When it comes to being an author and having books published, I believe there is a fine and ever changing line between dreams and reality.
In my head I keep picturing a see saw.
If you're not stretching yourself to achieve goals that seem out of reach, you're probably not working hard enough. It's amazing what we can do when we apply ourselves. Let's face it, most people don't aim high enough.
But on the other end of the see saw, it's foolish to believe that being a good writer is all you need to be published. There are lots of great writers who never get there shot. And even worse, sometimes less then good writers get the attention.
The truth is, there is no way of knowing where you are going to fall on the see saw of publication. There are too many unknowns.
If you think only of your dreams, with no reality interjected into your choices, you might be dealt one crushing blow after another. Or instead, if you always quit on yourself, to prevent anyone else from rejecting you, you've already lost anyway.
Neither one of these options is ideal. My suggestions is to find some middle ground. Stand closer to the center of the see saw and lean in whatever direction makes the most sense in any given moment. Find your balance between dreams and the reality.
Here are some tangible examples of some balanced middle ground between dreams and reality...
*Make time to write daily, but don't quit your day job.
*Challenge yourself to write things that are hard, but also be sure you know the basics.
*Do something different so you stand out--but break the rules, only when you know what the rules are and have a clear reason of what breaking them means to your work.
*Take the advice of experts in the field because they have experience that can help you, but know what you can't live with changing about your writing or yourself.
*There are fabulous things to learn on the internet, but be sure to turn off your internet to get your writing done.
*Don't make yourself crazy comparing yourself to others, but believe that your book has a place on the shelf, too.
*Don't give up on a book too quickly, great writing takes work--but know when to put something away and move on to something new.
Can you think of any other places you can think of that demand a balance between dreams and reality to give yourself the best advantage as you try to succeed in the world of publishing?