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Are you at war or peace with your idea? | Janet Goldstein

peace doves image

Ahh, the tug of summer inspiration…

A book (or Kindle) in a swing. Your journal (or iPad) in hand where you’ll record your free-flowing ideas, articles you’ve been plotting, and goals you never have time to really think about.

You might even be considering  about tackling your secret big project—a book. This project may be in draft form in your computer, floating in your mind, or tucked away in your drawer. It may be an inner mandate or an urgent, this-summer-or-never to-do from your brain trust, colleagues, or friends.

Or it may be a question mark. Can I—or should I—write a book now?

Every time you imagine your next step, you can experience a conflict between your powerful hopes and excitement and your very real doubts—a struggle between your motivation and your resistance.

But our creative ideas and publishing dreams don’t have to feel like warring factions between what I call our Dreamer Self and Ms./Mr. Status Quo.

THE DREAMER: Believing in the magic of what we’ll create—that our idea, book, ebook, or other dream project promises credibility, success, merit, expertise, or just “making it.” The voice in your head may say, “I know my story will resonate, if I can get it out there,” “A book will catapult me into a new category as a writer, leader, speaker,” “I’ve done something (or have a perspective) that no one else has and I need to share it with the world.”

Ms./Mr. STATUS QUO: Believing our goal is unrealistic, or a distraction from what must get done, or a fantasy. We may think it’s not the right time, not something we’re ready for, or that it’s too hard or too overwhelming. The voice in your head may say, “I’ve tried before,” “I don’t know where to start,” “I don’t have the right credentials, status, platform, connections,” “I’m not ready.”

In fact, these are not warring camps; they represent the balance of having high hopes and realistic expectations. If you can tame both selves—if you can get them together—you can get unstuck from inaction or incompletion and accelerate your work right now. In fact, you can have your most creative, productive, and peaceful summer yet!

You can become…

THE DOER: working on the right idea and the right approach, for right now—based on the new world of writing, publishing, and entrepreneurship.

Without our creative dreamer spirits engaged, our work and lives are uninspired. Without our personal insights about ourselves and our “grown-up” experiences, we can stay in our dreamer mode without reaping the benefits finding the doable, realistic path that gets our work out into the world.

What is your dream project (right now) and what warring impulse is holding you back?

Can you name your unstated magic wishes AND your realistic expectations?

Are there specific steps you can take to make peace and not war with your project?