I’ve been a professional student for the last ten years. I love school. I love meeting new people who I’d otherwise never have any interaction with. And I love trading ideas on things that I give a crap about. But instead of being nine credits closer to getting my Master’s degree, I sat out this semester. I didn’t think I had another ounce of energy for learning about technology in the classroom, or praticums on classroom management, if I could not get any closer to finishing my novel.
Getting a Master’s degree means a lot to me. I’d be the first one in my family to have a graduate degree. It means I’m capable of finishing something, even when I’d rather run in front of an Amtrak train than write another paper. But it also means less time spent writing, and another delay in getting the book finished. This semester, I gave myself permission to invest in my writing, in the publishing process and into myself.
Sometimes getting what we really want means we’ve got to give up something we thought we really wanted. Here are three ways to put your money where your mouth is:
1. Master your craft- Instead of spending three nights a week in a lecture hall, I now spend my evenings taking classes in The Blogging School and PR and marketing training from Pam Perry’s Launch Like a Superstar. These courses are helping me build my brand, while helping me master new skills.
2. Invest in yourself financially- I was recently tempted to splurge on a Michael Kors purse (something that probably won’t happen again until dolphins fly and parrots live at sea). But instead of making the purchase, I paid for services that put my book one step closer to release.
3. Be prepared for the fallout- Nobody said it to my face, but people thought I was crazy for leaving school with only a few more semesters to go. While it might make sense to everybody else to graduate first, I knew that my window of opportunity was beginning to fade. Once I walked across the stage, I’d find another reason to start a PhD program. And then I’d still not be a single word closer to having a finished book.
Think about your big, hairy, audacious dream. What steps are you taking to get yourself closer to it? Otherwise, it might be time to shut up talking about it.