Maybe Next Year

Utopia Blog, inspirational

This post is not about whether you attend UTOPiAcon or any other book event or a retreat in New York or a vacation in Europe or buy the dress or the shoes or take the class or hire the publicist.

It’s about your life. Your dreams. What choices are you making right now to honor yourself? What actions are you taking today to create the life you want tomorrow?

I see people online commenting on what book signing events and cons they will be attending this year. We are so fortunate that these days there is practically, if not literally, somewhere between one and five events every weekend happening somewhere. And there’s a good chance that at least one of those is within a short road trip from you.

The problem with saying “Maybe next year.”

Next year:

  • prices will increase
  • there will be more competition in the marketplace, not less
  • the retreat, con, or event may not exist
  • the people you want to see may not be there
  • your circumstances may be worse, not better

Are you going to be more worth it next year?

Is your dream going to mean more next year than this year?

What are you doing today to ensure that your next year is bigger and better? What are you doing today to ensure that THIS year will be better and happier and more fulfilling for you?

What I know is this: your idols, the people you admire and look up to, they didn’t let anything stop them. They invested in themselves. They did whatever it took to get to where they are. Are there setbacks? Hell yes. But setbacks are not stop signs. Between setbacks and success, they took the class, hired the assistant, invested in the marketing, went to the conference,  and did the work.

No one can want it for you more than you….except maybe your dad. No one can believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself…except maybe your mom.

Quit saying “When ___________ happens, then I can ______________” or “If _______________, then ______________.” These are the sentences of death. These are the sentences of stagnation, mediocrity, and good enough.

Don’t say you don’t have time. I’ve seen mothers of five children release a book every three months…and hit best seller lists.

Don’t say you don’t have the money. Ask. Borrow. Charge it. Sell something. Create something to sell. Barter. Partner. Trade.

The difference between you and the successful person you admire is how bad you want it, and what you’ll do to get it. What will you sacrifice, what will you ask for, what will you give?

Don’t say, “Well things have changed in publishing over the past few years. They got in early. They were in the right place at the right time.” That sounds an awful lot like you think they just got lucky. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Doing the work. Writing the book. Sending out the queries. Learning how to self-publish. Attending panels. Editing the book. Re-writing the book. Trying new things. Doing the old things that work…consistently. Taking advantage of opportunities to meet people who can help you further your dream. Finding your tribe. You are limited only by your imagination, desire, and beliefs. (And, btw, I’m discovering new authors every year who are blowing my mind with how quickly they are making names for themselves).

The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Yes, you could fail, or embarrass yourself, or make a mistake or seventy. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It won’t ever be anyway. Done is better than perfect. I have yet to meet an artist who thinks that he or she couldn’t have done a painting better. I’ve never met a musician who is happy with their current album. They are already writing the next one. I’ve never met a writer who hasn’t said their first book was shit or their current one for that matter. In their eyes they will always think they can do better. As they should. As you should. But, for the love of Pete, don’t let it stop you from doing it now.

Save regret for overeating. Don’t let your memories be littered with it.

Maybe next year is a great name for a band, but has no place as a lifestyle philosophy (and I haven’t been able to get ‘Call Me Maybe’ out of my head since I wrote this post).

There is no maybe. There is only your dream and how bad you want it to be your reality.