Or maybe the title of this blog should be: The power of index cards. Or “hey, it works.”
A couple of years ago, Debbie Macomber spoke at the RWA Conference in Reno. She was inspiring (as always) and she challenged every one in the room to “dream big,” as she likes to say. She wanted all of us to write down our goals. The things we wanted to achieve in the next few years. The point being, that if we wrote them down, they would have a better chance of coming true.
To that end, she had put index cards on all the tables. And while all my fellow table mates scribbled down their goals, I sort of pushed my around me, like the leftover vegetables on my plate. My dreams were too much to ask for, too much to write down, and especially in front of a table of strangers. So after lunch, I stuffed my still blank index card in my purse and went on my merry way.
But that darn card kept poking me. Every time I dug into my purse for my key card, for money for a coffee, for a pen. There it was, taunting me, daring me to write down my goals. So a few hours later, while I was alone outside a workshop room, I had a few minutes to kill, and so I yanked out the card and a pen, and scribbled down my lofty goals:
1) Keynote a conference or luncheon
2) Make the NY Times bestseller list
3) Be profiled in People Magazine
4) Get promoted out of the Treasure line
5) Make RWA Honor Roll
Whew! I looked over the list, thought I was being a presumptuous little Irish bit, but that didn’t stop me from smiling, and safely stowing the index card inside my daytimer so I would have it to look at often.
Six weeks later, I crossed off the first item on my list when I got an email asking if I could keynote the Portland Chapter’s Readers Luncheon, an event that was so very near and dear to my heart. I mean, come on, six weeks later? Then last Fall, I got a call from my agent, telling me I’d been promoted out of Treasure. Again, knock me over with a feather. I’m not exactly a humble person, but these were huge dreams to me, things I never thought I’d make in the next five years, let alone in six weeks or a year or so.
And last week, I was completely shocked to receive a call telling me that Love Letters from a Duke had made the New York Times Extended bestseller list. I literally cried as I crossed it off my list.
BTW, People Magazine–if you are out there, I’m still waiting.
So thank you, Debbie Macomber, for encouraging me to dream big, and thank you to all of you who bought the book, and through your praise and word of mouth, have turned it into a bestseller. But what I really love about this story, is who was #2 AND #20 on the list this week. Can you guess? Well, I hardly consider it coincidence that it was Debbie Macomber. Showing me the way once again. Bless you, Debbie!
So come on, dream big, pull out an index card and write down your goals. And if you are willing to share, post them in a comment–maybe there is some one else here with the same goal or who can help you with yours.