What happens when you commit to making your dreams come true? Providence moves, too. It’s why I’ve come to have a deep respect for W. H. Murray’s advice: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.”
I was terrified about self-publishing my latest novel, The Flowers Need Watering. While many authors have self-published books, this was a first for me. I was putting out in the world something that I was completely responsible for. I didn’t have the machinery of a big publishing company behind me. I had to do it all on my own.
After receiving the Mobi file from my formatter so I could upload the eBook version to Amazon, I saved the file and tried to forget about it. When I mentioned to my creativity coach that I’d received the formatted file, he asked if I was still on target for my release date. My initial response to him was that I decided to hold off for another week. I wanted to do more pre-release promotions. But that wasn’t true. The truth was this: I was scared.
But I dug deep and found the courage to hit “Publish” on Amazon and my book went live. And I haven’t looked back.
That’s why I believe that when we commit to our dreams, providence move with us, nudges us forward. My decision to self-publish was not easy. Maybe I should try to get the manuscript published via the traditional route, I often mused whenever doubt reared its ugly head. Then I’d think about what that process involved — sending out my manuscript to numerous publishers and waiting for a response. I did that in the past, sometimes receiving a note of encouragement about my writing even though the manuscript was declined for publication. But more often than not, I received the standard form letter rejection. My writing doesn’t necessarily fit nicely into one niche or genre. When deciding between traditional and self-publishing, I was forty-two then and I didn’t feel like waiting for someone else to value my work. That was what prompted me into self-publishing. Once the decision was made, all of a sudden the necessary people and tools popped into my life.
Various editors and proofreaders started following me on Twitter and offering their services. And speaking of editors, I can’t recommend Dave at thEditors.com enough. His insights helped me to tighten the plot, create engaging (although not always likeable) characters, and a better book overall. Cover designers and formatters also became part of my Twitter followers. Stopping for coffee one afternoon at Atlas Espresso Bar and expressing my frustration over a formatting challenge, another customer suggested I check out InDesign by Adobe, which turned out to be a very useful tool. Self-publishing didn’t seem so far-fetched or impossible as it once did. So with the support and encouragement from my friends, my believing mirrors, I went for it. And I’m happy that I did.
People who ask me if I think my book will be a bestseller or how many copies I’ll have to sell to “break even” miss the point. By self-publishing my book, I proved to myself that I had the willpower, discipline and courage to achieve something great. I showed up daily to do the necessary work. I faced down doubt and naysayers because I saw my worth, and believed in myself and my dream.
Have you committed to achieving your dream? I encourage you to complete one task today that moves you closer to making your dream a reality. Ask yourself this: What is the one thing I can do today that will help me achieve my dream? Then do it. And let me know what you did and how you feel.
Make your dreams your priority today.