Fundraising for publication of my first novel, Age / Sex / Location continues to be a lesson in the duality of the world. It has been the most encouraging, disappointing, elating, frustrating, humbling, ego-stroking and downright confusing venture that I've ever attempted.
The amazing thing about the fundraiser is the number of people who are supportive, awed and inspired by my dreams in private... they've told me so through phone calls, instant messages, e-mails and even face to face when I've been out and about... but who also appear to want to keep their support hidden from the rest of the world.
To paraphrase the sentiment, "I want to support you, and I think the concept of following your dream is amazing. But, I want to see what everyone else does first. Sure, I'd love to help you fund the project, but only if your fundraiser fails."
I do want to add that there are some amazingly wonderful people who not only have been publicly supportive of the project, but who are more supportive than I thought anyone who I'm not currently married to / blackmailing would be. And it is those people who keep me going on this crusade to live life to the fullest, and avoid becoming another cog in the wheel.
I suppose the entire experience has been another example of the sorrowful reality that in general, there is a profound lack of belief in dreams in our world today. Rather than recognizing a strong and powerful idea and helping to spread the word, we tend to wait around like wallflowers until either the idealist behind it fails so that we can either save them from the cruelty of "others" who didn't believe in them (or say "I told you so" if we're snarky), or until a satisfactory number of "others" deems that the idea is valuable and trendy.
Although I am biased because, after all, this is my fundraiser we're discussing; I truly don't understand those who have said they love what I write and hope I succeed, but who won't pledge $1.00 towards the goal of success. It is saddening to know that there are people who value a cup of coffee more highly than the hopes and dreams of others, and it has inspired me to swing the other way.
If you have a dream, and I hope to God that you do, then please follow it. Encourage others to do the same. And please, support one another financially, emotionally and publicly. The handful of people in my life who are proud enough of my small successes to share them with others do more for my self-esteem and ability to move to the next step than they could ever know.