What’s Your Writer’s Dream?

Guess who Meredith is talking to!?

This week one of my big writer’s dreams ended. You know, the carried-away dreaming we pre-published writers do about what it will be like when our book is published?

One of my biggies was dashed yesterday with Meredith Vieira’s retirement from the Today Show—following closely on the heels of Oprah Winfrey’s last show. Because for me, the dream was to be interviewed by Oprah and Meredith about my book

I know, it sounds pretty lame (even to me) when I actually write it down, but it’s true: I have always hoped, dreamed (dare I say fantasized!) that I would one day be interviewed by one (or both!) of these women!

And here’s how it would have gone down:

(After the introductory applause died down on Oprah or on the Today Show Matt and Ann and Natalie and Al all finished congratulating and hugging me….)

Oprah/Meredith: I cannot tell you how much I loved your book!

Me: Really? Thank you so much!

O/M: It gave me such insight, it really touched me. You have no idea. It taught me so much about myself and yet it was so entertaining! I couldn’t put it down.  (And then Oprah would of course do the ugly cry and Meredith would lean over and pat me on the knee, smiling with pursed lips, tears in her eyes.)

Me: Thank you so much! (smiling like an idiot)

O/M: Where do you get your ideas? Is this based on your own life?

Me: Well, not really…. (smiling like an idiot)

O/M: How are you handling the fame? How do you like being at the center of attention?

Me: Ummmmm….. (smiling like an idiot)

O/M: What’s next? Apparently Meryl Streep is talking about producing a big blockbuster movie, and you’re writing the screen play?

Me: I know, right? (smiling like an idiot)

O/M: Thank you so much for joining us today—are you free for lunch so we can continue this fascinating conversation? And, will you be my new best friend?

Me: Of course!

Guess who Oprah is waving (regretfully) at?
And then the three of us: Meredith, Oprah, and I head off to have a lovely lunch together….which of course would forge a lifelong beautiful friendship with these two women who undoubtedly would come and spend long weekends in Maine—not for the natural beauty of the landscape and the relaxation of the sea, but to see moi!

But it’s not to be. And now it’s time to say goodbye to the dream. And maybe, just maybe…after replaying this interview in my mind, it’s a good thing, too!

What’s your big writer’s dream? And, if you’re already a published author, please tell me what your dreams are, how they differ from before you were published, and how those pre-published dreams stacked up to reality!




  1. Tia Bach says:

    Loved the post! I, too, wished to be on Oprah’s book club. Alas, it is not to be. But on a smaller scale, what I really wanted was people to come up to me and tell me how the book affected them, what made it special. I really just wanted people to see me as an author. Since publishing, this has happened (on a very small scale, but measurable). I feel blessed.

  2. So far I’ve had one picture book published and I have another under contract. My big goal is to get my middle grade trilogy published. My agent has it on submission right now, so I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that one of the editors will love it. (Yes, I focus on smaller goals as opposed to the bigger goals of fame and fortune.)

  3. Tia, You are so right; I think we all want that validation that we touched someone — in any way! A great reminder to me to focus on the small stuff, not just the fame! So so true and important! (p.s. Glad you loved the post, it was fun to write! 🙂

    Kelly, Congratulations!! Huge to have a book published with another under contract; not easy to get picture books published, I know! I’m crossing my fingers and toes for you, too! So wise to focus on the smaller goals, too…. Thanks so much for the comment!

  4. Honestly?I I guess I just want to get the darn thing published and have people buy it and enjoy it. My dream would be to make my living as a novelist and journalist and — what the heck! — screenwriter. 🙂

  5. My comment disappeared…. At the risk of repeating myself – I think it was a great fantasy. When your book is published I hope you’re interviewed by someone even better!

  6. *giggles* Julia…you are a trip! Great post. Hey, all you have to do is replace Meredith with Ann Curry, and your dream can still come true. As for Oprah, well, yeah…that’s no longer a possibility. 🙁

    Let’s see…I have a short term and immediate dream to discipline myself to get back to blogging (tied into that dream is the ability to carve out time to write over the summer when the kids are home). But my ultimate big writer’s dream is to be published, and have at least a handful of people tell me my book touched them in some way and made them think outside the box. Is that too much to ask?


  7. Dina, Yeah….there’s that little dream of actually being published that I share with you 🙂 And the novelist/journalist/make a living part — agreed! I might admit that sometimes I dream big…

    cookinghealthy, Yes, your first comment did apparently disappear — darn blogger! — thanks for reposting! I so appreciate your support of my fantasy dream!

    Barb, Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 …. but really? Meredith cannot be replaced by anyone! A dream’s a dream, right? I’ll work on the Ann Curry idea… And, no, I don’t think any of your dream is too much to ask! You seem to be a realistic dreamer, unlike myself 🙂

  8. Brenda says:

    Dreams are never lame, they keep us alive, pushing, growing, breathing. As for O, never is a long time, you just never know. My dreams, short term, finish this book package and send it out to agents… After that, well a movie deal, an apartment in Barcelona! Keep the faith in your dreams.

  9. Barbarann says:

    Thanks for the Friday, end-of-week laugh! I don’t dream that big yet. I bit off a huge bite right out of the box, with a memoir encompassing two heavy subjects…abuse and abandonment…well seasoned by the highjinks of two little kids with all day everyday to get into trouble. My only dream curently is to put an end to re-writes, have my editor say to stick a fork in it and get to a publisher. Once I understood the deep need to tell it, the thing now owns me. I can’t believe how many categories of living fall under these topics. So I’m driven to get it said and read. I can’t even conceive of something like writer’s block. I’m just looking forward to undisturbed sleep! So then, how’s come I think I have real time to deal with my new blog?

  10. Brenda, Here’s to dreams! I’ve got a million! And here’s to your movie deal and Barcelona — lovely! As you say, gotta have faith in the dreams! Thanks so much for the visit and the comment!

    Barbarann, Glad to give you a laugh, it was such fun to write! Wow, your memoir sounds quite intense. I can relate to abandonment having been through it myself, but *only* emotional abuse… glad you’re ok now. Little kid hijinks help with everything, I say. I wish I had no writer’s block — maybe I can take a page from YOUR book in this case! 🙂

  11. Cathy says:

    This months writers dream is both gargantuan and teeny-tiny at once: finish the first draft of my novel so I can find my bearings and see where I am and start revising!

  12. Cathy, Wonderful HUGE news; congratulations!! That’s much much more than a dream, more like a reality. And I hope to be following in your footsteps soon! WOOOOHOOO!!

  13. Boy did I need this laugh today, Julia. Thank you. I started out with the same dreams as you (who DOESN’T want to be interviewed by Oprah?). But along the way, I really tamed them down and gave myself a bit of a reality check. I think it used to be more important to me to think in terms of notoriety. But now, it’s just about someONE enjoying my story, reading it, being touched by it, learning from it (and hopefully making ‘somewhat’ of a living at it). Would it be wonderful to be famous and never have to worry about bills again? Sure.

    The chances of that happening, especially with the status of book publishing now that I’ve gotten my act together … um… dim. But that’s OK. I have found something that I truly love doing – that enriches my life. So onward I go. My writer’s dream is to take one step at a time: finish second WIP, get an agent …. and take it from there.

  14. Ado says:

    Thanks for this post – so honest and funny. Revealing about all of us writers. When I was working on my novel I came across several writers who “looked up” to me – they didn’t have agents (I do) and they wanted to know “how I did it” and I ended up reading and critiquing their novels. I did not like either of the novels totally btw – did not think they’d get pub’d let alone an agent. One of those writers is HUGE now, Brad and Jen bought the film rights to that book within 1 year of me looking at it, she was interviewed on Today, GMA, Oprah, HUGE success. Then the film came out. She became a HUGE bestseller, on the Book of the Month club etc. – all the while me sitting there fantasizing about being interviewed on GMA, there she was. (I was v. happy for her btw.) Then…the same frigging thing happened to my other friend. HUGE skyrocketing career, his eclipsed hers in the literary world, he bought a brownstone in NY with the proceeds from the book I critiqued – the one I thought was a CHORE to read and I couldn’t STAND.
    Oy vey – writing dreams…mine have been leveled. My book didn’t get published – one offer – we got so close – but in the end, nope. Both writers totally went to bat for my book too. Anyway – rambling…working on my 2nd novel now but still sort of fuming. . . happy for them yet ENVIOUS.

  15. CMSmith says:

    LOL. We don’t have to give up this dream, Julia. You’re not looking at the big picture. We just have to figure out who is the next Oprah and be the first in line.

  16. Ado, Yikes, terrible story! Of course, there are so many published books that I can barely stand to read, so it really doesn’t surprise me too much. Very very frustrating and upsetting for you, and I would be fuming too! Of course I’m envious, too, and I’d say downright jealous! I have complete faith in you because your writing is wonderful, and you obviously have some great stories to tell. Just let me know when you’re appearing on GMA, Today, or…. because I want to see the show!! 🙂

    Christine, OMG you are SO right!! What’s wrong with me, I better do some research and figure it out — certainly that will be more productive than writing, right? I’M LIVING THE DREAM!! 🙂

  17. This was great, Julia!

    I don’t know if I have any huge dreams, except for the well of ideas to never run dry.

    Oh, and I wouldn’t mind being on the same plane as Angelina and Brad and have one of their kids ask for MY autograph. 😉

  18. Amanda, Glad you enjoyed….and have your own dreams, too! I’ve got to say, now that you planted the seed — it would be pretty cool to have a famous person’s kid (or a famous person!) want MY autograph! Let me know when your dream comes true; I’m confident it will!

  19. Leah says:

    I so hear ya! Guess we’ll have to settle for The View. By the way, I had no idea Meredith Viera retired until I read your blog. Glad to get that vital piece of information from you.

  20. Leah, Glad you can relate. By the way, woohoo — I provided you with breaking news on my blog! The View would be okay… especially if we start now to time it right, then maybe we can have books released at around the same time, and we can be on the show at the same time and meet on the set!! How cool would THAT be? 🙂

  21. Brenda Kezar says:

    Lol, loved this post! I would have been “smiling like an idiot” through the whole interview, too (after my knees stopped knocking, that is). Alas, we’ll never get that chance, now. I wish someone would step in a fill Oprah’s shoes, but I just don’t know if that will ever happen.

  22. Brenda, Thanks so much for your comment and for the visit to my blog! I am slowly coming to terms with this reality…. the sad thing is that since we no longer have cable TV, I didn’t even get to see the “farewell shows.” Maybe it’s better that in my memory “they” will always be in their un-retired state 🙂