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Do your work, and I shall know you.  Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.

(Author: Colin Wright)

Lately, the ambition to work on a children’s book has gotten much stronger.  It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but had never really vocalized or pursued.  One thing and another have always discouraged me.

I’ve never considered myself an artist.  I’ve always liked to draw, but never pursued it in any way…like I’ve never pursued writing in any form until now.  When I was in high school, one of my best friends was an artist.  She could draw or paint anything, in just about any style.  She could do it at the drop of a hat, and could do it quickly.  We had another friend that was the singer.  Both were and still are incredibly talented.  In comparison, I was…the blond.

When I got into college, I took a beginning art course, to fill an elective credit.  It turned out to be one of the best classes I ever took, not because of anything I produced, but because of the professor.  He was incredibly kind and encouraging.  We would get an assignment on Monday, each week, and it would be due the following Monday.  We would have to stand with our project and talk about it in front of the class.  I could  have drawn a stick figure, and he would have found something nice to say about it.  His theory was that you could do anything, as long as you committed to it, and took your time.  We learned to find the good in our own work, and to find satisfaction in producing something original.

Fast forward to present day.  I know that there are specific things that I need to do in order to achieve my dream:

  1. Develop an idea – I have several little seedlings that just need to be planted & cultivated.  I need to pick a couple and run with them.
  2. Practice.  Practice writing and practice drawing.  I need to develop some consistency.
  3. Make a plan – How far do  I really want to take this?  Do I want to simply entertain family & friends with my squiggles?  Do I want to be published?

When it’s written down like this, it actually doesn’t sound so intimidating.  Perhaps this dream is attainable.  I just need to take that first step.  Maybe my one thing was actually vocalizing my dream.

(Image credit – me – a drawing inspired by my friend, InkyTwig)