I remember the moment clearly.
It was May, 2000.
I was on an airplane, reading a book called BUILDING YOUR FIELD OF DREAMS by Rev. Mary Manin Morrisey.
The first chapter of the book talked about identifying your dream. She asked the reader, kindly, gently - Do you know what your dream IS? It couldn’t be something completely selfish – like to make a million dollars. It needed to have certain qualities. I read over those qualities and then pondered them.
At the time I had a home-based business, through a direct-selling company, in order to stay at home with my small children. I had quit the corporate world because I didn’t want to miss those fun days with my little boys. But we desperately needed some kind of income from me, thus the reason for the home-based business.
So, I wondered, did I dream of working hard and moving up the ranks? Did I dream of selling and recruiting my way to the top, helping people along the way? I thought maybe I did.
But when I closed my eyes and listened to the still, small voice, this is what I heard:
Write for kids.
Write for kids.
Write for kids.
Where did that come from, I wondered?
And soon after, a big, loud voice jumped in. I now understand that voice was my ego, trying to protect me from pain and failure. Or something. It yelled at me - What!? You don’t know the first thing about writing for kids. You didn’t go to school to do that. YOU CAN’T DO THAT!
But the still, small voice nagged at me in the coming days and weeks. And nagged at me some more. And so I continued to read the book. And I started to put stories down on paper. And I continued to be open to the idea that ANYTHING is possible, and many things in life have happened only because someone dreamt the idea first.
And then, at a neighborhood fourth of July picnic, I was talking to one of the women and she told me SHE had written a few stories for kids, and was submitting them to publishers.
It was the first of many times when the universe sent me just what I needed at the right time. Because, I’ve learned, that’s what happens when you do what you are supposed to do with your time and talents.
In the coming years, I listened to the still, small voice. I worked hard. I never gave up.
So here I am, with a third YA novel released today, my first mid-grade novel coming out in March, and a beautifully illustrated picture book coming out in September.
I still have more dreams. Some are small. But a few are big. And yeah, it’s scary, wondering what’s next, if anything will be next. And then I remind myself – you really don't have to do anything differently from what you've done since the beginning.
Listen to the still, small voice. Work hard. And never give up.
Lisa Schroeder is the author of three verse novels for teens, including I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, a YALSA 2009 quick pick for reluctant readers, FAR FROM YOU, a Texas TAYSHAS selection, and CHASING BROOKLYN, all with Simon Pulse. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two sons.
What a year this will be for you! Congratulations.ReplyDelete
It is so encouraging to hear from those further along on the journey.
What a great story! Thanks so much for sharing. :) And congratulations!!!ReplyDelete
An encouraging story. So hard to distinguish between which version of our own voices to listen to sometimes!ReplyDelete
Wonderful post!! Thanks :)ReplyDelete
Very inspirational and heartfelt. Thanks.ReplyDelete
I teared up as I read this! I completely agree with what you said especially this line: "that’s what happens when you do what you are supposed to do with your time and talents." Lisa, you are such a talent and I'm so glad you listened to the universe! I'm off to Book Passage in Corte Madera shortly to pick up your book, which I pre-ordered!ReplyDelete
Hi Lisa :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this post.
I cut & pasted it to my writing folder. It's so inspirational.
Here's to a great 2010!
And Congratulations on your Release Day!
All the best,
Oh Lisa, I just LOVE this post!!!!! What an encouraging and wonderful story! I think I might post about it.ReplyDelete
This is a lovely post. Congratulations on your book release!ReplyDelete
Excellent story. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
That was so very lovely!! And really hit home for me too! THANK YOU and I wish you all the best!!!!!ReplyDelete
Great story! Thanks for reminding us how important it is to follow these dreams we have.ReplyDelete
Very inspiring post. And what a great idea for a blog series. Thank you for reminding all of us to "dream big."ReplyDelete