As you read this, I’m most likely in a car traveling from Chicago, where I’m attending the Romantic Times conference this week, up to Milwaukee for the FABULOUS Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon. Maybe some of you will be at one or both of these events! Please look for me. I’ll be the Floridian in open-toed shoes and sleeveless tops. In my absence, I’ve asked one of my very favorite people in the world to step in and inspire. Because that’s what inspirational author Rachel Hauck does every time she puts her fingers to a keyboard. Rachel is celebrating the release of her latest novel, The Wedding Dress. All I can say about this book is…prepare to have your breath taken away, your heart stolen, and your list of favorite authors to grow by one.
Rachel is an absolutely glorious writer who tells a story that lifts you up, makes you laugh, and most definitely stays pressed on your heart forever. I’m so proud to call Rachel a sister, a fellow Space Coast Authors of Romance member, and a dear friend. I know you’ll enjoy her, too! I may not be able to comment from the car, luncheon, or hotel, but that shouldn’t keep you all from chiming in and welcoming my friend Rachel as she addresses one of our favorite subjects: dreaming big! Just please try not to have too much fun without me today.
* * *
… And in for the lovely and gracious Roxanne St. Claire this week on Murder She Writes. Me. Rachel Hauck, the PC author from Roxanne’s RWA chapter, STAR.
Um, yeah, PC doesn’t stand for Politically Correct but Perky Christian. The perky part is debatable, the Christian part, not so much.
But hang on before you click the X-outta-here-button, I promise not to preach. No, no, not me.
Let’s turn in our Bibles to Ephesians chapter 1 verses 17….
I’m kidding, I’m kidding.
Roxanne is off doing something fabulous like schmoozing with muscled men and drinking chilled wine at RT, so she asked me to sub for her this week.
I’m really honored to be here. I love Murder She Writes. And Roxanne is about the most encouraging woman on the planet. Five minutes in her company and you start to believe you really can fly to the moon with the paper wings you bought at Walgreens.
For the last three years, I’ve joined Roxanne and two other writers for a January Goal Setting Lunch. One of the other writers is also one of the most encouraging women on the planet.
She inspires us all to dream big. BIG. Capital B. Capital Guh! At this year’s luncheon she came with a long list of goals and ideas, dreams that could fill a stadium.
I hunkered down over my salad, awed and inspired, by my friend’s lists, knowing full well she’d succeed. That’s just the way she rolls.
When it came to me to share my goals, I muttered something like, “Finish my novel on time.”
Oh yeah, I dream real big! Honkin’ big.
Maybe not that day, but I do, I do have a few big dreams. Dreams matter. They really do. Even the big out-of-reach ones.
Goals are the stepping stones to achieving dreams. From elementary school, I wanted to be a writer. It was a pretty big dream. Yet if I never set the first goal to start writing, to learn the craft, to attend conferences, I’d have never realized my dream.
When I contracted my first trade book with Thomas Nelson, I’d landed at my dream publisher. I’d wanted to write for them from the beginning, when I sat in the back of writer’s conference workshops wondering how I’d ever scale the publishing fortress.
When my agent called to let me know Nelson had offered the contract, I acted all cool and calm. Well of course they offered a contract. (snort!)
But inside? Tremors and earthquakes.
What if I can’t do it?
After a few days of musing on the consequences of 1. Writing a sucky book and 2. Missing my deadline, I had a God-tap on my shoulder.
He said, “Hey, if you keep confessing you can’t do it, don’t be surprised when you fail.”
Ooops. Right-o. Got it. Shut me right up.
I changed my musing to 1. How great I’d feel when the called to tell me it was the best chick lit they’d ever read. 2. How the award people handed over the awards to my story without even reading it. Yes! It was just that amazing! 3. Praise and appreciation for signing with them in the first place.
Yeah, if you’re going to think positive, go for it, blow the whole shooting match.
I wrote seven books for Thomas Nelson and it was an incredible partnership. Including the Songbird Novels with award-winning country music artist, Sara Evans.
Having confidence, belief in ourselves, is hard. It’s just sooo easy to be negative. Especially when life seems to knock us down then kicks us where it counts.
But yet, there is always hope. We know a situation can change in a heart beat. We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.”
I think the same applies to what we fix our hope in and on. “We are what we believe.”
If you’re facing a hard time in life, remember the good times. Remember that things change. Turn around can happen in a moment. Miracles still happen.
My passion in life more than writing a great brilliant book is for people to walk in their destiny. One of the downfalls of poor countries and cultures is the oppression of freedom, free thinking and markets. Control hampers people from exploring the creative, bright, brilliant things in their hearts and minds.
My heart especially breaks for women who cannot attend school so they can one day write novels, teach, run for office, practice law or medicine.
No matter what your current limitations or struggles, believe for change. For a better tomorrow. Cue music. That anything is possible.
Goals are great. They can be broken, modified and changed, but most of all, they can be achieved!
I had a saying over my computer for a long time:
Aim small. Hit small.
Aim big. Hit big.
I figured if I aimed for the stars and hit the moon, I still would’ve left this earth for something pretty amazing.
How about you? Are you aiming small? Don’t let fear hold you back. Anything is possible. Aim BIG!
Let’s talk about Big Dreams! One commenter will win an autographed copy of The Wedding Dress today. (Note from Rocki: Trust me, you want to read this book. Go check out the Amazon reviews, and make space on your Keeper Shelf!)
Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author living in central Florida with her hubby and schnauzer. Her latest release, The Wedding Dress, was a Romantic Times Top Pick.
“…an intricately beautiful story. Taken at face value, the tale is superlative, but considering the spiritual message on the surface and between the lines, this novel is incredible. Readers will laugh, cry and treasure this book.”
Visit her at www.rachelhauck.com