A miracle occurred recently on a rainy Saturday morning in Los Angeles. A UPS truck delivered a box to me that I was both expecting and still can’t totally believe.
I accepted the package, opened it, and lifted out my book—the first ever printed and bound book bearing my title, The Sausage Maker’s Daughters, and my name, AGS Johnson, on the wintry pastoral scene that has become my cover. It didn’t matter that this book was merely a proof of the advanced reading copies intended for reviewers and industry people, its back cover being slightly changed for that purpose. It felt, holding that book, like the embodiment of a lifetime worth of aspirations and struggles, hopes and dashed dreams, like life itself with all its ups and downs—which ironically is exactly what the book is about.
Holding the first book was a moment of overwhelming emotion, so I promptly sat down and wept. I felt better about that dramatic reaction when my husband had nearly the same one upon seeing it. Seems we’ve both hoped for and worked toward this moment, together, for a long, long time.
So here’s what I think it all means for all of us: dream big, dream wild, dream audaciously. Let nothing limit you and your dreams. Always have a dream. Always nourish your dream.
And then go for it. Pursue that dream as if your life depends upon it. Ignore the naysayers who will tell you ‘you can’t.’ Thank the critics that hate to tell you ‘you have no talent,’ that you can’t write, that you will never make it. Just keep moving forward. Smile and thank those that tell you if you just tweaked the plot and/or setting ever so slightly to, oh I don’t know, to aliens from a parallel universe who crash land in the middle of Wisconsin and become addicted to beer, intermarry with the locals, and start a chain of successful breweries that quickly spread through intergalactic space. Well…
No matter how crazy or cruel the commentary your efforts toward your dream may engender, bear in mind the moment of payoff, the moment of dream-realization. Believe in it when no one else seems to. And if your own beliefs are shaken for a time, then go for it on autopilot until belief and confidence return.
Look forward to the time when the impossible becomes reality that you’ll hold in your hands.