Days Like Yesterday

I want to be published. Traditionally. A novel. I want to traditionally publish a novel. I do. I won’t lie. It’s been a dream of mine since I was eight, a life goal. I realize I am not unique in this. Not special. Not even rare. It’s the dream of most writers. And like most other writers, whether or not this happens will not keep me from writing. Ever. It’s kind of like those Geico commercials: “If you’re a writer, you write. It’s what you do.”

There are days, though, when it’s frustrating. The process. The rejection. The reading things that are published and knowing, not even egotistically, that you write better. The time you spend on other things, instead of writing your books, to try to up your chances: writing query letters, studying how to write query letters, entering contests to try gaining writing credits, re-writing query letters (okay, really that’s what I dislike). Those days, it seems impossible that this dream will ever come to be. And even if it doesn’t make me want to quit, I can wind up feeling a bit cynical and bitter.

But then there are the good days. Just a nudge of affirmation can make me feel like J.K. Rowling (just not as rich). When I enter a story into my writer’s club contest and win; when I make the top ten on my first try in a flash fiction contest. When one of my family/friends based fan club reads one of my recent works and tells me they liked it; and I’m not talking just a stiff and automatic platitude, but with details about why they liked it. These are the good days.

I had a good day yesterday. Two of my best friends recently became first-time parents: to an eight- and ten-year-old. These four are more like family to me than just friends, the kids my adopted niece and nephew. They’ve been raising the kids up right (in my humble, non-parental opinion), reading as a family every night. They’ve one through the Chronicles of Narnia, and the other day my friend texted me to tell me they had just finished the Harry Potter series. I had been talking to them about what they were going to read to the kids next, discussing various options.

Then, yesterday, my friend posts this on my Facebook: “We started reading Blue Skies tonight with the kids.” I had this moment of pure, heart skipping, breath catching giddiness. Of all the possibly wonderful books out there they could read with their kids, they opted to read one of MY works. And not even my best! I almost did a happy dance, and I suddenly wanted to go back and read some of that book myself, a kind of reward or acknowledgement to those characters I’ve shoved to the side for so long.

Yes, I want to be published someday. But that? That’s what it’s all about. People reading, and wanting to share, your work. Maybe it never goes beyond my circle of family and friends. Maybe that’s enough. On days like yesterday, it certainly feels like enough.

~ S.D. Bullard

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~ by sdbullard on September 1, 2015.

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