If wishes were horses…

Do you know that saying? “If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.”

It used to be one of my favorites, even before I knew what it meant. I was a horse-crazy kid, and I used to beg and pray and plead for a horse of my own.

I didn’t get one until I was nineteen years old. He was a crazy whack-job off-the-track Thoroughbred. Genuinely nuts. I have this one picture of him somewhere, and even in the picture, you can see he’s a little wild-eyed. When I was 19, I had no idea how to handle him. I fell off that stupid horse more times than I care to remember.

I used to dream that the horse would earn me a trip to the Olympics. Mostly he just earned me trips to the Emergency Room.

But I’d worked my ass off to be able to keep him, and that’s all that mattered. I had a horse to ride.

Sometimes writing is the same. I have no idea how many people have read and enjoyed Elemental. A lot, I assume, because I know books have to go through the wringer before an offer is made. But how many? Twenty? Fifty? Ten? My husband hasn’t read the whole thing. My mother hasn’t read any of it.

I like to daydream about what I’d do if my book became an international bestseller. This is kind of like how I like to daydream about what I’d do if I won the lottery. (And didn’t I read once that your odds of winning the lottery are better than your odds of having a huge bestseller?) I could stay home with my kids. I could go to the gym and not wonder if I’m shorting my family on time. I could cook good food every night instead of frozen vegetables and processed chicken patties. Hell, I could hire a cook.

Sometimes my dreams are more concrete wishes. I wish I could get a big check, somehow keep it hidden from my husband, and do something crazy, like buy him a new car for Christmas. (His car is seven years old.) I wish I could buy my stepson a crazy-awesome MacBook for high school. I wish I could buy Nick every Thomas Train ever invented, with enough track that he could circle the house twice. 

But I didn’t really write the book for money. I wrote it because I love Becca, I love the Merrick brothers. I love writing, and I love the thought of people reading my stuff. Whether there are ten people out there who like the book, or only one, that’s worth it to me.

And at least writing a book won’t send me to the ER.

(I can hear my husband muttering under his breath: “Yeah. Yet.“)

What about you guys? What are your writing dreams?

13 thoughts on “If wishes were horses…

  1. TTTT (to tell the truth), I only clicked on this post because the word ‘horses’ was in the title. 😀 Well, that and I love your posts on a general basis.

    I think I’d just like to have a complete, random stranger — just one — pick up my (hypothetical) novel and like it enough to send me an email. That’s all.

  2. … and if turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side.

    Sorry. Just had to finish the nursery rhyme for you. 🙂

    If I won the lottery or had a bestseller or a heretofore unknown rich relative die and leave me $$$$$, I doubt I’d stay home. I get to stay home during the summers, and, while it’s a much needed break, after a few weeks, I start to long for the challenges of the classroom again. And feeling the need to do serious housecleaning day after day is depressing for me. When I’m working in the classroom, I feel justified at only doing light housework and ignoring the rest (like repainting the livingroom and washing walls in the basement).
    If I won the lottery, I’d squirrel most of it away for emergencies (yes, my parents grew up during the Depression — why do you ask?) and then maybe buy myself a nice little flat in Scotland somewhere for a summer home. 🙂

  3. Wow, hard question, Brigid! I’m not sure what my writing dreams are. I take such tiny steps–I try not to think too far beyond the next one. Right now, I just want my agent to approve my revisions so my novel can go out on submission.

    But if the fairy godmother of YA fiction showed up and granted me one wish, I’d ask for courage. I think you need a lot in this business. 🙂

  4. My dream is that two random people will become friends because they both like my book. I’d like for them to have a conversation in which they debate which character is the best, what they think will happen to my characters after the book ends, and which characters would make the best boyfriends/girlfriends.

    I love the way my friends and I discuss HARRY POTTER and THE HUNGER GAMES.

  5. I agree with what Yahong said, I can’t wait to get that first email! Just one stranger who fell in love with the world I created. It’s that carrot I’m envisioning dangling over my head, driving me to get my novel out there.

  6. My writing dream is to write full time (No more office day jobs!) and create books that not only inspire and entertain, but will change someone’s life for the better. Hmm…making enough money to travel the world would be pretty nice, too. 🙂

  7. What a wonderful batch of dreams everyone has! I too would LOVE to be able to write full time. That’s a longterm dream.

    But in the short term, I think my head will explode (with joy) if I hear from someone I don’t know who loves my book.

    Even shorter term – just seeing my name on a book cover! Can’t wait!

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