Note: Written 6/2/2010…see updates below.
Have you ever wanted to write a book? That’s one of the most cited dreams people have. Sadly, too few follow through and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). The dream becomes a lifelong regret after decades of neglect.
I have about 20 book ideas. None have gotten past a few pages, and most are simply interesting concepts, great titles or rough outlines.
My desire to write a book goes back at least as far as the second or third grade. I remember doing a “book” project, writing a cookie-cutter story about snakes having tails or something. It’s probably sitting in a box of old papers somewhere in my attic.
Writing always appealed to me, and I ended up as the editor of my high school newspaper. Wrote a lot of articles, won some awards…but never got the book thing going.
Now it’s almost twenty years since I graduated and still no book sits on my shelf with my name emblazoned on the spine. That’s about to end.
No, I’m not making an announcement about my recently completed book. I’m announcing a challenge to myself, in public, that my book will be written and published by November 1st, 2010. As I write this it’s nearly midnight on June 2nd, 2010. I’ve got 152 days to write it and print it.
I have no illusions of it being a best-seller. It’ll be self-published (easy to do these days). Maybe my mom will buy a copy (she’ll get the family discount).
There’s no title. There’s no topic. There’s nothing but a dream and a public declaration.
Why do this? It’s simple. Everyone who reads this and knows me will be asking me how the book project is going. I’ll have a support system and a lot of people I don’t want to disappoint.
Your dream doesn’t need to be a book. It can be anything. But if it stays in your head or your heart, you’re betting against yourself. Put it out there. Promise someone it’ll be done by a certain date. That’s the best way to take a first step and have momentum into every step ahead.
What are you willing to do to realize a neglected dream?
Note: This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of the Tri-City Review.
Update: 22 days later I have a working title, an 18 chapter outline and a lot of help from Dan Miller’s Write to the Bank seminar…more on that later! Progress is good! :)
Update 2: Failure! (or is it?)