I try to live in the moment, but I can admit – sometimes, I get caught up in my plans for the future. Sometimes, the moment kind of sucks – like when you’re running on no sleep and your patience tank is empty and you’ve got two dollars to your name and nothing is going your way. Thinking about the future is therapeutic. You can convince yourself that in six, maybe twelve months, things will be entirely different. Maybe you’ll even be a billionaire! It’s possible, you know. You could win the lottery and in your plans for the future you do because that would solve everything, right?
Alas…grasping to the “plan” of winning the lottery is silly. Especially for me, because I don’t even buy lottery tickets. But thinking about the future can relax you, a little. It’s therapeutic. I should know – I do it all the time. I tell myself that in six months, maybe twelve at most, I’ll be a bestselling author. Because stuff like that happens every day to average people like myself. They catch a lucky break, and then BOOM, they’re known.
Maybe one day some celebrity who has a secret lady boner for books will read mine and mention them on social media, hashtag JCHANNIGAN, and then their fans and everyone else will grab up my books hungrily. And maybe that won’t happen, but the hope it gives is inspiring. It’s like a little hit, you know? Like, you’re kind of in a rut, thinking about just how many books are in the world and how many incredible authors still flying under the radar. But it could still happen, and it does for some. People like me, who started with independent publishing, becoming household names.
I’m sure J.K. Rowling had similar dreams of her books becoming known worldwide, topping the bestsellers chart for years, and eventually turning into major motion pictures. What author doesn’t have that dream? At least the first bit of it. While it’d be cool to watch a movie version of my books, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t handle the whole “change mostly everything that’s awesome” thing Hollywood seems to do (like with Vampire Diaries, the TV series is not even remotely close to the book – although I liked the changes, but still).
Anyways, I digress. Back to how envisioning the future, even if it “seems” far-fetched, is a good thing…
Do you remember being a kid? Do you remember thinking that you could do anything? Do you remember that feeling that you could be a superhero or even a cat? The wonderment, the possibility? You dove in to things without a fear of failing because kids don’t know what failing is. Or at least, not right away. It takes a little time to kick in, but as soon as they become aware of failure, they stop diving in with both feet. They hesitate.
I’m trying to embrace that mindset again; that complete belief in myself, that I can become anything I want to be simply by working hard and dedicating my time to getting there. I’m a superhero now, although it took me some time to realize it. Naturally, I haven’t yet figured out how to be a cat – but I’m fairly good at napping and personal hygiene, so that’s close…right?
At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own paths and goals and dreams. Envisioning the future is the start towards building the future. I wouldn’t be writing books today, hitting that scary “upload manuscript” button and putting my words and my work out there for the world to see if I didn’t first dream of becoming an author. If I hadn’t escaped to my fanciful, whimsical daydreams of being a bestselling author and going on talk shows to talk about my books, then I wouldn’t be here, where I am.
And I’m really, really glad to be here.