I just returned from the San Francisco Writers Conference. This year I had the great privilege of not just attending or working as a volunteer but of working with attendees as a “book doctor” – freelance nonfiction book editor. I also helped judge the annual “pitch” contest, during which aspiring authors practice their “elevator speech,” a 30 second or 25-word sound bite they will use to entice a literary agent to say, “Tell me more,” and eventually – hopefully – send me your book proposal.
In both the Book Dr. sessions and the Pitch Contest, writers were able to hone the pitches they hoped would lead to their fulfilled desires – a published book. Then, on the last day of the conference, they could use that pitch with agents in a three-minute, face-to-face meeting during a session called “Speed Dating for Agents.” This would be their chance to have their dreams become reality, to have an agent voice interest and have that interest possibly lead not only to representation but to a book contract with a publishing company.
On Sunday morning I spent some of my time either in the “Speed Dating for Agents” room or walking up and down the line of people anxiously awaiting their turn to enter the room where those agents would hear pitch after pitch after pitch. As I did so, I was struck by the huge number of dream and desires held so tightly by this large amount of people.
“My goodness,” I thought, “look how many people have the dream of getting a book published! And this is just one small handful of the all the people in the world who share this dream. These are just the few with the money and the time and the interest in coming to this one conference.”
Indeed, there are thousands – millions – of people with the desire to have their writing published. That, however, represents just one dream. What about all the other dreams people hold dear to their hearts? Every person in this world, on this earth, has a dream or a desire they would like to see made manifest.
What’s the difference between the people standing in line to get into the “Speed Dating for Agents” session or the people in the room actually talking to literary agents at this one writing conference and all the other people in the world with dreams and desires? They are making their dreams come true. They are taking action to fulfill their desires and to bring their dreams into reality.
How many of us have a dream – of becoming a published author or hiking to the top of Mt. Everest or painting a portrait or becoming a nurse or running a marathon or losing 20 pounds or becoming successful in our business – and never do anything to realize that dream? It’s all well and good to dream, but there exists just one difference between a dreamer and someone who realizes his or her dream: one takes action and one doesn’t. In other words, one does something to make sure to fulfill his or her dream while the other simply continues to dream.
I believe in deliberate, conscious creation. I have often written about the fact that when we combine our thoughts of what we want with the feeling of having already having received our desires, we help bring that desire into physical existence. Yet, I have always qualified this by saying that we have to add to this formula inspired action. Or, if we don’t feel inspired, we must do what we know is required to bring that dream into reality.
These writers at the San Francisco Writers Conference, and writers like them at conferences all around the world, were doing something to manifest their dreams. They were imagining what it will be like to have their published book in their hands. They were visualizing an agent saying, “Yes, I want to represent you,” or a publisher saying, “I’ll send you a contract tomorrow,” and what that might feel like. But rather than just daydreaming – or even consciously visualizing, they wrote their books or their book proposals and they paid the money, got in a car or on a plane, and took the time to be somewhere where they could meet someone who could help them make their dream come true. They practiced their pitches. They overcame their fear and actually spoke to an agent. They took action to help manifest their desires.
So, as I stood in that Speed Dating for Agents room looking at all the nervous writers waiting their turn to speak with a literary agent, I could almost see their dreams and desires hovering above their heads like extra entities in the room. The room was filled not only with people but with dreams and desires manifesting slowly but surely as the dreamers took another step closer to the fulfillment of their desires.
I encourage you to ask yourself this one question: What one step are you going to take today to help bring your dream or desire into the room with you?
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