn said...

Great job Stephanie!

My dream is pretty simple. I would like to say "I am a writer" with as much conviction and pride as I have when saying, "I am a mother."

Mercy Loomis said...

My dream used to be to get published. Then I wrote some entertainment review articles and sold them. So then my dream became writing a book. (Actually, I had been working on a book for a lot longer than that, started it in 1998.) I not only finished my novel this year to the point that I am happy with it, but I also thought up, pitched, got accepted, and wrote a 32,000 word non-fiction book, which comes out this December. So then my dream became publishing fiction. I just this morning sent in my third short story contract - the first of these should be getting published next month. Now my dream is to get a novel published. I'd like it to be the one that I'm currently shopping, but if it's the next one I write, that's ok too.

I don't tend to dream big. I dream about what I can achieve. I'm learning that I can achieve an awful lot when I put my mind to it.

My big big dream is to make enough money from my writing, novel advance or whathaveyou, that I can pay off all our debt except the mortgage, because then I can stay home and write while my husband works. I used to imagine that this would mean I could spend 8 hours a day writing, but I've been unemployed since February, and so far I've discovered that being home doesn't mean I don't still have stuff to do. And being home all day actually makes me less able to do chores and stuff when my husband is home, which I used to be able to do just fine when we both had jobs, because I so very much want to spend time with him after being alone all day. These are things you learn with experience.

Shennandoah Diaz said...

Most definitely being able to go, unhindered, and write what's in your head the moment it appears. Then sending it off and finding someone (or many someones) who appreciate it as much as you do.

Though I'm new to the game, I am happy to say that I'm off to a great start. Plus, I have been fortunate enough to find local people who share my passion and with whom I can meet with and converse with regularly on all aspects of writing, publishing, and marketing.

Laura Martone said...

I feel exceedingly inspired by everyone's dreams, but the one that sticks out at the moment is Anon 2:26's...

"I'd like Stephanie Meyer to apologize to me."

Um, for what exactly? Writing a not-so-good series? Stealing your idea? Your agent? What?

I'm just itching with curiosity.

ElanaJ said...

I like this dream, if only it started at 8 AM instead of 6. *wink, wink*

But no, my dream is knowing that someone, somewhere, thinks my writing is worthy of being printed on paper. And it's a good dream, one I'm still trying to achieve.

Jen C said...

Bane, I'm with you! I don't think I'm capable of concocting a dream that starts before 11am!

My dream for a long time has been to have a house on a big property with a separate little guest house that I can use as my study. I have very outlandish ideas for how I want to decorate it and I will pay someone any amount of money if they can completely sound proof it so I can work in silence!

I have even drawn up plans for it and chosen the paint colours and the material for the curtains... yeah, I'm really lame like that....

allegory19 said...

Nope, it's gotta be 6 a.m. - if not earlier in the summer. There's magic in the morning, in the sunrise. Watching the day begin with a new scene, a new character, a new idea - that's what I love so much about writing while the rest of the world still sleeps.

Genevieve said...

Thanks for that reminder, Steph. That's truly what my dream is, but occasionally I forget, caught up in queries and loftier ideas. I never meant to get serious about this writing thing. So it's good to be reminded of the original beauty of a writer's gift.
So ... I'm living the dream.
But I'd sure like to share my stories, too. :)

C Riede said...

I actually had a real dream the other night about my writing that sings true...the novel I'm working on now, that's been in the making for ten years, it was at the bookstore. I could hold it in my hands, run my fingers across the cover. The publisher had changed the title, but that was okay--I liked what they had changed it to. All my friends were in the bookstore buying the book. And my clients--the ones who have been signing the checks that have allowed me to purchase gasoline and groceries and gin--they were buying it, too. Everyone was saying,"I knew you could do it, C. I never doubted you could do it."

I woke up from the dream, and I went to my desk and wrote page 146...

That's the part of the dream I like best.

mkcbunny said...

My dream is to have enough time to not only write (which I do), but to *think* about writing. I can always fit writing in around the two jobs that I have, but the competition for free mental space is pretty intense. I need more time to just gel on plot problems and the like.

"Luckily" (?) I have achieved my dream in the short run, having been laid off from one of my jobs. So, for a brief period of time, I can enjoy the mental space.

Of course, when the money runs out, and financial panic sets in, then it'll be a dream again.

I'd also like to see my novel published.

Jeffrey said...

My dream?

Bestseller lists - Yes
Literary Acclaim - Definitey
Book tours - You betcha!
Six Figure Advance - Of course! Seeing my novel on the shelf - Absolutely.

But none of those are the most important. Without hesitation or doubt I'll tell ya I dream about making a living writing full time.

That's what I'm talkin' about!!

Melissa Petreshock said...

My dream is to finally finish my first novel (I'm about two-thirds of the way through so far) and find an agent. I dream of being published and seeing my book(s)in bookstores and in my local library. I wouldn't care if I was just a local celebrity or not at all, just so long as I was finally in print.

I also dream of having the money to have a house large enough to afford me one room just solely for writing. I would love my own office!

PurpleClover said...

My ultimate dream is to write novels for a living while I work as a nurse PRN (as needed) saving lives, bringing them into the world, or helping them to bow out gracefully. My ultimate would be working full time writing from my beach house (ahem...one day) and doing the RN thing a couple shifts out of the month (just enough to get my fill).

I want to write Sci Fi or thrillers for adults and children. Oh yeah, and I would LOVE to have a book go to the movies and get to experience that world from the background. Maybe even write a script or two?? hehe.

That's my dream! Thanks for asking! Good question!

Laura Martone said...

Oh, Purple Clover, thank you! Your post just reminded me of my "other" dream... which happens after my novel is published. It's then that I hope my hubby (who's a struggling filmmaker) gets the chance to adapt my novel to the big screen. I would feel ever so proud of him!

P.S. And, Steph, I'm with you - I like to write while the world sleeps, too. Only, because I'm a pseudo-vampire, my writing happens around 3 in the morning (when I'm fairly certain most of the people in my "real" world are intelligently asleep). ;0

Tricia said...

That it was not meaningless. All those hours, days, years over the keyboard was not for nothing, That I wake up to acceptance, publication, and royalty checks, to validation that my writing was worth something to someone.

Natalie said...

Probably totally geeky, but I dream about a someone reading my book and taking the time to write me a "fan letter." It would be really cool knowing they liked it enough to do that.

Carol N. said...

I have a dream to be published by the time I'm 92. Hopefully it won't take that long - I'm only 40!

I would love a room of my own - a little artists studio - a shed with a desk and a chair - a floating house at Fisherman's Wharf - a small boat...anything, as long as it invites creativity.

Oh, and maybe a dog named Yeats. A furry thing that lifts his eyebrows at me when I talk excitedly about a scene I'm pleased with.

Anonymous said...

Good post, thoughtful.

Darin said...

I just finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and as I finished that last page and closed the book, I felt truly satisfied, as if I had eaten a sumptuous meal and had a tasty, though not too filling, dessert. I guess my dream would be to have my novel published and have someone tell me they felt the same as they finished my novel. Money, fame, etc. would be nice, but if people liked my book, that would be the good stuff.

e_journeys said...

My first dream, which I had as a child, was to be published. My first story acceptance (in tandem with an award) came in 1977 (bibliography is here).

I've won other awards (1983 New England Science Fiction Association Short Story Contest, 2004 National Federation of State Poetry Societies contest, more). Gotten close to some major ones (1985 John W. Campbell Award finalist, 1989 preliminary ballot for a Nebula).

Got approached by three agents in the 1980s, but didn't have a book-length work I felt was ready to show. I was supporting myself through office work combined with freelance work and had only so much time to go around.

Was a small-press editor (Star*Line, 1986-88).

Appeared last year in award-winning anthologies (IPPY Silver Medalist Riffing on Strings, Bram Stoker Award winner Unspeakable Horror).

Had the first novel of a six-volume series published in the small press (Deviations: Covenant, in 2007 by Aisling Press, which dissolved before it could release the sequel). I'm now offering Covenant and Appetite as free downloads in the hope of maintaining momentum and building a readership.

My current strategy is twofold: self-publishing and offering free downloads while continuing to submit shorter pieces. Work is forthcoming in Asimov's and elsewhere.

Even as a child, I never hoped to support myself solely through my fiction. My "day job," whatever it was, would support my creative work. I currently freelance in communications, which includes corporate writing and editing. For years I have been the sole support of my household and am also a caregiver, which has influenced my decision to go the "DIY" route.

My writing dream is to be able to share my corner of the human condition in a way that tells stories well. I want the creative energies I channel to be constructive forces. I think of all the books and poems that have made a difference in my own life, and I would be honored to join that tradition.

A transcript (with links and photos) of an interview I gave on Chronicles is here. A podcast of an interview I gave earlier this week on Conversations LIVE! is here.

Remus Shepherd said...

Stories create a pressure in my brain, that only ends when I feel they've been read by enough people. I want to release my ideas on the rest of the human race.

My dream is to get enough of them out of my brain that the pressure is relieved. I want to be *empty* when I grow old.

Lisa said...

Through the baby drool, I forgot to add: I'm living my dream. I have a super duper supportive husband, an awesome baby that I raise full time, and I write during baby naps. I guess it's self-indulgent to write this, but I feel very grateful to be inside my dream.

JStantonChandler said...

Wonderful post. Sometimes, just getting our dreams out on paper (or screen) can help them feel that much more attainable.

My dream is to wake up early, slip down to the kitchen and brew some tea. I sit a while, sipping quietly, watching the sunrise over the ocean from my front porch. Once I am convinced the sun is secure for the morning, I pad back into the bed room, dress, then it's out to my workshop, a shed in the backyard. There I write until lunch time, break for a picnic, then spend the next few hours dreaming of the stories to come.

Strange Fiction said...

That is my writing dream! I also live it everyday…until about 6:15 when reality sets in…

PurpleClover said...

JStantonChandler -

You had me at "brew some tea" and then the sunrise over the ocean was the lock in. Sigh. I want that dream. I reallllly do.

I want my kids to call me from college to say they are coming home for spring break so I'll get the linens rewashed and replaced on the beds. We'll all go down to the beach and they'll play in the ocean with the friends they brought along, while I drink my hot tea and type on my laptop.

Then I'll think about how they are much more important than anything and I'll snap the laptop shut. I'll join them in the water while we make fools of ourselves playing frisbee in large waves with an undercurrent that makes you wobble like a baby taking his first steps.

I'm sure I could go on for hours.
:D

Anahita said...

My writing dream is to experience excellence in writing.

AM said...

I dream of publishing highly entertaining novels that surprise mainstream readers when they realize the characters and plot made them think about something extraordinary.

Lady Glamis said...

To have my mom or dad hand me back my published book after reading it and not have to say anything. The look on their faces will tell me it's one of the best things they've ever read.

allegory19 said...

Thanks guys for sharing your dreams -- they all sound amazing. Cheers to you in hoping your dreams come true.

-Steph

Kristin Tubb said...

Thanks for this simple reminder, Steph. I'm living my dream, too. It's so easy to let that fact go unnoticed, isn't it?

But "big dream?" I'd sure love a handful of starred reviews on my next novel... ;-)

Dawn said...

I have to agree with the beach house scenario D.G. mentioned. :) I want to make enough money from writing to live on...just me...in my beach house...maybe an aquarium full of clown fish and sea anemones.
*sigh*

Victoria Dixon said...

Dream? You mean you SLEEP? LOL. I dream of sitting down to a clean desk within an immaculate, newly renovated home. The renovation was funded by my first novel, of course. Then I wake with drool on my laptop keyboard and the usual dogeared stack of papers on my kitchen desk.

Jen C said...

Hahaha. If my dream writing day began at sunrise it would go something like this:

Get up, look at clock. Start cursing at seeing how early it is. Sit down in front of the computer, curse some more. Write one word. Delete word. Go back to bed.

Lupina said...

Very poignant blog, Steph, thanks!

My dreams are a little different than my goals. My original goal was to replace my part time teaching income so I could quit and write instead. Check! Now it's to be paid to write what I want to write, which is fantasy fiction.

My writing DREAM is to have an assistant, a cook/housekeeper/chocolate steward and an accountant so that all I have to do is lounge around and produce golden, immortal prose that will make people rise up and end world hunger and war. If you're gonna dream, I say, dream ginormous.

careann said...

If I'm to be honest I must tell you that I have almost everything that everyone else is dreaming about--an office of my own in a quiet home in the woods, time to write and revise without pressure or interruptions, and ideas that spill out, eager for my attention. Go back to the beginning and read this again and you'll notice the "almost".

My dream is to believe I deserve publication. Fulfilling that dream would mean I'd stop procrastinating about approaching agents. I tidy off the last of this 349th revision and throw it out of the nest whether I think it can fly or not. I haven't done it yet.

I have almost everything. Almost.

Scary Mary said...

To quote someone very wise and anonymous, "My goal as a writer is not to achieve fame and fortune, but to have entire fanfiction archives devoted to my novels."

Anonymous said...

For someone to think "she gets me."

Thanks for asking, Stephanie. Great post.

Jerry Stewart said...

My dream is to be able to support myself and family with a writing career. I spend as much time as possible pursuing that dream, but when I do it takes time away from my family. I have a full time job, so I have to write when I can find the time. I dream about a time when I can spend my days writing, promoting, and networking.

Literature Crazy said...

My dream is to see my books used in public school curriculum. Some may think would ensure that no teen would ever enjoy reading them because they're perfunctory, but what can you do but dream your dreams?

Lydia Sharp said...

...to have at least one person truly connect with one of my stories
...to continually improve and never settle into a rut
...to always have too much to write and not enough time to do it
...to teach/mentor the next generation of writers

Jeff said...

My writing dream is to inspire at least one other person to become an author. The first collection of short stories I ever read by Haruki Murakami,"The Elephant Vanishes" is the what inspired me to write.

If one of my stories could some day have the effect Murakami's had on me I'd feel like I was truly an accomplished author.

Laura Martone said...

All right. I promise that, after this, I won't write another comment for the Tues./Wed. guest posts, but I just can't resist applauding two of this morning's commenters...

Literature Crazy -

IMO, your dream is a wonderful one... I read some amazing books in public/private school - books that inspired me to be a writer. And I while I might not have been a typical student (I loved, after all, perfunctory reading assignments like THE SCARLET LETTER and THE SOUND AND THE FURY), many of the books I read then are still with me today. I think it's a terrific dream to hope you'll be able to inspire and affect young minds. Good for you!

And Lydia -

I absolutely LOVE your four-part dream. To connect with at least one reader, continually evolve as a writer, never run out of ideas (and passion), and be able to teach others... may we all be so blessed! That's better than a beach house or a Pulitzer any day. :-)

kdrausin said...

I just wanted to say-(rather late I know)....that I loved reading all the comments. It's not often that you get to hear the dreams of adults. Thanks for sharing

My dream...to become a better writer-to be published-to teach my children to dream and make a difference

Mechelle Fogelsong said...

My dream is to tell stories that sing to people's souls. That way, when I die and meet St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, a lot of good karma will follow me there.

Reesha said...

I have this dream of writing a book that gets published that opens people's eyes. I want people to read my book madly and fall in love with it so much they don't care who wrote it and don't even remember who it's by. They just devour it and it makes a difference in their lives.
I also have this egotistical dream of having my book in print but not telling my family and then strolling through a book store with them and having them say "Hey! Wait a minute! That's.... your book!"
:D
teehee.

Beth Terrell said...

My writing dream begins with shapimg my novel into the kind of book that leaves readers reluctant to leave the characters. After a breathless, "Wow," they have to take a moment to disconnect from the world of the novel and enter the corporeal world again.

Then said novel is accepted by an agent an published by a major publisher. This gives me the credibility to teach writing workshops and not feel like I'm ripping people off. I make enough money writing and teaching workshops to quit my day job and help with marketing the book, which is nominated for an Edgar. My husband is able to quit his job, and he and our dogs travel with me to the workshop locations.

Since I no longer have to work full time, I spend most of year writing and marketing my books. In the summer, I teach a ten-week literacy workshop for teenagers with dyslexia. (We read in the morning, publish in the afternoon, donate our published works to various community programs, and have weekly visits from well-known authors.) The kids cultivate a love of learning and an appreciation for books.

I continue to write wonderful books, and am successful enough as a writer to sustain this lifestyle for the rest of my long, healthy, happy, productive life.

Sorry for the long post. I've read that writing your dream down in detail can cause it to manifest, so I'm not taking any chances!

Iylliana said...

At a convention in 2003 I somehow got to go to dinner with China Mieville, Kim Newman and Ian Watson. It was a great experience to listen to them talk. Ian talked about his work with Stanley Kubrick, they all had various John Brunner stories, and China was such a gentleman that he ordered cutlery when he heard I had never used chopsticks.
Somehow, at one point, it came out that I had 30k words written of my first ever novel, and they all kindly asked about it. I was so embarassed I couldn't even speak!
What a missed opportunity! I have been kicking myself ever since.

My writing dream is to finish that flippin novel, and go back in time and use that fantastic opportunity to fine tune my plot and characterisation with those people, as they've written some of the best SF out there. What a missed opportunity!

And I can't believe I am STILL trying to finish the same novel! Gah!

T.Wolfe said...

My dream is to keep writing and never lose the ability to put all my thoughts down on paper.

God, that would be the worst. Your brain still active but your body non-responsive.

Alii Silverwing said...

My dream is to throw off the oppressive tyranny of the morning people and wake up late morning, putter, and then curl up and write until I fall asleep at the keyboard. That would be ideal.

Jess said...

I've got a graduated dreaming sequence. Right now, I'm dreaming of the time where I can actually write a query letter because I have a finished, polished manuscript! Ah.

Anonymous said...

Someone uses my name or book as part of a pick-up line.

Etiquette Bitch said...

Oog, I'm afraid I'm going to look terribly self-absorbed next to your dream (which I love, and also get to do, every day).

I'm being interviewed by Terry Gross about my latest book or screenplay. Loving how I sound on the radio, newfound fans flock to see the movie/buy my book and sales skyrocket. My writing continues. Husband gets to quit his day job. I get to walk my 3 dogs on my lunch hour.

Before that? Finding an agent who loves my work and sells it successfully. I don't even mean big $$, I mean gets it out there, in a fair, reasonable way.

Keren David said...

My writing dream - definitely a room of my own. White walls, floor to ceiling book case, desk, comfy chair, laptop and a view. Ideally a sea view, but still in London so that's not very likely.

Today I fulfilled a writing dream - I sat at lunch and watched a real teenager - unrelated to me - read my book. Only an uncorrected proof, but even so...it was an amazing feeling!

Shanti said...

My writing dream is to have my work published to the extent that my husband could quit his day job and take over the home-schooling of our sons while I write full time.
It's the little dreams. LOL!

Phil Tolhurst said...

I dream of a house actually a bungalow, with land. I have chickens and grow my own fruit and veg (I already grow a small amount).

I make bread and cheese and I have a study where I write.

I don't wan to be rich I want to be financially worry free.

Misti J said...

My writing dream for my first novel is for it to help teenagers and also adults that are living an unsutable relationship or home to know that there is a way out and never to give up. Plus the fact that just because two people are entirely different doesn't mean that they cant fall in love. I am not worried about the money or the fame. If my book can just reach one person's life then I will be satified. Because when I was living at home, with a father who was an alcoholic, I wish there would have been a book to help me through it and let me know that just because there is an obstacle in your way doesn't mean you can't get over it and it makes you stronger in life. Also that true love really exist.

Misti J said...

Also I would love for my screenplays, that I have written, of my books be accepted by an agent and one day be turned into movies.

Misti J.

Xeis said...

This is my dream...

Imagine a room, about the size of a large walk-in closet. The walls and floor are covered in smooth, white bathroom tile, with a single window that has a thick tree growing in front of it. Dozens of candles gather in each corner of this room.

Imagine entering this room at the start of twilight, when the sunlight is turning blue. Close the door behind you and light every candle. Sit cross-legged in the center of the room, facing one blank wall. You watch the candlelight flicker and dance, a notebook already open in your lap, a pen in your hand. And just as the last vestiges of sunlight fade, it starts to rain...

It's a dream I first had in high school, when I decided I wanted to be a full-time writer. It's my perfect center of the universe.

Claire said...

I would love to be in "Taming of The Shrew" by William Shakespeare, "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, "Gone With The Wind" by Margaret Mitchell, the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon, and any work by Dean Koontz. Great question.

:)

Jay said...

My dream is to sell enough fiction that I can afford to live well of of the proceeds. Yes, I dream big. I want a log cabin on a lake in the mountains. I'd like a writing office with a balcony overlooking my beautiful surroundings and inspiring more and more characters, events, and settings. I make my own schedule, travel when I want, write when I want, and I'm "famous" enough that I don't have to beg agents and editors to work with me, I simply send them what I've written and they do the rest.

Ameya said...

My dream is to be at a book signing at a NYC bookstore, piles of my book (which, of course, has a an AMAZING cover) everywhere, people lined up, excited to tell me that they love the world & people I created just as much as I do =)

Anonymous said...

Having watched, up close and personal, the writing business and the dying away of the career of an award-winning writer, I already know, up close and personal, that none of this pretty stuff actually happens.

What actually happens is: People in the book business DIE and nobody else gives a crap about your work. You labor for years and then your book doesn't sell, so you can't get another book contract. You write with stars in your eyes for ten years, only to find out that just because that one-in-a-million chance happened to *one* person on the entire planet, it's not going to happen to you and you can't make it happen to you no matter what you do. Once you finally swallow all this, you get saddled with the care of two mentally ill, handicapped relatives, thus ending any chance you ever had of writing anything at ALL.

That's the way life really is, and now I know this.

So my only dream is to wake up one morning with no dreams. No plans, no hopes, no goals, so that I don't care about any of this ever, ever again.

Period.

Nathan Bransford said...

Sorry you've had a tough time, anon. If you've stopped enjoying it it might be a time to take a step back, but part of the reason for dreams is to take a break for the pressures of real life. But if the elusiveness of dreams are bringing you down... just remember that they're dreams, and the real pleasure in this business is enjoying the writing and the camaraderie with fellow writers, not in winning the book-equivalent of the lottery.

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