It has been a little over a year now since I made the decision to pursue my dream of becoming a professional writer, and things seem to be moving along. I feel I am currently sitting on a unique original idea which could very well be the ticket in helping me realize my dream. In the research I have done I have been unable to find one book which utilizes the style I do. This is not to say they are not out there, but the only thing I have found which is similar is the Dr. Seuss books. I believe this concept and series has real marketability to it. When I compare my finished work to some others that are currently on the market it is clear what I have been able to put together is a superior product.

This is all fantastic and it makes me so excited to know I am this close to realizing my dream. It feels like it is right in front of me just waiting to be snatched up, but for some reason I am afraid to reach out and grab it. Why can’t I take that final step to complete everything? I think what it comes down to is my fear of failure. I have failed at everything I have tried to accomplish in my life, and the thought of failing at this is terrifying. I feel like this is my last shot at accomplishing the last dream I have left. If I fail than what do I have left to cling to in hopes of becoming more than I currently am?

I originally thought I would realize my dream through writing poetry. I thought this right up until I realized there is no future in this type of writing. I was a bit disappointed to learn all this since I had just written a poetry book with no future projects in mind. I really wasn’t sure where to go from here since all I really knew how to do was expressing myself through what I called poetry. I have no writing training to speak of, and my grammar skills are at a fourth grade level. I thought for sure I was dead in the water.

I currently have one book “Trapped Within My Illness” which is currently under review by “Graywolf Press.” I feel this poetry collection is better than the three I had previously written, but I am not expecting much to come of this. I have all but stopped looking for publishers to review my work, but if I come across one I will for sure submit my manuscripts to them. I love doing this so I will continue to write poetry and self-publish my work in hopes of once I start doing readings people may be interested in owning something I have written. If not I really won’t be disappointed, because I love the emotional release writing poetry brings to me.

Once I realized there was no career in writing poetry I was kind of at a loss for what to do next. I know when I first started this blog I had dreams of one day having fifty-thousand visitors a week, and that I would be making enough money to live off of with just the advertising alone. I again had to face the realization that this blog will more than likely never receive fifty-thousand visitors a year let alone a week. I was a bit saddened by this at first, because I love doing this blog so much and it would have been great to become a career blogger. Knowing this to be true has caused a bit of a conundrum. I am afraid because I love doing this so much that it is taking my creative time and energy away from other projects. I battle back and forth contemplating if I should slow down and take a step back in order to work on other projects. I think I would have a hard time giving this up though.

Since I started this dream I have come up with many different book ideas. There were some I thought were great then after further consideration I decided to scrap them. Then there were other ideas I still think are great and they would be a blast to work on. These ideas are just sitting there with no work being done towards completing them. The problem with these ideas is they are all more than likely to take me a year or three to complete. Considering my personality I am unsure of my ability to write something so lengthy. I also do not have enough confidence in the ideas themselves to spend three years on something which may or may not ever become a reality.

It was in one of my ideas though that I feel I have found my talent and voice in such a unique way that this idea may be the one which helps me realize my dream of becoming a professional writer; my “Dylan Thomas” series. I have already written two installments in the series, and I have another two hundred or so ideas just waiting to be put to paper. This series is based and written around my youngest son Dylan. In the manuscripts I have finished thus far I have been able to include my other kids in the story as well. This makes working on them so personal and enjoyable. These are picture books which are written entirely in rhyming format. This format and the way I present them are currently to my knowledge not being done. I was really surprised when I wrote the first one just how well the story flowed. When I finished the first and second book it honestly felt like magic. I had never written something I have actually been proud of, until I wrote these two books. I hired an illustrator and thus “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage” was self-published. I have received nothing but positive feedback from the book, and everyone who read the next installment “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs” have said that this version is far better than the first. I figured I was all ready to start submitting these books to literary agents.

Nicole looked into what all goes into trying to find a children’s literary agent and what she discovered was that it is best to have multiple stories to submit to them so they can see that your idea is not just a one and done deal. It was decided that the best course of actions was to write a few more manuscripts to include with the query letter we planned on sending to agents. I have known about this for around two months, yet I have not spent a minute working on it. There may have been times I got prepped to start on a title, but I ended up working on something different. I have been just floored for why I have not been more proactive on finishing these projects. My most recent hurdle was creating an outline for each story, and day after day it went un-worked on. Well last week I got a rush of creativity and finished completed outlines for four additional stories. I have yet to take the next step to begin completing them.

I wonder what the hold-up is. I make the time to work on my poetry and blog posts, but I have been avoiding actually working on the one thing which will further the possibility of realizing my dream. I then realized perhaps I am putting this off because once I finish these and start sending them off to agents, and I don’t get picked-up then I may be faced with the stark reality that my stuff may not be good enough. I think if I was faced with such a reality I would be utterly devastated since these children’s books seem to be where my talent is at.

I need to make the time and take a courageous leap of faith and finish these next few manuscripts. I need to get them out to agents to see if there is any reality in my dream. I would rather know now in year two or three that the possibility of my dream coming true is close to zero. I would rather know now then spend another five years chasing something that is a long shot. Right now I have a quality, original and well written children’s books which can be turned into an ongoing series aimed at children ranging in age from 1 to 11. If this doesn’t get picked up I am honestly not sure I am able to top this complete idea.

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Comments
  1. I have a similar problem in my quest to pursue a writing career. I finally got some things published in a paper written for the local tourist industry, and was thrilled to get a check for my writing for the first time.
    Well, that was about four months ago. I haven’t been submitting much of anything, and while I have begun a novel, I keep wandering off into other projects or spend all my time on my two blogs.
    I have a gut-level fear of failure as well, but wouldn’t you think that at least one success would give me enough courage and incentive to keep on track?
    Writing was my first career aspiration, and I am almost more scared of never trying than falling on my face. Almost.
    Jodi

    • Jodi,

      It was one of the greatest feelings when I received my first royalty check from the books I have published. Right now I have confidence that my writing career will become a reality because I have this idea just waiting to send out. I am just worried that once I send it out and hear nothing then that will do it. Pursuing my writing career has filled me with passion and purpose. I just do not want those feelings to go away

      • Did you actually just write that you have had “books” (as in plural titles) published, and have received your “first royalty check” (as in you have been paid more than once for said books)?
        You ARE a writer — no ifs, ands or buts about it — and an author too!
        I have some serious catching up to do.
        Jodi

      • Jodi,

        I had one book published by PublishAmerica but they are a con artist publishers so that really doesnt count. They have done nothing but screw me over. The rest of my books were self published of those three books I have only sold a few copies of one title for which I received one royalty check, so I am not there yet

  2. Two comments. First, you wrote, I feel like this is my last shot at accomplishing the last dream I have left.

    Hogwash!! As long as a person is alive and has a few sentient brain cell functioning, dreams can be realized. For some people, it happens early in life and for others it happens later in life.

    Your problem is that you’re setting finite parameters on your dreams. Stop doing that!

    Once I realized there was no career in writing poetry I was kind of at a loss for what to do next.

    You can have a “career” as a poet right now; it’s just won’t be a PAID career. 😉

    I sometimes worry that your focus is a bit misguided. The yardstick you employ to decide the worth of any writing endeavor is how much money you might receive as a result.

    So, this begs a question: Is your prime motivation for becoming a “writer” to express yourself in an artistic way OR is it to make money?

    If it’s the former, quit worrying about all these externalities. If it’s the latter, then you need to figure out what types of writing and what kinds of topics will move you in the direction of getting consistently published and well compensated.

    • Trey,

      I have a few main reasons/focuses for why I want to become a writer. The first is to fulfill a dream I have had since I was ten years old. I want to be able to say to myself that I was actually able to acomplish something. I was told by so many people growing up that I am a piece of shit which will never amount to anything. The second is to have my words heard and appreciated by the masses. I want something I have written to be read by many people. I want something I have created to be something which is known. Perhaps even well enough that it will be remembered long after I have passed. The final reason is to make just enough money to live off of so my primary job is writing. If my childrens books become the reason I get picked up, then I will be known and thus some of these other projects which I am passionate about will be more likely to be published and perhaps even my poetry. I do not desire to become rich off of my writing I just want it to become my job. I make very little money at my current job, and I have set the goal to where if I am able to make the same amount of money then I will quit my job and thus achieving the final end goal to my dream. I suppose there are other small reasons and certain goals I laid out when I first started to gage my progress kinda like mini goals. I continue to add to this list, but I suppose some goals are not that mini like becoming a member of the Writers Guild.

      I know I am often times to hard on myself, and I put unneeded restrictions on achieving this dream of mine.

      I do also want to be able to express myself in an artistic ways. I think if I just cared about the money I would not be putting so much love and energy into my blog.

  3. Paul Greci says:

    Best of luck in finishing your manuscripts and starting to shop them around. I hope your dreams come true!! 🙂

  4. Malin says:

    Totally unrelated, but humble thanks for your liking of one of my blog posts. 🙂

  5. gingerclub says:

    Dear Tim,

    stop self doubting yourself. You write first of all because you enjoy it. You seem to be so stressed out by the notion of having to succeed. Every piece you write and you really put your brain and heart into is a success. I have seen other bloggers, just because they had success all of the sudden, wrote lousy pieces. Just remain calm and keep on going towards what you love the most. You really made me curious about the Dylan Thomas series, because I have nieces and I like Dr. Seuss.

    Peace and smiles

    Ginger

    • Ginger,

      I have only gotten stressed a few times when it comes to actually writing. I enjoy it so much and it fills me with joy and accomplishment. I stress out because I am so scared of failing. If I fail at this than the dream is dead. I understand what Trey (Rambling Taosit) is saying about how as long as we are able to think we will always have dreams, but this dream is different it has been with me since I was 10, and up until last year I always thought “what if” but never proceeded because I figured I would fail, because that is what I have always been told that I will never amount to anything and I am a worthless piece of shit. When I started pursuing this I have been filled with this feeling and excitement I cannot even begin to put into words, and if I am faced with failure it will be the single most devistating moment in my life and I am scared to feel it so I try to put off the things needed to make that final step to start submitting to agents.

      As for the “Dylan Thomas” books the only style I could think of was Dr. Seuss in regards to the ryhming and flow. I do not however make up made up words for ryhming purposes. I have thought about giving it a try because it would be a blast, but I do not know if it is kosher to totally emulate Seuss’s style. I did find out some exciting news yesterday regarding the book. I will be doing a reading to my son’s kindergarden class in May, and they asked me to do all three kindergarden classes AM and PM so I am pumped. THe illustrator for this series has been camping on the second book “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs” which I finally decided to give him a deadline of end of April.

  6. renxkyoko says:

    Don’t quit your dayjob, yet, so you can pursue and continue doing what you love best unemcumbered by financial worries. Maybe you’re about to achieve your dream?

  7. “Afraid To Succeed Or Afraid To Fail? The Philosophy of
    Me” ended up being actually entertaining and
    beneficial! In todays universe that is really difficult to deliver.
    Many thanks, Suzette

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