There is a song by Addison Road called “Hope Now” and as I drove to church on Sunday, listening to Christian radio, the lead singer was discussing some of the concepts behind the writing of the song. As she talked about keeping hope alive in her life, she addressed the importance of evaluating relationships. That’s where I got this quote. And it stuck with me… all day… and still three days later.
I feel like I am an 11×17 dreamer who actually lives an 11×17 life a lot of the time. But I feel like I also know a lot of 11×17 dreamers who are NOT living out 11×17 dreams. I started pondering why this is and what makes the difference for me. I believe Addison Road hit it right. My closest support system is made up of fellow 11×17 dreamers. I thought about what it might have looked like if my mom had been a 5×7 person…
…when she sat and read all the silly, immature novels I wrote through childhood and adolescence…when I sent her chunks of Phantom Island as I wrote it…when I queried 35 agents unsuccessfully and then wanted to give up…when I queried 35 MORE agents unsuccessfully and wanted to give up AGAIN…when I was rejected by two publishers straight out…when self-publishing was the only option I might have to get my book in the hands of readers…
What if my mom had been a 5×7 person in my life? Would she have lovingly said, “It’s okay, Sunshine. You gave it your best shot and as your mom, I will always love your story and how hard you worked”??? Would she have tried to get me interested in other things to take away the disappointment? “Well, that didn’t work out, Kris. Maybe you should think about finally settling down and having a kid…” Or what if she had just looked on with sympathy and reminded me that “very few people make it in this field. Don’t feel too bad.”
But instead, Mom said, “You know what, Krissi? God gave you this story and maybe HE wants to be your agent. Maybe HE is the one who is going to bring the opportunities your way. I have some savings and I’ve prayed about it… I want to be your investor and manager. I BELIEVE in this story and I think we should self-publish it and make this thing happen. NOW.”
Three years later, I’m still wondering… How different would this whole experience have been if my husband, Sam, was a 5×7 person? Would he still have spent countless hours patiently reminding me that persistence and dedication is what separates the successful people from those who are still wishing they would try? Would he have put up with my sleepless nights of writing and my lack of attention to housekeeping and other domestic responsibilities if he had only been a 5×7 person? Would he have stayed up until early morning hours reading until he finished my books?
What if my dearest friends and extended family had been made up of 5×7 people? What if my students had been 5×7, unwilling to support their teacher as she challenged her own abilities?
I am blessed by some world-changing 11×17 people and I think I owe a lot of my success (and sanity) to that. Because when there are disappointments in this business (and, OH, there ARE), it becomes super important to have a support system committed to the same big dreams as you.
But, really…when the God of the Universe is the one bringing the opportunities and receiving the glory for it, is there any size of dream TOO BIG for Him to handle?
Be an 11×17 dreamer AND supporter. You never know what success you’re really cheering on or what lies around the corner. I am living my 11×17 dream of being traditionally published and the dreams live on. They don’t stop here. I dream of Phantom Island movies…someday. Maybe those are more like 16×20 dreams… Ha. I’m sure my 11×17 support system would be willing to upgrade.
So while we’re on the topic…
There are officially now 11×17 posters of my new book covers available for sale at The White Island Shoppe. I pray that if you buy some, you’ll look at them and remember your own 11×17 dreams.
Make them happen. 🙂