Chasing the Dream

When I’m not writing or editing other people’s content, or packing lunches and chauffeuring five kids all over creation, I’ve started writing a book. Apparently I wasn’t busy enough. I’m not sure what – if anything – will come of it, but it’s something I’ve felt a desire to do for a number of years, and is one more line item to add to my ever expanding resume of life experiences. Sometimes you just have to chase the dream.

Having worked in the book publishing and marketing industry for a half-dozen years, I fully understand the challenge of making it to any best-seller list. The number of books and authors out there in the world is staggering – each one straining to make a name for themselves, hoping to spread their ideas in order to make a difference, and trying to offer something distinctive to their particular genre. But let’s be honest: it can be hard to stand out.

At last count, there are over 1.8 million titles for sale on Amazon, and thousands more in the process of being written, edited, and published. A quick Google search demonstrates that self-publishing has grown into a booming business, supported by the masses who believe they have written something worthwhile, but can’t find a way to get their foot in the door of a traditional publishing house. No matter what your topic, chances are good that someone else has already covered it from every angle, and you’ll be hard pressed to write something that’s truly ground breaking. It’s easy to feel discouraged before you ever start.

Often – especially for those of us who are just now pulling up a chair to the table – it can initially seem like our best chance of finding success is to take an existing idea and breathe new life into it (with the proper permissions, of course). But don’t buy it! You are not everyone else. You have your own thoughts, ideas, and experiences that, with effort (and a good editor), can be shared in a new way, while still paying homage to those who have gone before you, and whose work has inspired you.

If you dream of writing a book, the best place to start is with a substantial dose of reality. {Tweet This}


Check out the competition, take an honest look at your current reach and audience, and then go ahead and admit to yourself that you may never be the next J.K. Rowling or John C. Maxwell. That’s the reality for 95% of authors, and it’s a bitter pill to swallow. No matter how many times I’ve tried to set reasonable expectations over the years, it’s typical to hear disappointment from clients when books don’t top the chart and sales fail to cover publishing and marketing costs. But that doesn’t mean you don’t write the book.

Remember, Dr. Seuss had his first book rejected twenty-seven times before he found someone willing to take a risk, and one of the best authors of all times (in my opinion), J.R.R. Tolkien, met with strong resistance from his publisher, who expressed concerns that they wouldn’t be able to sell it. In the words of Winston Churchill, “You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done.

Follow your dream, and celebrate every success – big or small – along the way. {Tweet This}


Here’s to chasing the dream!

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