Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Step!

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Confucius

As has become the custom at the office I have worked at for the past few years (I’ve worked with the same company for almost 6 years, but switched offices), I have worked full days between Christmas and New Year’s as opposed to my normal 1-5 PM shift.  And as is the custom for offices where many co-workers and customers are otherwise engaged, things were quiet.  Last year was no exception.

So I did what I could to keep busy.  I straightened/cleaned my desk in-between the work-related tasks I did have to do. I drank coffee.  I may have exchanged an e-mail or two with a co-worker from yet another office within the company.  And I thought about a blog post I had read from one of my favourite bloggers – Jon Acuff.  He was asking for help with his next book.  You can read the original post here:  I need your help with my next book.

I don’t remember exactly when I read the above post, but on Thursday, December 30, 2010, when the phones were quiet and my work for the moment was done, I sent an e-mail.  (And I realized just now I never did include my phone number.  Hey, I live in Canada and Jon lives in the States.  I was being conscientious of long distance charges.  Yeah, that’s it.)

Anyhow, here is most of what I wrote:

. . . my husband and I are both in a “I’m _____ but _____” time of our lives . . .

I presently work as an administrative assistant, but would like to be a stay-at-home mom who writes devotional-type pieces and fiction . . . And as I get closer to 40 (I just turned 39) I wonder if it’s even fair [to have kids now] considering the statistics that stick in my head about older women having children.  Couple that with too may reminders that our parents are getting older and my sisters’ kids are getting closer to being adults themselves and . . . yeah.  I wonder if our time is past for such things.  I also wonder if there is validity and real worth in regards to writing fiction.  It would be easy right now for me to blame my questions and doubts in that regards on what other people have said about it, but that feels like a cop-out.  It’s easier than dealing with my own lack of discipline.

So in a nutshell, that’s it.  I do remind myself God has His perfect timing and can use all things for good. It’s just really hard to wait sometimes and to let go of my own flubs and failures and questions as to whether I have basically messed things up too many times.

With a degree of trepidation, I hit the ‘send’ button and wondered if anything would ever come of it.  Jon’s blog has a wide readership, and lots of people have infinitely more interesting “I’m ____ but ____” stories.  (That’s not to be down on myself – it’s just the truth.  There are some amazing stories out there!)  So I more or less put it out of my mind.  Well, the forefront of it.  Hence I was surprised and excited to receive an e-mail on Monday, February 28, 2011 penned by Jon asking people to fill out an online form to help them (them being he and the people he works with at Dave Ramsey’s company) get to know my story a little better.  I don’t remember exactly what I wrote, but I do remember allowing myself to hope I’d be one of the ‘select group of people’ who would get ‘the entire manuscript’ of the new book to read in advance and then offer feedback on it.  Once again, the ‘send’ button was hit with a degree of trepidation. 

One week and one day later, I almost squealed out loud with excitement at work upon making a quick check of my home e-mail account.  I WAS GOING TO ‘BETA-TEST’ JON ACUFF’S NEW BOOK!!

Then came the longest week of waiting for said manuscript to arrive.  It was harder than the countdown to Christmas when I was kid.  But then I pulled into the driveway at home after work on Wednesday, March 16 and there in the mailbox on our fence was the best present ever left by the UPS delivery driver:  the manuscript!  As soon as I was able, I sat down and began to read.  I had until Friday to read the entire thing and offer my feedback via an online form. 

I finished the book – Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job – and the form at approximately 8:30 PM, MST the next day.

And it is a great book.  Seriously.  I’m not just being kind or trying to get good comments or anything.  It is a challenging, insightful, honest book and if you can in fill in the “I’m ___ but ____” statement, you should read it.  In fact, it is available for preorder on Amazon with a release date of May 10th.

Naturally, I thought that was it.  The manuscript was read and the form was filled out – finito, right?  Well, besides having to return the manuscript as per the nondisclosure agreement I read and signed off on.  (Because I was worried lawyers from The Lampo Company would come after me like the dudes in that one Stride gum commercial if I didn’t return it ASAP.)

But it wasn’t.  That one, seemingly small step I took back in December still has some more to follow it.  In the form of a conference call with Jon Acuff and other beta-testers of the book next week!  As I posted as my Facebook status update on Monday: “. . . "Über-excited" about covers it.”


Julie said...

Sounds pretty cool! :-)

Julie said...

Okay, I know I should keep my mouth shut, but I just can't: It's NOT TOO LATE!!! GO FOR IT!!!

And that's all I'm going to say about it. Forgive me!

crosscribe said...

It is pretty cool, IMO, Julie! Teehee! :-D

And I would say there's nothing to forgive. Thank you for opening your mouth (as it were). :D