Back in college, my friend, Nate, would ask me, “Sarah, when are you going to write a book?” I would always say, “I’m not going to write a book. I’m going to write a brochure. All the books out there are full of stuffing – they could get to the point in a quarter of the time.”
Well, that was over 10 years ago. Since then, I never wrote a book or a brochure. But I did start a blog. I cleverly named it after myself. I wrote a few things, whenever the muse visited, but I grew intimidated easily and quit every few months.
This year something happened to my words. When I started writing, I kept writing. And the words multiplied. Exponentially. I don’t know when it happened, but I know why. There were a few reasons:
I read Jeff Goins’ book, You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One). I decided to be a writer and act like it. And then I signed up for TribeWriters, Jeff’s online writers’ course and community. (I just did that today so the learning is about to begin.)
I started writing here a few times a week and submitting my work to other websites. And for the most part, I got accepted. It was wild! When I chose discipline and consistency in my craft, it paid off. Just like they say it does.
I dreamed about writing for a living. Not just the fantasy kind of dreaming, but really intentionally, purposefully, prayerfully dreaming. Imagination with purpose. Maybe you remember – I pictured myself writing full time at the start of the year in my vis-olutions (resolutions with vision).
The biggest change started in April this year though, when I discovered an exhausted, angry, resentful version of myself. I was the worst I’d ever been. It was ugly. After a difficult conversation with myself during which I finally admitted that most of my life felt busy but meaningless, I finally wondered aloud:
What would I do if I could do anything?
That question must’ve been magic because I came up with some answers rather quickly. One of them was: write a book.
Only problem: I had no ideas for a book. So I told God if he wanted me to write a book, he would have to give me the idea.
Then nothing happened. For two months.
I went to Branson with family for a few days in June this year, and there in a cabin in the south of Missouri, it all came to me. The ideas. The book. An entire outline with tons of detail. In an hour.
I furiously scribbled down everything that came to my mind as I sat in the heat on the back porch.
Finally, a book idea! Complete with a title.
I came home after the trip and neatly tucked the pages into my journal and forgot about them. Almost. It’s amazing how you can ask and beg for something, and when you finally get it, you don’t know what to do with it.
Well, that was me. I’d never had a real book idea before. Now I was responsible to do something with it. It was terrifying. I didn’t know where to start.
But in August this year, I started writing, very slowly, very procrastinatingly. I had lots of well-formed excuses, like being tired and working full-time out of the home and parenting and helping my husband pastor a church plant and being pregnant.
But there is always time for what you prioritize, right?
So I finally decided to do it. To embrace the call to be a writer and communicator, and to follow this dream to write a book, which I think will be the first of many.
The book is called Dream Or Die, based on the proverb, “Without a vision, the people perish.”
The book will highlight the value of dreams and what happens when we stop dreaming (spoiler alert: a part of us dies, hence the title).
But I think the best part of the book is it will serve as a shovel to help all of us dig out our dreams from beneath the rubble of fear, disappointment and the labels we grew up with, and recover what is rightfully ours: our dreams and our calling.
I will be self-publishing the book, which will release in Kindle and eBook formats early in the year. Right now I am planning for a January release date, but I still have a lot to learn about the publishing process. (I’m considering printing in hard copy, that will depend on demand.) I will keep you informed as I solidify the dates.
And now for more fun news: all my regular subscribers will get the book for free to read and review. And of course, I will want your feedback, if you don’t mind. If you’re not already subscribed to the blog via email, be sure and do that right away. You can subscribe right here.
I’m going to need your help as I leap headfirst into this dream. This process is teaching me that really pursuing our callings requires a ferocious intensity and single-eyed focus. I have to say “No” a lot, which I’m not naturally good at. This is challenging me on every possible level.
I am terrified, and some days I want to quit. But I’m so glad you’re in this with me. Maybe you don’t know it, but you showing up and reading and living along with me is giving me the courage to do this. I know for sure this is going to take all of us.
Thank you for believing in me. Let’s Dream or Die together.