When I was 7 years old, an author visited my elementary school. I can’t remember the author’s name, as I don’t remember a lot of small details about elementary school, but I remember her words. If I close my eyes and think hard enough, I can still hear her.
I remember sitting in our elementary school library, a far cry from what a library looks like today. This one had small shelves, painted fictional characters on the cinderblock walls, and the smell of old, well-loved library books. I remember sitting, criss-cross, on a small round rug with this author propped on a stool in front of our small class of 2nd graders. She read us one of her books and then asked for questions.
As a typical 2nd grade class does, the questions started out with “What’s your favorite color?” “Do you have a pet?” Most questions didn’t have a lot of depth, until our teacher asked a question that garnered an answer I will never forget. “What is your best advice to someone who wants to be an author?” The teacher asked.
I remember thinking to myself, yes! Great question…I would love to be an author one day. The nice lady propped on the stool smiled, exhaled and said very confidently: “Write. Every. Single. Day.” Her words were short and formed their own sentences. She continued, “If you want to be an author, go home, buy a journal or grab a stack of paper and a pencil and just start writing. Write every single day until your words become a book.”
I rushed home that very day and gushed about all of the details of this author’s visit to my mom, and begged for a journal. I received one, a pink ballerina journal for my 8th birthday and my first entry was penned on January 19, 1991.
It was a simple post that read: Today is my birthday. I turned 8 years old. By.
It was the start to my childhood dream that’s spanned three decades. I took that author’s words to heart and wrote every single day for the next 27 years. There is an old cedar hope chest in my basement full of journals. My dream has never faded. I still hope to one day be a successful published author, one that people (beyond my parents and husband) buy my book and, feel emotional over and genuinely enjoy reading.
So, here I am, tapping away on my laptop instead of a journal on my lap. I’m stringing words, my words, together to form sentences. I write to you every single week about the ups and downs of my life. I spill my guts on this blog, and I rarely leave any room for mystery. I am pretty much an open book, but I have yet to start one of my own.
Let’s eliminate the excuses, shall we? I’m not scared. I know that. If I write something and it takes me a year or more to complete and not one person reads it I will be disappointed but I will not have failed. I’m not too busy. Sure, I am, but you make time. We all make time for the important things. I have my idea. FINALLY. I know what I want to write about.
That leaves me with one option, I just need to S T A R T.
Here’s an acronym I came up with to help me stay focused on my dream. If you find it useful, please feel free to share!
D – Develop A Plan *make a plan of how you will get from point A to B and so forth until your dream is fulfilled.
R – Risks Are Worth It *if the risks weren’t worth it, the dream wouldn’t be worthy of your time.
E – Eliminate Fear *you only have one life to live, and it goes by quickly. Do not be afraid of failure, be afraid not to try.
A – Accountability *speak your goals into existence and ask your family and closest friends to hold you accountable.
M – Make Goals *set weekly goals. Adjust those goals as necessary, but stay on track.
S – START TODAY *no more excuses, there is no better time than the present!