Every writer struggles with doubt. When the masterpiece is completed and the dreams seem larger than life, that’s the time when reality brutally slams us back down to the hard crust of the earth; snatched from the heights of “What If”. Many bow under its weight and turn away from destiny. Still, others refuse to take flight in the first place; too petrified by the fear of failure to even try.
Hang on and just dream for a second. Allow yourself to accept “What If” for only a moment. What if you actually write that masterpiece? What if someone outside of your trusted circle likes it? What if that someone knows someone, who knows someone, who is acquainted with someone else, who happens to be a ‘somebody‘ deep within the matrix of the book business? And, what if said somebody decided to take a chance on you; the kind of chance that could effectively change your life forever? Isn’t this the scenario we all (as aspiring authors) secretly long for?
In Richard Paul Evans’ 2003 novel, “A Perfect Day”, that’s exactly what happened to Rob Harlan. Rob’s an average husband and father, stuck in a temporary-turned-permanent day job of little fulfillment, who just so happens to be a closet aspiring author. When life interrupts his mediocre existence, Rob finds the courage to pursue the dream of published authorship. With the masterpiece completed, Rob submits his completed manuscript to 25 literary agents…then waits. Many of us are familiar with what comes next: the blizzard of rejections. Time passes and the rejection notices tally 24. Then it happens; the one! A single agent connected with Rob’s story and turned his entire world upside down, almost overnight.
This book was so inspiring because it allowed me to think, it’s okay to dream the big dream. It’s okay to desire the success of my own book. In fact, we authors absolutely have to stick to our guns and hold tight to the reigns of the dream if we truly want the victory, no matter what obstacles may befall us.
I recently had a respected and successful author say my book title was too complicated and that I should consider removing my face from the back cover. Talk about having the wind blown from your sails! Those comments left me in a temporary state of depression. But, then I began to read “A Perfect Day” and found that I simply couldn’t put it down. I identified with Rob Harlan. He was just like me, and yet he held on until the miracle happened.
I want that favor. I need my book to find the hands of that one, who sees the story just as I’ve seen it every time I read it. I believe in my story, and I’m not willing to let reality snatch me from the clouds of “What If”.
So, you’ve written the masterpiece, and its good; really good. You feel it deep down in your soul every time you read through some of the lines of dialogue. Don’t quit, ever! You have to share your story with the world. Work hard and research the avenues. Strike out through social media. Bombard your email list. Connect to literary agents. Do whatever you need to do, to get that story from your computer out into the world, because you are an author and authors write fabulous tales! Keep the faith and reach for the high clouds of “What If”. Who knows, I just might see your name among the greats one day.