If you’ve already read my new book, You Don’t Owe Anyone, then you know that I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author ever since I was six years old.
When my first grade teacher helped our class make our own hardcover books, I was hooked. She told us that authors were people whose job it was to make books. I thought that nothing could be cooler than that.
(My first book, age 6)
(My new book, age 35)
Fast-forward about 30 years. After decades of diligent reading, writing, and study, that original dream has come true today. You Don’t Owe Anyone is officially LAUNCHED, and I cannot tell you how excited, proud, and grateful I am to share it with you.
And also: My dream and I have both grown since childhood.
Declaring the Dream
A few months ago, I ordered a customized silver charm from an artisan on Etsy. I thought about it for ages, then finally placed the order.
It wasn’t that the charm was expensive – quite the contrary, it was easily affordable. But buying that charm meant declaring a big dream. It meant being more honest with myself. It signified a shift, a choice to be bold.
Here it is:
(Those of you who have read the book know that those two keys are significant!)
The charm reads “NYTB”, for “New York Times Bestseller.” For a first-time author like me, it’s basically like saying, “I’m shooting for the moon.”
Over a million books are published each year in the US alone, and only a few make the list. So I hesitated to order the charm (or share this story!), because I know what a long shot it is for You Don’t Owe Anyone to land on a bestseller list.
(To make the New York Times bestseller list, you need to sell at least several thousand copies in a single week – typically launch week – and even then, it’s somewhat subjective.)
That said, it’s not a totally impossible dream. There are over 7000 of you receiving these missives right now, after all.
Plus, this book is GOOD. And I notice that cream has a way of rising to the top.
So I took a deep breath and ordered the charm anyway. It felt important that I do so.
Then I read this, from Katherine North: “… if you are feeling lost or confused, and your desires seem absolutely mortifying in their absurdity, I want you to hold on to them even more fiercely.
Do you hear me, dearheart? I truly believe that our desires are the way that the universe speaks to us, and your longings are holy even if they don’t make sense or seem possible.”
And then I understood.
Ordering the charm meant honoring the holy longing for both me and this book to be SEEN. To be out in the world, making a difference, helping people free themselves from the weight of expectations.
The Meaning You Make of It
When the charm arrived, I kept it secret for a while. But then on impulse, I showed it to my husband Jonathan.
“Look what I got as a present for myself!” I said, after he’d put our toddler to bed and we were relaxing into that whew-we’re-done-parenting-for-the-day portion of the evening.
He held it up to the light, examining the engraving.
“What do you think NYTB stands for?” I asked, playfully.
He considered. I watched, loving the way his brow furrowed as he pondered the possibilities. Then his face took on a triumphant expression.
“Never Yield To Bunnies!” he exclaimed, with an air of certainty.
I cracked up laughing.
“Yes!” I said. “You got it. EXACTLY.”
Of course, I explained the intended meaning, and he understood. But now I look at the charm differently, and smile.
I’ve decided that it doesn’t just mean New York Times Bestseller OR Never Yield To Bunnies. It means BOTH.
It means: Go all in for your big crazy audacious dream. Do the work, show up, and aim high. Believe in the brilliance of your book; know that it deserves to be read widely.
And it also means: Hold that big dream lightly. Laugh about it, even. Remember how the most precious moments of your life aren’t the ones when you’re winning alone; they’re the moments when you’re with the people you love, all of you journeying together.
Today, I invite you to journey with me into You Don’t Owe Anyone.
It’s a book about getting REAL. It’s about how your whole life changes when you let go of what you thought you were supposed to be (the most uncomfortable person in the room, remember?) and instead, enjoy who you ARE.
Here are your next steps:
–> If you haven’t ordered the book, please order right now (and get your bonus gifts).
–> If you’ve ordered it and it hasn’t come yet, please invite a friend to read it with you. You can copy/paste this invitation:
There’s this new book I’m really excited to read called You Don’t Owe Anyone. I just got my copy; want to read it with me? Here’s the link: https://awishcomeclear.com/youdontoweanyone/