Have you ever wanted something in your life so badly that you’re almost afraid of it? You’re afraid, because if you don’t get this thing, you’ll be beyond disappointed. You’re afraid, because if you admit to other people that you want it, you might look like a fool. You’re afraid to even admit to yourself how much you want something, because of the pain that will come if you “fail.”
This summer I wrote a book.
(Deep breaths, deep breaths) Up until this moment, eleven people in the whole world knew that . . . and two of them were my kids.
I wrote a book and didn’t tell anyone, because what if I wrote it and then there was nothing? What if I wrote it, and the only people who ever read it were those 11 people? Scratch that – five people. I’ve only let 5 people read it.
Based on this blog, you’re probably thinking that I wrote a book about marriage, or personal growth, or parenting. Nope! I wrote a “put on your swimsuit, pull up a beach chair with the drink of your choice” kind of book. I wrote a novel.
I have poured hours of my life into this project. Anytime I shared an old post on Facebook instead having a new one that week, it was because I was all written out working on this book. My family has patiently allowed me to spend hours holed up in my room, or downing iced teas at Starbucks while I worked on something that might turn into nothing. My friend, Jessica, has endured hours and hours of me sending her chapters, or paragraphs, or sometimes walking down to her house to say, “Can I talk something through with you about the book?”
I wrote a book, and it might turn into nothing.
That statement is like a hot knife sliding through my heart. Why? Because I love this book. I love these characters. They are my babies. They are my creations. In some ways, they are me. And because of that, I have a burning desire in my heart to get this book published. There I said it, “I wrote a book, and I want to get it published.”
As I’ve been preparing to submit it to literary agents (my self-imposed timeline begins that process in the new year), I have found myself reading agent requirements, or wish lists and a voice inside my head says, “Why you? No one is going to want to represent this? It’s just a fun book. It’s not meaningful. It’s not deep. It’s not something Oprah would pick up in a million years. Why you?” And in those moments I am crushed with insecurities, and potential, future disappointment.
Today those voices were once again loud in my head when a new voice joined the chorus. This voice said, “Why not you?” Whoa! That voice is a game changer! Why not you? Why not me? Seriously, why not? Why do I assume that no one will want to read this? I genuinely enjoy reading it. I wrote a book I love to read. Other people have liked reading it. Why is the default thought in my brain designed to shut down my dreams, and my efforts? I don’t want to live a life where I end up being the one who holds me back, because I’m too afraid to really want something; because I’m too afraid to chase after my dreams.
Maybe you haven’t written a novel. Maybe you’re working on improving your health, or fixing your marriage, or becoming a better parent. Maybe you;re working hard to be kinder to yourself; to give yourself more grace and less judgement. Maybe you have a passion project that no one else knows about, because sharing it feels too vulnerable. If you find yourself stuck in the “why me’s” of your life, I want to encourage you to add “why not me?” to the conversation. You might not be able to control the “why me’s” popping into your mind, (Seriously, I don’t have to summon them. They come all on their own) but you can choose how you respond to those thoughts.
So, this week as yourself this important question when it comes to the things that you are working hard toward, or that set your soul on fire: Why not me? It could be the very thing that keeps you on a path that will lead you straight to your dreams.
(And seriously, if you know a well respected literary agent you want to introduce me to, just let me know 🙂 )