Remember how I wrote on Friday about learning to give voice to your dreams? Well for most of my life, I dreamed of writing a novel. Of being a published novelist. It seemed too humongous for words. Too unreachable. First of all, writing a whole novel-- start to finish? Big! Impossible! And then to top it off, getting someone to publish it? Huge! Insurmountable!
Remember how I talked about how it was hard for me to say out loud the things I carried in my heart and how God has been working on me to start saying it and stop hiding it? You guys might remember how I would casually mention from time to time here on the blog that I was writing a novel. What you didn't realize was how monumental a step it was for me to throw that out there. I. Was. Writing. A. Novel. I was pursuing a dream. I wasn't hiding behind that word "someday" anymore. I was stepping out from behind it and into my future. There was nothing casual about it to me.
And yet, I felt a strange peace about what I was doing. It wasn't that I thought I would finish or that I would get a contract or anything like that. But I also had a sense that, no matter what, good was going to come from me being honest about my dreams with other people for the first time. God was showing me yet again that nothing good comes out of hiding. That we have to bring things out into the light for them to be everything He intends.
And so, I started telling people. My husband. My kids. My mom. You guys who read this blog. My fellow P31 team members. My dear friend Ariel who coached me every step of the way. Pretty soon I was telling everyone I met... whether they wanted to hear it or not! :) It got easier. I grew in confidence. I found I wasn't as focused on achieving my dream as I was on what it felt like to live free in pursuing it. God was getting me to a new place of vulnerability, of honesty, and it felt strangely good.
I went to a writer's conference and showed my work for the first time to other people. One of those people was one of my writing heroes, Susan Meissner. I opened myself up to her critique and the critique of others. I thought I would throw up from nerves but I did it. I left the conference last May feeling one step closer to my dream and connected with a community of other people who weren't afraid to move towards their own dreams.
In the last several weeks, I have learned that the effort I made is paying off beyond what I dared to even dream. That little novel I started banging out, word by word, last August is going to be published by David C Cook-- the people that have done one of my favorite novels Talking To The Dead and the critically acclaimed Scared. They also have the number one bestseller on the ECPA list right now, Crazy Love. I get to work with the same editor who edited Talking-- a dream come true for this newbie who knew she needed a great editor. Not only that, when I was in CO last week I found out that they are going to release it this June!! I spent a great day in their offices last Thursday talking about marketing plans, cover design and editorial calendars.
It still doesn't feel real. I can't believe that it has happened. But I am so glad I pursued my dream and didn't hide behind it anymore. What dream are you carrying around that God might want you to bring to light? I invite you to live the risk you are afraid to take. Even if I had never gotten the payoff I wouldn't have traded the changes that the last few months have brought about in me. It's been an amazing, wonderful ride thus far. I hope you all will stick around for the rest of it!