Saturday, May 15, 2010

Go confidently...

Yeah, I wrote a book. You can see the nifty cover to the right of his post. (Located on my blog page) Nice reflective cover representing the material. Paid a guy to that. A year’s worth of work went into that little project right there.

Now I am not here to sell it today. True, I would enjoy seeing a copy or two float off into other’s hands. But again, not why I am here.

I was speaking with my wife yesterday on the “state of the union” of where my book stands. This nebulous project that kept me still, focused, and challenged since this time last year has been this odd, somewhat unspoken subject between us. Perhaps she wonders if I wrote of her. Maybe she wonders if it is a narcissistic memoir slamming those nemeses that challenged me which I victoriously slayed. Maybe she doesn’t get it, this whole writing gig. Maybe she doesn’t care. The only thing she mentioned was she hoped it brought in some bank.

Momentarily I reflected as she left the room how it would feel to become this mysterious, successful author who would sit in reflection in front of a window of an old home, sweater with the patches on the elbows adorning me, spewing words, randomly accepting and tossing appearances as my bank account grew. Ahhh...

Quickly that faded. Back to the present there turbo–don’t put the cart before the horse.

As I came to completion of this dream I have had for nearly two decades, I reflected on a few things. For one, I wrote a book dammit. I wanted to write a book, I wrote a book. Mission accomplished! I sat for hours. I wrote hundreds of pages longhand, then placed them on a laptop, and then to a desktop, adjusting, thinking, editing, manipulating text to become what I felt was my music. I was the only one listening, and I liked my song.

The satisfaction in doing this little endeavor was originally to simply journal thoughts I wish my kids would know, or know about me should I ever leave this world too early to tell them. I wanted my kids to have a personal slice of me they could sample at their whims at any point in the future where I was not able to tell them directly. Another mission accomplished. It was originally for them, not me. It just evolved organically.

I see that I had a void and I have now filled it. I had a gesture I wished to extend to my kids, and now not only do I have the original, but a printed book my kids can read and forever hear the voice of their daddy should God take me home tomorrow. I did something very challenging and time consuming I set out to do. Something that the little voice in me told me I probably could not do. Something many may have the desire to do, but let life get in the way. The same type of life I had to navigate to find the time to follow my dream. If I knew exactly when I may die, I may have waited to start this project, but I do not have that luxury. Go confidently...

What I found that whenever I placed any importance on how many copies I will sell, or how many people will read, or if Oprah will wave a copy at her flock, I am cheapening my dream by placing my accomplishments’ value in the opinion of others. True, who wouldn’t love for the Grande Dame herself to give your book a nod and then your heart’s desire no longer be in question. However I see that now I am extremely fulfilled I did what I set out to do; once being a character defect I often shrugged. I refuse to let what I have done thus far be diminished if my “numbers” are not strong.

Of course I would love to see my message shared by others in the context of how it has affected their lives. I would love to be a “finger pointing the way” so-to-speak. Making a buck or two would also be a nice perk no doubt. But this dream I consider accomplished, and I will simply revel in the fact I did something I love, am passionate about, and can share. My message here and now? To share the hope that others can do what I did. What is your dream left undone?

I like the fact that I realized the engaging of the dream, the pursuit of the dream, and the completion of the dream is where the reward is personally. To release it to others for adoration and capital gain is another venture. I consider it “marketing” of the dream–a by-product mind you. I do not place any validation of the success of the dream on the acceptance of it by others as much as the value of the fact that I am happy with my work, and that I did it when I thought I couldn’t. Therein lies the reward that will forever remain enduring and more valuable that monetary gain. Again I ask, “What is your dream left undone?”

I like the quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer where he states, “Don’t die with your music still in you.” (I will let that marinate in you for a moment.) With every tick of the clock passes a missed opportunity to set sail upon your life’s potential. Sing your song and unfurl your canvas my friends as those ticks are precious.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
                                                                         ~ Henry David Thoreau  (1817-1862)

* (Oprah, my contact info can be found to the right and scroll down a bit!)

    *Note - Repost from Artisan of the Human Spirit - so I apologize for
      the mentions in the beginning of the post of items on my blog!


Marilyn said...

Finally! It isn't about making is about holding that dream in your hands. That is why I couldn't sell that to anyone. That is what I realized when I held my first book in my hands nearly three years ago. Book number five is getting ready to be birthed this month...and I have been fortunate...I have friends who have helped me and seem to materialize right when I need them.

You wrote and followed your ART. BRAVO!!!!

Sure someone might say now you need to do this or that...only DO what you feel great about. The dream was what mattered. The rest of it...that doesn't last.

Congratulations. I cried when I held my first copy...because I saw in that moment...I COULD do anything. ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING I wanted to do with my life.

Katherine Jenkins said...

Hi Tony, I'm so glad you put this on Writers Rising (I read it over on your blog) Once again, the process and your own art and work are what is most important and you completed it! (I'm right behind you with that one ^_^!) It's a beautiful thing to write and so many people will have different reactions to what you write and say... family can be the hardest at times. But it's your work and you completed it and if you are happy with it, that's all that matters! BRAVO my friend...(And I know there will be many more!)