One Time At A Party . . .

One Time At A Party“I once thought I should write a book about it,” Sarah said.

My ears perked up in the midst of our New Year’s game of spades out at a central Texas ranch.

“But I just never got around to it. It probably would have just been for me if I had,” she continued.

“What did you say you wanted to write about?” my now attentive lips asked.

“A book on ideas and tips for the common bridesmaid: how to throw a shower, party games, what to wear. You know, dumb stuff like that.”

“You actually should write that book. It’d be a huge success. You’d get it published and make tons of money. ”

Now before I get any farther, it’s not complicated to see why I’m so confident that a book that hasn’t been written, by an author whose work I’ve never read, about bridesmaid party tips, would make her so much money. Roy Williams (marketing guru) says that Ray Bard, owner of Bard Press, taught him 2 things to find out when you’re thinking about writing a book on a subject or considering a business to go into:

  1. How widespread is the public’s interest in it?
  2. How deep is that interest?

Do you think that many people have an interest in being a bridesmaid? I’d say it’s slightly more than half the population (you just can’t leave out the people who like to change things up).

Plus, when one considers the amount of money spent on gifts and parties for the bride, $10-$20 extra isn’t much for a helpful book full of great tips that save money and make the bride feel special. I mean, it’s only the most important celebration in a woman’s (and in good relationships, the man’s) life. If 4 book categories (a puddle, swamp, well, ocean) indeed spring from Bard’s 2 factors, a book for bridesmaids seems to be at least one of the Great Lakes.

“But I don’t just want what I do to be all about money,” Sarah said.

“It doesn’t have to be,” I quickly replied. “But you do need it, and you could always use it to help others if you have too much. What’s wrong with that?”

“But I’m not sure how good of a writer I am.”

“You don’t have to be a good writer.”

“But that was a long time ago.”

I stopped trying to find a way for her to take advice she hadn’t paid for. It was just a New Year’s party, and she was just making idle conversation. Maybe she wanted to have a dream that would always be out there for her. Maybe she was scared. To be fair, Sarah did go “blind nillo” in the game, so it’s not like she never takes risks. But I sure do hear a bunch of people talk about how cool it would be to follow their dreams without ever letting one of them claw its way into reality.

With every deep breath I inhale as my fingers type away, pain reminds me of the dislocated rib I got over the holidays. The day after Christmas, my girlfriend’s brother and I went snowboarding in New York, and I flew a lot too far on a jump in the terrain park. My mind went over all sorts of scenarios of things I could have done differently as I waited in the first aid hut, the car ride to the hospital, and then the crowded ER. Amazingly, not one of those thoughts included me wishing that I’d never gone off the jump.

That’s probably because I’ve joyfully swallowed the thrill of the approach, tasted the sky, relished the smooth completion of landing, and raised my hands in victory. Of course there are risks to actually going for it, but soaring on a board makes me feel way more alive than just sliding down the easy way. I actually can’t wait for another chance to conquer what I found out the local teenage kids call, “The Suicide Jump.” Plus, my hospital waiting time turned into a chance for me to make friends. Sharing stories and encouraging other people sure did take my mind off the pain.

This past Sunday as I was eating with some friends after church, a girl named Teal started talking about how much she loves traveling and wishes she could do it all the time. “You know, travel companies pay people to write about their adventures in other countries. You could post stories and pictures of your trips on a blog. You never know what would happen, but you might start a following and build up a resume that would convince someone to give you money to do that all the time,” I told her.

“Man, that’s a great idea, Peter. Maybe someday I’ll do that,”

“Don’t do it someday. Do it on the next trip you take. You’ll never do it someday,” I said as we walked out the door into a world full of travel possibilities.

So are you going to write your book, start your blog, or pursue the other exciting dreams that pop into your head when you don’t feel ready? If you don’t start taking little steps now, you’ll pass up huge opportunities, even when they land securely in your lap.

I know I’ll be flying on a snowboard again the next time I get on the slopes.

It seems like a much better option than just telling people at parties about the time when I had a great idea that I almost followed.

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One Response to “One Time At A Party . . .”

  1. Ken Brand January 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    I enjoy and benefit from all of them. This one struck a soothing cord. Thanks

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