I don’t know who coined the phrase, “Team work makes the dream work,” but that person was totally on to something. I saw it play out in real life.
A few weeks ago, I told you about the chance to pursue my dream. Or at least take a step in the pursuit of my dream. Last week, I went to the writing conference in Nashville, nervous, excited, scared, insecure, hopeful. I had no solid idea of what I was walking into.
All I knew was that I didn’t walk alone. And yes, I mean that I know God was with me because His Spirit is everywhere, but I also mean that I had a team–some members near, some far–cheering me on. One friend sent a text: “Come home with a book deal!” I laughed because that was so far beyond the dream, but I loved her enthusiasm and belief in me. Another friend texted a lengthy prayer of encouragement about what she saw in me as a writer. I almost cried. Another friend let me know when she was praying for my appointments, and I knew that she was joining me in Spirit in those meetings.
These were my cheerleaders, encouragers, supporters. They did their work from another state but their work lifted me with every new step.
Then there were the other conference attendees, the ones I either only knew from Facebook or had never met in my life. Would you believe me if I told you that there was nothing but support and love for each other as writers? No feelings of envy or competition, just a spurring one another on? It was refreshing and humbling.
One of the opportunities this conference afforded me was to meet with agents and/or editors to talk about my writing. I requested two agent appointments and got them. Then, I freaked out because the story I consider “finished” is anything but and I thought maybe I should cancel because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. More than once, an author I barely knew asked, “Are you pitching?” (i.e. presenting your story idea to an agent or editor).
“Uh, maybe. I’m not sure,” I replied.
“You should go for it.”
And again, “Give it a shot.”
“Don’t be nervous.”
I decided to go for it, and I had this great plan to visit the prayer room before my appointment so I could calm myself and gain some perspective. Then, the main session ran late after lunch, and I really had to pee and there was no way I had time to go to the bathroom and visit the prayer room, so you can guess which need triumphed. As I was standing in line for the bathroom (because there’s always a line at the women’s rest room), I must have mentioned my upcoming appointment, and I kid you not, two complete strangers (who are now friends) stopped and prayed for me. In the line to the bathroom!
I couldn’t believe it. They knew nothing about me except that I was a fellow writer and Christian and I was nervous about the appointment. I’ve told the story many times, and I still can’t believe it.
And then there was my friend Beth, who gets a special mention because she was not attending the writing conference but she decided to spend the money and travel with me to Nashville. When she first mentioned the idea, I wasn’t sure she was serious. Who would do that?
But she did. We traveled together, laughed together, explored together, and at the end of each day, she was there for me to download to. If not for her, I would have cried more and I certainly wouldn’t have fallen in love with Nashville because I never would have left the hotel.
This dream of mine was made possible by a whole lot of people: my husband, who practically pushed the computer key when I hesitated to register; my family, who took care of the kids their first week of school so I could do this for me; my church family, who picked up responsibilities I was absent for; and probably more that I’m forgetting.
It is so humbling for people to believe in my dream because I don’t always feel like I believe in it.
I’m so inspired by people who go for their dreams. It’s what I love about Kickstarter (and similar) campaigns. You put your dream out there and you ask people to invest and spread the word. This one particular campaign that ends in a few hours is a BIG dream monetarily with worldwide potential impact. I love the opportunity to be a co-founder of this dream, and I want to find ways to be a co-founder, an investor, in other people’s dreams.
Dreams need investors because all dreams cost something.Dreams need investors because all dreams cost something. Click To Tweet
And all dreams need cheerleaders because the journey from dream to reality is long and winding and full of obstacles. Dreamers will doubt their dreams–and themselves–so they need people to rally around them and urge them to continue working toward their dreams. At the writing conference they talked a lot about the 20-year-overnight-success of being a writer–how the authors some of us look to for inspiration didn’t get that way overnight. They put 20 years of hard work into their writing to get where they are today.
I am thankful beyond words for the investors and cheerleaders for my dreams. And if you want to be one or the other for me, stay tuned for some specific ways you can help.
Because I’m going after my dream of writing and publishing fiction. And I’m going to need your help.
What dreams are you pursuing? How have you seen people invest in or encourage your dreams?