Thursday, July 8, 2021

Cultivating Dreams


I sat down to write a bit of a writing update for you all, but what came out was more of an introspective look on how my dreams have changed and shifted and how that's okay. 

If you've been on this blog for any length of time (or following me on Instagram) then you'll have heard about the "great blogging experience of 2020" though likely not in those terms. You can read the first chapter HERE but, as most things do, it has changed in editing. Not as much as you may expect, but enough. Hopefully enough to make it better. 

A quick fill in here: I wrote a "book" in a month on this blog - which basically turned out to be about 50k words in 31 chapters. It has since ballooned to 61 chapters + and epilogue and hits around 112k at the moment of this blog. (whew)

I did the first half in a month and then guess what happened? I took off several months to recover (haha). Then I buckled down, re-plotted the rest of the book (which is what happens when you think something is going to be a novella and instead turns into a full-length YA sci-fi). And once I saw the ending, I wrote to that and let out a huge sigh of relief right before I jumped into edits. 

As of June 18th my awesome agent has seen the proposal for the book and is waiting on me to finish my 5th round of edits before we submit to a ton of awesome publishers. 

I'm not scared. You're scared. 

Okay, I'm scared. 

The thing with all of this is the immense pressure I've put on myself and on this little book. Why? It's the book of my heart. Not the only one because I have about 5 other plot ideas for next books, but it's the book I decided to step out and take a risk on. Young Adult science fiction doesn't typically sell - or if it does, you're someone famous who wrote it. 

I'm not famous. 

So what am I doing? 

I'm taking a risk. I'm shifting my perspective. Allow me to explain...

This is my kitty Pages sleeping while I work!
This is my kitty Pages sleeping while I work!

Sixteen-year-old Emilie said "I will write a a novel for my senior project" and then, after being told it was impossible decided to write a novella instead. And she did it. (Er me, I did it, but you get what I'm saying). Was it good? Not really. Did I still submit it to Bethany House Publishers? Yes, yes I did. *hides face in shame* And it was a great learning experience. 

Fast forward to 30-something Emilie and all that build up, all the hopes, dreams, near-misses in the world of publishing has taught me a few things (hopefully more than a few). 

The first of them is this: I'm not writing the next Divergent or Hunger Games or Harry Potter. 

As much as I'd love to say Suspended in the Stars is going to make a big splash, the odds are it won't. I'm still hopeful it would be received well, but let's get a publishers okay first before I go down that road. 

What I've come to realize is that my dream has shifted out of necessity but also out of experience. Instead of thinking I'll make the New York Times Bestsellers list (okay, still a dream no matter how unlikely), my dream has shifted to encompass simply getting my book into the hands of readers. And then the next book and the next book and so on. 

I don't see this as letting myself off the hook or easing up on my dreams, I see it as a more realistic goal. One I would love to accomplish in the next several years.

Dreams shift and change. And that's okay.

What this shifting has allowed me to do is create with less fear. The thought of my one little book hitting it "big" is way more daunting than writing (to the best of my ability) a story I love that is also liked by an editor, then their team, and then readers. 

No matter what we do in life, what we dream of, I think it's important to have those dreams and to cultivate them. In this case, I think the word "cultivate" is perfect because we're really saying we need to develop our dreams. Allow them to form, grow, and then prune in order for them to flourish even more broadly. 

So, wherever you are today, whatever your dream is, I hope that you direct a little attention toward it. Observe where that far-off dream is and see if, with just a little adjustment, it could be closer than you think. 

What are your dreams? Have they shifted or stayed the same? 


  1. In addition to the fact that legitimate taking care of makes the grass greener, however it likewise works on the nature of the yard. It likewise aids the development of thicker grass, supports its solidarity, and works on the yard's general wellbeing. A very much prepared grass is undeniably more impervious to greenery, weeds, and climate related Related:

  2. Therefore dissertation web-sites as a result of online to set-up safe and sound ostensibly taped in the website.