You’ll write your book next year, right? Or maybe you’re feeling ambitious and you'll start in a few months?
Why are we humans so arrogant? We speak of tomorrow like we own it. We don’t.
Have you ever read a news story about a fatal tragedy? Why can’t we imagine it could have been our tragic story? “That’ll never happen to me” we think. I wonder if we were programmed to distance ourselves from that sort of thinking, perhaps as a survival mechanism.
I want you to take a minute to think about what’s truly keeping you from writing your book. Please. It’s important.
It’s important because your book can change lives, and you owe it to yourself and to the world to offer that change.
These are some of the most common reasons we get:
- Lack of time
- Don’t know where to start
- Nothing to write about
- Not a “writer”
- Lack of belief in one’s ability to write a book
- No true “why”
- Fear of what others will think or say
Whatever your reason or reasons, one fact remains: you don’t know if you’ll have the time to write it later. You could be wiped off this earth before you finish reading this article. I could go before I finish writing it.
Do you really want to write a book? Or just kinda wanna?
“Kinda wanna” is good friends with “I’ll write it some day.” They sit down on the couch and drink a beer while they talk about what they’re gonna do someday.
Today I hope to inspire you to get a new calendar. It’s called the NOW calendar.
I’m going to tell you the story that convinced me that tomorrow is an assumption.
It was a typical Wednesday which meant game day for my slow pitch softball league. I went 4 for 5 with a diving catch, not too shabby.
As I drove home I got a call on my cell phone. It was my wife. Nothing abnormal about that, she calls all the time. But this phone call was...different.
I answered “Hey honey.” No reply. I repeated, “Hey honey, you there?” Nothing. This went on for about fifteen seconds before finally I heard someone on the other end crying.
It was my wife. Only, this cry I’d never heard before.
My heart dropped.
My first thought was that she’d been abducted and is now locked away in the trunk of a car, calling to let me know. I said in a panic, “Honey, tell me where you’re at. Where are you at? Tell me where you’re at!”
All she would reply with was “honey” which was draped in that painful cry...ho-n-nn-n-ny.
Finally after a minute or so, I heard another woman’s voice. “Are you her husband?” the voice said. “Yes” I replied.
These are the words I heard next:
“Your wife and child have been in a serious car accident.”
I thought to myself “Holy $h!t. Is this for real?”
“Where at?” I shot back.
She told me and I raced to the scene of the accident. It was ten minutes away. I made it in five.
At about a hundred yards out I started to see what “serious accident” meant. I saw chaos in the middle of this busy slab of asphalt. Fire trucks, an ambulance and a trio of police cars lit up the road.
I pulled off the street about twenty-five feet away from the crash, jumped out of my car, and ran toward my wife’s car. The car looked like it was hit by a eighteen-wheeler—it was painful to see. I ran to my wife who was still stuck in the car crying frantically, unable to string together a sentence.
But, I saw in her eyes that she was glad to see me. And I was glad to see her.
I realized that not only was my wife in the car, but my one year-old daughter was trapped in the car as well. I had trouble seeing her in the back seat because of the damage, but I heard her. She was screaming louder than the ambulance sirens. Her face was swollen and it looked like she had been crying for over a week.
I began circling the car not knowing what the hell to do. The firemen were already there with the Jaws of Life trying to remove the the doors.
My emotions were hitting the rev limiter, yet I had no place to direct them. The strangest thing was that in my mind, everything was moving in super slow motion.
Everything going on around me, apart from my family, was insignificant. I could have been bare-ass naked in the middle of this circus and I wouldn’t have flinched.
My tunnel vision was focused on getting my family out of this car. But all I could think to do was circle the car, which I mastered. That is, before this six foot fireman spotted me and realized who I was—a distraught husband and father.
He yelled to me, “Hey you, come here! Pick this up and follow me.” He pointed to a generator that powered the Jaws of Life.
I did as he said.
I followed him as he removed the shrapnel from what was once my wife’s Honda Civic. I was grateful I had something to keep my mind off the “what ifs” because I didn’t know how badly my wife and daughter were hurt.
Were they paralyzed? Did they break bones? Brain trauma? Imagine those thoughts zipping through your mind.
At the time I noticed several empty police cars about fifty feet away from the accident. The drunk driver that hit my wife and daughter at 50 MPH decided to flee the scene. Being drunk and stupid he didn’t get far. The police had him cornered.
To be honest I hadn’t even given it any thought. I couldn’t care less about what had happened or who was responsible, I just wanted my family back home.
Finally, the firemen cut through the metallic flesh of the car...
They rushed my wife and daughter into the ambulance. I still didn’t know their condition. I ran to the back of the ambulance and the EMTs told me which hospital they were headed to—I followed.
After arriving at the hospital, I waited. Thirty-seven minutes later I finally met with the doctor. His words were “Your wife and daughter are going to be…okay”. Pure relief flowed into my soul.
My wife had a concussion and fits of memory loss, but beyond that she was fine.
My daughter on the other hand was completely unscathed. My wife put her in the middle of the backseat and it’s a damn good thing she did. Had she sat in the back right seat, I might be telling a different story because that’s where the car was assaulted.
I lucked out but...
I learned something important.
I learned that bad things can happen to me, too.
Suddenly, “that could never happen to my family or me” turned into “it just did.”
The next realization was that life can change in an instant. We have no guarantees in life, and especially with how much time we have left on this planet.
I'm sorry to be Dr. Doom and Gloom. I mean well. I promise.
But the message is clear:
Tomorrow is an assumption.
Stop waiting until the time is right to write your book, unless that time is right NOW.
Please share this post. Somebody may need to hear it.