On Friday morning, just as I started teaching the business communication section of a class I teach for a local college, I noticed a text message on my phone. It was the one I’d been waiting for. But when you are teaching, your complete focus needs to be on the students. So I waited till they began their next exercise, then I checked the message. There it was: I had a book contract for Raw Art Journals–Making Meaning, Making Art. My book proposal was accepted by North Light Book–F+W Publications.
It’s a hold-your-breath moment. I’ve been waiting for a long time, that one moment seems both huge and fragile. I don’t know what happens next, but I know that one day in the future, the book will arrive in the warehouses at amazon.com, ready to ship. And for just that second, that’s all I wanted to know.
Now, of course, the writing begins. When you write non-fiction, you don’t write the book first, you write the outline and develop a book proposal. When the proposal gets accepted, you get a contract and write the book.
Along with writing the book, I am starting to plan how to market it. Yes, it is a book about keeping an art journal for people who can’t draw and don’t have the time or inclination to write a lot. But it is also a book about making meaning with your art. That means it can help creativity coaches work with their clients. It can help people who want to be creative but don’t know how get a start. At this very second, the book is pure possibility. The next step is to make it real, to make it as good as it can be.
I wrote a book for hire many years ago. I was assigned a topic and paid a set price. Yes it was a book, but it wasn’t the one I wanted to write. Since I was seven years old and wrote a multi-chapter book (in a spiral notebook), I’ve wanted to write a book about a topic I cared deeply about. And now’s the time.
What’s your dream? What steps do you need to get there? Will it take a while? Don’t let time keep you back. If it takes five years or 10, that time will pass anyway. You will never again be as young as you are today. Start with me, tell me what you want to commit to.
–Quinn McDonald is a trainer, coach, and a writer starting to write a book on raw-art journaling.