(Second in a series of posts with the highlights of what I learned from the 2015 PNWA conference.)
I expected this session, with Bill Kenower and Ingrid Ricks, to be a step-by-step plan or something prosaic like that. Instead, it was part inspirational memoir, part motivational speech… but not necessarily less practical for all that.
Ingrid shared the story of how she always meant to write her memoir but felt it was irresponsible to give up a high-paying job (that she didn’t really like) to pursue something that might or might not make money. Then one day, her daughters did an imitation of her as an old woman, still saying, “My book! My book!” She realized that although she thought she was doing the right thing for her family by providing money, she was unintentionally teaching her daughters that money was more important than following your dreams.
Bill shared how he quit his long-time, and thus somewhat lucrative, job at a restaurant to pursue being an inspirational speaker. Though he felt totally unprepared for his first speaking gig, he realized as he was doing it that he was just telling stories for them – something he’d been doing his whole life!
I know that I often fall into the trap of believing that my obstacles are physical: time, creativity, knowledge, experience. This session showed me that some of my biggest problems might be mental. Do I really, truly, honestly, down in my soul believe that it’s possible for me to achieve my dream? (In my case, getting a book published.) Your actions reveal what you believe, and my actions were saying “No, I don’t.” Ingrid said she made a list of all the reasons she should and could write her book, then made herself work on the book religiously.
They challenged the authors in the room to create a writing environment you love. Make it so that you look forward to writing. When negative thoughts distract you, recognize that they’re there but decide you’re not going to listen to them. Give yourself permission. Take the leap of faith. Just do it.