Maybe it’s nearing the entry into the third decade of my life, or the time that has passed since I first graduated college, but something lit a fire under me recently and made me decide to act.
We all have certain dreams that we hold onto, either saving them for a more recreational time in our lives, or simply keeping them as a reminder of the lives we could have lived. And we usually know whether or not we have intentions of acting upon them.
Being an author was something I said I wanted to be as kid, and even as I grew older I knew writing a book was one of the dreams I wanted to act upon, someday…but I had no clue what to write about. (Sound familiar, writers?) I thought the concept would just come to me one day when I was receptive enough to the idea. I was operating as if it were inevitable. So I lived under this pretense for years, each year concluding that it just wasn’t the right time for me to be an author, not yet.
Then the pandemic.
How sick and tired did we all get of hearing the cliché of living “during uncertain times”? It was as if every copywriter and advertising agency clung to those words. They quickly became overused and meaningless. But they were used because it’s how we all felt; we were all staring in the face of uncertainty. It drove home the long-held feeling I had, that nothing is promised. So why should I think that a book idea would be promised to me, that it should just come down to me on the most perfect summer day, whilst I’m taking a leisurely stroll or enjoying a coffee on the front porch? The universe promised nothing of the sort.
When I actually sat down to write my first manuscript, I didn’t really have an idea, but I didn’t overthink it. I had a couple of parameters: It had to be a children’s book and I had to be excited to write it. I had learned the lesson of paralysis by analysis before, being unable to move forward with an idea because it didn’t seem original or thought-provoking enough. Those thoughts creeped up once again, but I quickly pushed them aside. I let the story flow as naturally as it could, and when I looked at the final product, I saw a story unlike the one I thought I had set out to write, but one that I wanted to tell.
Fast forward a few months and I was looking at a physical representation of that story. People publish books all the time, but to me it was the coolest thing ever to hold my book in my hands for the first time. Like anything ever created before, it was just one idea that turned into a real, tangible thing people can enjoy. It was maybe even cooler to see people create new pieces in response to mine. (See the Gal on the Go blog or the Springville Journal article.)
Now we’re already six weeks out from the release date of “Django the Greyhound: Gets Adopted!” Time flies. And it’s going to keep moving regardless of what we do. So if you’ve been holding onto something you want to do “someday,” I hope you take that step. The universe doesn’t promise much, including success, but I can promise you will feel a little lighter having one less regret in life.