A few years back as a freelance writer for national and international magazines, I nurtured an until-then-dormant desire in the recesses of my heart: I wanted to write a book. I had no idea what book, but it sure sounded glamorous. Jo Ann Fore – Author.
I envisioned days penning words in a secluded cabin surrounded by soaring mountains and pristine lake waters—which would lead to countless fans, best-seller lists, and media engagements, of course.
My fantasy lived a number of quiet years before I joined the ranks of thousands of others who had made writing a book an official goal. I was proud of my fearless move. I did it. I set the goal! That much closer to authorhood.
Funny thing though, verbalizing that goal always led to the inevitable question: What are you writing?
What am I writing? (Flashpoint One.)
I really didn’t know. All I knew was someday I was going to write a book. I had dreamed of writing a book probably since I held my first crayon. But, someday. Someday when I had more time, when my daughter was grown, when life wasn’t so hectic.
My husband, Matt, taught me a valuable lesson about the word “someday.” When he and I dated, I was extremely commitment-shy after having escaped a not-so-great (okay, horrific) marriage. Today Matt and I joke about the countless pre-proposals he tossed out before he got to the real one. Consistently he asked, “Will you marry me?” This both warmed my heart and petrified me. Feeling a bit bi-polar each time he asked, I simply smiled and said, “Someday.”
Until the day Matt called me out. “Maybe you dangle it just far enough out of reach to avoid the reality. There’s really nothing intentional about the word someday.”
Once he was serious about his proposal, he let me know that “someday” was going to have to move to a set date. We just celebrated our seventh anniversary. If I kept saying “someday” I may have lost this amazing husband.
I was unknowingly sabotaging one of my greatest desires. (Flashpoint Two.) And now, I was doing the same thing with my aspirations to write a book.
It was time to drill this thing down. What am I writing? I want to help hurting women. I want to offer lasting hope and practical application. So, what is my message?
Once I articulated that, I could move forward. After I settled the premise of my work I was ready to write. (Flashpoint Three.) That was the day the book became more than a dream, more than a goal. It became an intentional laser-focused choice.
Along these lines, Huffington Post’s Complete Guide to Blogging offers a great exercise we can use to nail down the focus of our book: “What is your point? How would you explain your point to a batty, slightly deaf relative in one sentence? Write that sentence down. This is the gist of your piece.”
I would love to see your answers in the comments section below.