A fun part of my work is encouraging people to "go for it". Maybe they are hesitating before a big pitch or nervous to launch a new blog. Whatever it is, we all can use a gentle push sometimes to help us put ourselves out there.
I had a "go for it" moment this week - and I had plenty of cheerleaders encouraging me behind the scenes before my pitch (of sorts).
A while back, I wrote a short poem for a children's picture book idea. The only issue was I needed an illustrator. The story's setting is the area where I grew up. For this reason, when I shared it with others, I think it was natural that they mentioned a famous author/illustrator/filmmaker from my hometown. Multiple people mentioned this creative man, but the idea seemed ludicrous. So, I tucked the story away and decided it could wait.
Recently, I serendipitously noticed this same author would be at a local bookstore to sign his latest book. Something inside of me said this is it, take your chance. But at the very same time I felt incredibly silly for thinking I should do this or could do this - his work has won an Academy Award and graced several New Yorker covers. Plus, how would I do this? Was I going to just walk up to him and hand him my story?
To make a very long story short, that is exactly what I did. I introduced myself with the caveat that this was one of the more awkward and bold things I had ever done. His gracious and fully-present demeanor during our conversation put me at ease. I gave him my work and he said he would provide feedback. But, the best and most amazing part of our exchange was our parting. As I turned to walk away, I said with a smile, "Well, at least I know I can be bold." His reply, "You weren't only bold, you did it well!"
So, to those people who encouraged me to go for it, thank you! And remember, whatever is next on your list, whatever you tucked away for another day, or whatever opportunity presents itself tomorrow, go for it. I imagine you will do it well.
Perhaps this TED talk will provide a boost: