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?