In order to keep myself grounded as an aspiring writer I had to remove the thoughts of million dollar book deals, movie openings and crowded book signings from my mind. The truth is, that will likely never happen.
Much in the same way one approaches the uncertain world of dating, it is time to remove the rose colored glasses. Are happily ever afters real? No. Love takes work and should be approached with both heart and mind. It may take some of the magic and surprise out of the process but, honestly, it's a way more pragmatic way to go about it.
First off I needed to erase the image in my mind of what my "ideal" mate should look like. The truth is we often find love in the most random of places, with the most random people. He/she might not look the part but in the end - that person was the best addition to our lives. Removing the expectations of an "ideal" book deal has allowed me to be more open to all of the possibilities that are out there. Traditional publishing might work for me. (Like the classic love story of two people falling in love at first sight.) Or perhaps, I could find an Indie publishing company that really understood my book series and helped me a bit to get noticed. (That dark and mysterious biker dude who is also sensitive and loves puppies.) Or maybe...just maybe I should self publish online and let the universe control who stumbles across my masterpiece. (The guy who was "just a friend" and then one day you see him totally different and start getting all lusty after him.) Any of those men could fulfill my needs. Just as any of the publishing opportunities could fulfill my book needs.
However, like dating, writers often face a lot of decisions and rejection. It's hard to find our way through the process with stars in our eyes!
Oh, the heartbreak of really, really digging the handsome man who picked up the book I dropped, but then seeing his adorable wife right beside him. There truly was a spark there, I was sure of it! But alas, it will never be. Sometimes "love at first sight" just isn't in the cards. What to do? I could lay on the floor in the fetal position crying myself to sleep or I could watch him walk away (Admiring the view) and pat myself on the back for not making an ass of myself. Meh...maybe he's a whiner. (I can't stand whiners) Maybe he likes kinky stuff that i'm not into. (Whips and chains - no thanks) Whatever the reasons are for the lack of sparks, they were simply not there.
Then there is that dark and mysterious man sitting astride his motorcycle, quietly undressing me with his eyes. (Fans self) Oh the fun we could have together! Anything goes with this kind of man. A lover and a fighter, he seems to encompass the whole package. There is a certain freedom that comes from such a drifter. However, there is the possibility that my heart will get toyed with for a moment - then left in the dust cloud from his bike when he moved on. I could cry and pine away for the love that was almost mine. Love was just within my reach but somewhere either I, or he, did something wrong. As he leaves I would be faced with the reality that there would be no closure to our tryst. That's a risky move.
Maybe for safety or maybe even from a revelation I could change the nature of my relationship with my man-friend. Hell, we already know everything about each other. (He held back my hair when I puked, saw me with no makeup on and all of our faults have been exposed already.) He is safe. I am comfortable with him. There may not be sparks or a smoldering passion but there is a quiet acceptance. Everything that was between us will continue to be there only with a bit more kissing and some exciting moments in the dark. If I do this, am I risking a good friend just to fill a void?
Accepting these scenarios as true (there are more I just picked three of my favorites) means it is time to date. (Time to shop your manuscript) Which kind of man is right for me? (Which publishing route do I choose?) It's time to put on the pretty underwear and lip gloss because it's happy hour.
Don't look at dating from a desperate position. Men can smell your desperation quickly and it stinks more than their own farts. Enjoy the process and learn what you can from each one. Test out the spark you think might be there with the cutie pie from the grocery store. Flirt alittle with the hunk of man on his motorcycle. Get to know him before jumping on and going for a ride. Daydream about your man-friend and see if it would really go anywhere if you crossed that line.
In other words - I plan on playing the field. I won't commit right away to any of the options out there. My preconceived idea of "Mr. Right" is now thrown to the wind. I am open to any possibilities and I will only be able to be happy if I take the time to consider all of my options. Regardless of which path I choose I will do it with knowledge, self acceptance and with good humor. Hey, men love a woman who can laugh at herself!