My wedding day, September, 2009.
Before I got married, I loved wedding shows. I thought about my fictional wedding day and how it would be made of awesome. For years I never thought I would get married, so I allowed myself to daydream about the day. I would get so excited when someone I knew got engaged. Then I moved to Washington, DC, and met my husband. It wasn't as easy as that, as I dated quite a bit and got banged up along the way. The lesson I learned was that rejection wouldn't kill me, and it was highly unlikely that a man worth marrying would just show up at my doorstep. I had to put myself out there if I wanted my dream to come true.
My husband and I got engaged after dating for six months. I threw myself into the task of wedding planning, and at times, it didn't seem real. Like when I was in David's Bridal, trying on dresses with my mother, good friend, sister and future mother-in-law in tow. I had to pinch myself, because this thing had seemed so impossible was happening. It was my life!
Planning a wedding was a lot of fun, but it was also kind of pain in the butt too. I had to deal with family drama, budget crisis after budget crisis, and I actually scrapped my plans about three months into planning and moved my date up.
I had to face my anxiety face on while planning. You can tend to think that your wedding date is just a date on a calendar, but when it approaches and everyone wants their money and your attention, it's hard not to freak out just a bit, and I did, thankfully before the wedding. My wedding day wasn't perfect. It did rain, (which wasn't very ironic, Alanis) but the upside to that was I had gorgeous pictures and the rain held off until after the ceremony. Your wedding day will never be as you imagined, much like being published will never be how I imagine it to be now.
At the stage I'm at now in my writing journey, it's like I'm back right when my husband and I met. I get so excited when I see someone talk about their book deal, because if it can happen for them, it can happen for me, right?
The dream no longer seems so far off, similar to how my wedding dream felt once I actually put myself out there and began dating. Like with wedding planning, I know I'll have to face my fears and will probably freak out a few times or more. But like the search for a husband, I have to put myself out there. This dream won't come true by just wishing for it.
One important thing that wedding planning and writing for publication have in common are a great sense of community. I don't know what I would have done without my local knot.com board and the boards at Weddingbee. Now I see a similar support group amongst young adult and middle grade authors, and more than anything, they make me feel like the dream is possible.
Does your journey to publication remind you of other journeys you've already taken in your life?