By Annette Dashofy
When Sidney Poitier passed away earlier this month, I saw a meme with the quote, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough,” attributed to him. Research shows the same quote attributed to various others as well.
Whoever said it, thank you.
For the last year and a half, I’ve ventured away from the known and the comfortable. A new agent. A new publisher. A foray into indie publishing as well. Change is almost always a mixture of excitement and trepidation. There have been ups and downs as I’ve tread new territory, but overall, the ups have prevailed.
As 2022 begins, I’ve mapped out my writing business plan: marketing and promoting my next release in May, working on a second draft of a new book/new series, and outlining the next Zoe Chambers Mystery.
It’s the outline that’s vexing me.
My goal is to plot and research the story in January so I can buckle down and pound out the first draft in February and March. I already had the seed of an idea for it—two sentences I’d jotted down more than a year ago. But as I flesh out that nugget of a plot, I realize that what started out as a simple (two sentences!) story is anything but.
For one thing, the entire novel (sans epilogue) takes place in less than twenty-four hours. The stakes start out high and ratchet up and up again. It’s not a traditional whodunit although finding a murderer and a missing little girl are at the heart of it. True, we don’t know the identity of the killer, but there are no red herrings. There are, however, obstacles galore.
This will be the twelfth in the Zoe Chambers series and my thirteenth or fourteenth published novel. And it is scaring the heck out of me. I shared the plot with my husband and even he said, “That’s going to be hard to write.” Ha. No kidding. But he also pointed out that with so many books already out there, it would be a good time to push the envelope.
That’s when I spotted the Sidney Poitier meme. “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.” I sat back in my chair, stared at those words, and felt a wave of relief.
This new book has been rattling around in my head for a while. Am I a good enough writer to do it justice? I don’t know. But I’m not going to back down from my dream.
Maybe Mr. Poitier didn’t say those words, but I’m grateful to the person who did. I’m also grateful to whoever posted that meme to honor his passing because that was exactly what I needed to see at that moment.
Are you facing any projects or dreams that scare you? Are you going to tackle them anyway?