Over coffee with a woman who has made her career in publishing, editing, and writing, I shared some of the stories of my own writing journey…and there are lots of stories!
When I shared this one, she said, “Now that’s a story! Blog about it.” So….
In December 2011, I was attending the Massachusetts Conference for Women. Brené Brown was a speaker, when we hadn’t heard of her. She had just published her book, Daring Greatly. I loved her. Of course, I did. Who doesn’t, now that everyone knows her?
When she described the daring greatly quote...
“It’s not the critic who counts; not the
man who points out how the strong man
stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could
have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually
in the arena, whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;
who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error
and shortcoming; but who does actually
strive to do the deeds; who knows great
enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends
himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph
of high achievement, and who at the worst, if
he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…..”
Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic”
…..I was mesmerized; swept away. Like probably many women in the auditorium, I knew she was speaking directly to me.
The next month, January 2012, I was self-publishing my second book, Mothers Fulfilled. No agent would take it. Agents told me, over and over, they couldn’t sell nonfiction for an unknown, someone who wasn’t a celebrity or Harvard lawyer or didn’t have a platform of over 1,000 followers. Truth be told, I was a little afraid of the book, a little afraid of the reaction it might garner. I so wanted it to be received in the spirit of what I aimed to give.
I knew I was daring greatly.
Brené gave me the oomph I needed to push me over the summit that December.
Then, Arianna Huffington got up to give the keynote speech at the conference. She was awesome, funny, witty. She gave the 13,000 women attendees her personal email address.
So, daring greatly, when Mothers Fulfilled launched the next month, I emailed Arianna about my book. Given her speech at the conference, I knew she’d “get” its message and appreciate this book. Within one hour, on a Saturday, Arianna wrote me back and c.c.’d her blog editor. She said they’d share an article on The Huffington Post about Mothers Fulfilled.
That article on The Huffington Post led the Director of Communications for MariaShriver.com to reach out to me to ask if I might want to write for Maria’s site. Maria’s Shriver Report of 2009 was my reason for writing Mothers Fulfilled.
The Huffington Post also set me up as a contributing blogger.
In my writing journey, now 20 years in the making, after not writing for the 18 years after college, one thing has led to the next thing, and the next thing, and so on.
All from daring greatly early on.
“….who at the best knows in the end the triumph of achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails daring greatly.”