I am my younger self’s worst nightmare. I am proof that not all dreams come true — even dreams you want so badly you can taste them.
Years ago, I was driven to be a successful writer. I hoped my novel would go to auction, that my hard work, my very self, would be vindicated by a six-figure offer. Maybe then I’d be worth something.
My break came. Eight literary agents and four New York publishers asked to see my novel. Their rejections read similarly: “You need to draw your characters more vividly and put emotion on the page.”
These rejections were a mercy, because publishing would not save my soul or ease my sadness. I worked with an editor, rewriting the book. I worked out my craft, some painful memories, and dumped into a steady peace. Writing helped me find a work that allowed me to help young people.
I self-published my novel and sold five hundred copies. My email list is under 200, when successful authors boast thousands. But I still show up at the page, post things on my blog because it’s rewarding to be read — even if my audience is small.
I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective. What about you? Have you had dreams that didn’t come true? What were they? Or did a dream come true that wasn’t such a good thing?
If you’d like to hear me read this aloud, click here.
This was originally aired on Northern Public Radio.
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