Last June, on my birthday, I wished a wish.
A wish I didn’t even know was hiding deep inside.
You see, it was my 29th birthday. And I was tossing about, thinking about turning 30 (you know, in a year…I like to think ahead) and I felt like I really wanted to DO something before turning 30. What, I didn’t know…but something, Yeah, something.
I sat down with my journal and my thoughts and I wrote and wrote a zillion ideas. I’d start a new business (I already have 2), I’d create a new product. I’d buy a house. I’d travel the world.
But none of them felt right. They felt like shoulds. So I asked, “When you turn 30, what will you say, “I’m so glad I did that!” about?”
And just like that, I knew.
I want to write a book.
Ok, but writing a book takes time. And I don’t just want to write it, I want to get it published.
There’s my dream and my goal – sell a book to a publisher before my 30th birthday.
(In case this seems like a long time, keep in mind that for a nonficiton book, you have to create a detailed book proposal, shop it to agents (maybe), and then shop it to publishers. It’s taken my friends 3-5 years to sell their first book…so one year was being ridiculous.)
But I decided I liked it.
There’s nothing I like more than being ridiculous.
I kept it as my little secret for about a week before I worked up the courage to tell my husband.
“So, um, I’m thinking that maybe I’ll write a proposal and sell a book before I turn 30. It’s this little goal I just set for myself. Um, but it’s so embarrassing! I don’t even know what I’ll write about! Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s crazy….”
Jay just looked at me calmly and said, “It’s not crazy. It’s the next step. I bet you’ll do it sooner.”
And snap, the dream felt doable.
(Lesson: Sometimes all it takes is someone else to believe in your dream to make it doable.)
The next week, I sent some emails to some friends. In a week, a publisher asked for “just a rough outline of what you might write about.” I spent a day organizing everything I had been teaching and writing about for the last 2 years. At the end of the month, the very first month, I had a contract in my inbox.
And that should be the end of the story, right?
My dream came true in the first month I pursued it!
But dreams aren’t tidy. They’re slippery. When you pursue them, they transform. They get layers.
The truth is, I freaked out.
I realized that this dream was about to come true. Way too early.
I wasn’t the person I’d thought I’d be.
I wasn’t a writer, I wasn’t an author.
How in the world could I sign a contract to write a book I only had a rough outline of?
I didn’t reply to the emailed contract for nearly 2 months.
In that two months, I worked through all the stuff I didn’t know I was carrying about this dream. I looked at each of my assumptions – What is a writer? What about who I already am is close to being a writer? What have I learned about myself that might prove that I am ready for this?
And then I got a logistical- What will this project take from me? What is the time commitment? Where can I fit it in? What will I give up in order to do it?
And I dreamed a new dream – that the book would be published by my birthday.
(This is also a ridiculous dream – traditional publishers take 15-18 months to take a finished manuscript and publish a book. But I was with an indie publisher.)
And I signed the contract.
And my dream came true.
I wrote the book.
It was nothing and everything like I dreamed.
And quite by surprise, the rest of my life unfolded around this dreams.
New clients approached me, I started new kinds of work.
My businesses thrived. I traveled more. I made new friends.
Towards the end, when the words were flowing out of me, 7,0000 a day, I started to thrum with ideas. Not just for the book, but for everything, everywhere, all around me.
And in February, I turned in my manuscript.
Later this month, it will be released.
But of course, even though the dream has come true, it created all these new dreams. Dreams to travel and meet the readers. Dreams to hold workshops. Dreams to write another book. Dreams to keep writing for 2 hours every morning.
Enjoying these Dream Really Do Come True guest posts? We’ll be compiling them into a free inspirational e-book for you! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to find out when it’s available.
And if you’re looking for Wishcasting, we’ll be back May 9th!