Decide What to Be and Go Be It

I finished the first draft of my book about Europe while on the train home from teaching English in Japan.

It had been a long day and a motley crew of passengers surrounded me; but I was locked in, eager to finish before I reached the station.

When I completed the final sentence, a passion flowed through the entirety of my being which nearly brought me to tears.

That feeling right there— epitomized on the train, yet what I feel practically every time I revisit the story — is why we Dare to Dream.

Because doing so makes us see the world, makes us take part in the world, differently: With passion. With emotion. With curiosity. With love.

I continue to write day by day, story by story, book by book, because writing enriches my experience of life on earth.

“You can live a long life, making and doing really cool things the entire time,” writes Elizabeth Gilbert in her recent book, Big Magic.

“You might earn a living with your pursuits or you might not, but you can recognize that this is not really the point. And at the end of your days, you can thank creativity for having blessed you with a charmed, interesting, passionate existence.”

I smile as I write and imagine my experience: the sights, the smells, the colors and feelings, digging for the details, unraveling the tale. That’s what makes it worth it.

There were days when I only wrote a paragraph. Days when I altered a line. Days when I wrote fifteen pages.

I still struggle with making the time to do this thing amongst the other facets of my life. But what putting the period on the first draft showed me is that I can and I will get it done by any means necessary.

It happened in waves, not consistently in a clearly defined line. I finished because I never gave up. I wrote when I could. I kept going and I’ll never stop, for this is my dream, and doing the work is the only thing necessary to make it a reality.

It doesn’t matter if, when it’s all said and done, the book is a success; I can’t imagine what the finish line might look like.

Yet if things continued in my life as they are, where I’m having new experiences and writing about it all — if that’s what my life surmounted to in the end — I think I’d be pretty damn happy.

I am now.

So what are you waiting for?

Start your thing not to reach some end, maybe not even to make a dollar.

Throw the bird to fear and take a step towards whatever rattles around in that noggin of yours if only to live a more passionate, brilliant, beautiful life.

It takes nothing more than a single step, a page, a call, a word, to change your life forever.

To quote one of my favorite songs of all time, decide what to be and go be it.

Now, on to the second draft.

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