Dreams and Sacrifices

I just returned from the RWA national conference in San Antonio. As a Golden Heart finalist and signer of my very first publishing contract, I felt like Cinderella at the ball.

Literally like Cinderella! Check out the pumpkin carriage I rode home in from my very first publisher author dinner!


RWA 2014 will always have a special place in my heart because I will never, ever, be in this sweet spot again. I have just signed with an agent and completed my first book deal, so I didn’t do any pitching. The  thing that stresses most PRO attendees during the conference. And because it’s going to be a while before my book comes out, I didn’t have to do any outright promotion. The thing that occupies many PAN attendees’ time at the event.

I spent my time enjoying the many amazing workshops, mingling with my favorite authors at the special reception for the Golden Heart and RITA finalists, and meeting my editor for the first time. Oh, and I may have spent some time meeting old friends and making new friends in the bar and at the many evening parties that happen during RWA.

Now, I’m back home and real life is making its usual demands of laundry, cooking, and cleaning. The day job wants me to come back to earth and actually be productive. These are all familiar elements, but now humdrum reality is slightly altered.

I’ve achieved my dream, but this dream comes with demands and sacrifices. In other words, I have serious deadlines.

The only way I can live the dream without screwing up is by sticking to a rigorous writing schedule. The only way I can meet that schedule is by saying no to friends and family. Most of them take this well. They know how much being a published writer means to me. They know how hard I’ve worked to get here.

Some of them want to be supportive, but feel rejected when I say I can’t participate in an event or spend time with them. I understand.

All writers understand rejection. It sucks.

We blogged on that theme all last month and every post included how much rejection hurts and how much it sucks. We also discussed how much it’s part of being a writer. I understand being rejected.

I definitely didn’t understand how stressful it is to be considered a rejector.

There’s been some harsh words. There’s been some crying. Hopefully I, and my family and friends, will figure out a way to navigate this new adventure in my writing career.

Until then, I take comfort in my favorite list 25 Badass Ways to Say No by Justine Musk and her excellent TED Talk on The Art of the Deep Yes.

How do you deal with sacrificing for your dream?

About Asa Maria Bradley

2016 Double RITA finalist, romance author, news junkie, physics instructor, and diver. Loves Norse mythology, ranch dressing, and cop shows. Lives with husband and rescue dog of indeterminate breed in Pacific Northwest. Represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Writers about sexy modern-day Vikings. More at www.asamariabradley.com and @AsaMariaBradley.

Posted on August 21, 2014, in Auth: Asa Maria Bradley and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great post Asa! I’m so glad that you had a wonderful time at RWA.

    I have a vague memory of the circumstances but I vividly remember the words: When someone was complaining about not having the “time” to write, she said that if you gave up an hour of TV watching a day, you would have had the book written by now.

    It’s not that simple but the sentiment is strong. You have to make priorities and shove your writing time up at the top. Since watching TV is my end-of-the-day stress reliever, clearly my comments here are directed towards myself 🙂


  2. Wait, magical mice don’t come and do our laundry?! What a rip-off! Oh well, one of the good parts about being a writer is I can do my job in pajamas which are really easy to launder 😉


  3. Thanks, Jamie!

    My science background and my deep-rooted insecurities demand that I research all of the internet to see if someone else has already said what I’m thinking about saying. That’s why I always have links. 🙂

    Plus, I’m an excellent procrastinator and may use research as an excuse not to write. 😉


  4. It will be interesting to continue watching your journey unfold, Asa. You made me realize my own YES/NO issue I’ve taken far too much time mulling over. BTW, you always have the best links 🙂 THX!


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