A year ago this week I launched my first book. From this 1999 manuscript, to this one last summer, to the actual book…
It only took me 14 years to make my biggest dream happen and turn an almost-forgotten manuscript into something I could be proud of.
This manuscript travelled the world with me, like that special photo you keep in your wallet no matter what. I kept thinking about that, and my cartoon owl niki. Every now and then I would dabble with both.
A lot of people have asked me how I finally did it, and whilst some of the steps were easier than others, the answer is simple;
– I had enough of the pain of NOT doing it, which caused me to re-think my life, my career, and what else I could give of value to others (beyond building websites).
– I passionately brought down some old walls and ways of thinking that had blocked me from taking my own leap of faith, and I crossed the tipping point to embrace my pure joy of creating.
– And then… I created.
Moral of this story: Never let anyone dictate your beliefs around which of your dreams can come true. And never underestimate your own powers of creation (I wrote the book in three weeks).
Heed the Call Within…
If there’s something in you that keeps asking for attention, like a memory of something you used to do that still lights you up when you think about it, please stop for a moment and ask yourself what that really is.
Give it room to breathe, let it speak to you, allow it live more fully in your imagination. Come home within yourself. See yourself doing that thing, feeling good about it, and then start moving towards whatever “it” is.
For me, this was a cute and witty owl I had created to put on greeting cards and make people smile, and a collection of stories to help others find positivity and inspiration in their own lives. I put the two together, polished them up, and suddenly I had something new to look forward to, which makes even more people smile.
My career in design made “making” the book so much easier. I had started to look at that career with some resentment, like a forced deviation from my original path of creativity, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise that actually gave me the tools I needed to make it all happen.
How to Navigate the Tempting Pitfalls…
– When doubt and fear pop up like mushrooms, remember niki owl’s words, “I can, I want to, and I will.”
(those are the words my Dad used to tell me about attitude and ability)
– Get in touch (and stay in touch) with your desires.
– Do not let anger or resentment from past circumstances taint what you rekindle to get started now. In moments like that: practice gratitude.
About that Gratitude…
Say it often. Share it openly. Give it freely. Like this:
Thank You to everyone who’s on this journey with me (and those yet to join), you have no idea what it means to me. As an extra Thank You, I’m gifting you with a special story I wrote for this holiday season. It’s filled with imagination, wit, and inspiration. Yours to enjoy by the fireplace, fire pit or the beach. With or without the kids. Download it here.
As my “fellow” Spaniard Pablo Picasso also said:
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
Curious about what I’m making real these days?
– The next niki owl book in the series is due out Summer 2014 (he’s got his own mailing list, with free treats). If you haven’t read Book 1 yet, fly over here to grab your copy and then join the niki owl book club!
– While that hatches, I have something else for you in the next weeks; a book with some lessons I learned along the way, co-created with my friend and colleague, photographer Joel H. Mark (get on the mailing list for sneak previews and release information).
– AND, more tools to help you make good things happen for yourself.
Now go imagine, and make it real.