Has anyone ever graced you with the proverbial saying – “don’t count your chickens before they hatch?” I am not always the most optimistic person, but when I have put my heart and soul into something you better believe that I have faith that it will be successful, or I would never have started it in the first place, let alone FINISHED it. “It” being a 368 page NOVEL!
When talking with my fiancé Jim about my book launch, I was dreaming out loud about all of the things I can do for us when my writing takes off. He doused my flames with a bucket of – “Wow, you’re really counting your chickens before they hatch.”
I know he means well, and if it wasn’t for him I would never have had the courage to embark on this long and scary journey to book publication. AND I know he is worried about my potential disappointment if I am not as successful as I hope to be, or as quickly. I get it – he’s a practical man and I am a dreamer, and he just wants me to be happy.
Having said all of that – I felt like a little girl who had her balloon popped and her ice cream cone knocked onto the pavement. But being that I am a grown woman with some chutzpah, I stood up straight and tall and told him that I AM counting my chickens. There are virtual chickens laying golden eggs all over this room as I type these words. And no, I don’t mean that literally so no one needs to call the men with the white jackets. Not yet anyway. I haven’t had a bad review yet so the jury is still out on my sanity.
I believe in dreaming big. For most of my life I have lived small. Thought small. Safe. One thing I have learned is that “safe” sucks moose butt. It gets you nowhere fast, and you feel like you’re in a cul-de-sac, hitting a dead end over and over.
I have come to realize that there are 3 things one needs for success at any endeavor, but especially a creative one of this magnitude.
Desire. Belief. Work.
You must have an overwhelming burning desire that you can’t ignore. It must feel like your hair is on fire and you need to find water. You are starving and you need a donut (I really love donuts). You think about your desire all the time. In the car. The shower. It keeps you up at night. You’re afraid to tell people because they will think you’re crazy or they will cast doubt on your dreams, but after a while you don’t care. You get brave. You begin.
If you don’t believe you will successful you will most likely fail. Belief fuels success because it feeds the work. It keeps you moving when you’re tired or you can’t figure out what scene should go next or you know you should be doing the laundry, and your wiener dog needs to go outside or she will pee on the floor (again my examples). Belief is belief. It isn’t hope. Hope is for losers. Hope implies that your success isn’t in your hands and that you have no control over it. You can’t keep showing up to do the work if I don’t truly believe.
Working your ass off is vital to success. Anything worth having or doing takes perseverance and a strong work ethic. Sure, talent is helpful, but without intense labor the talent won’t bloom.
If my success falls short of my dreams I know it will not be because I didn’t want it enough, I didn’t believe in myself, or I didn’t work hard enough. But no matter what I won’t give up – and neither should you. Nothing makes you feel more alive than following your passion, even if your endeavor takes you close to the edge of your fears and doubts.
As I anticipate August 1, 2014, and the release of my first novel, I am proud to have faced my fear and have accomplished something few people ever do. What desire is nagging at you? What project is asking to begin? If you believe and you’re willing to do the work you are more than half way there – so just start. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I am excited to share my work with the world, but of course I am also looking forward to commercial success. The chickens represent the fruits of my labor and the rewards to share with my family.
So please buy my book – virtual chickens are expensive to feed. 🙂