Sunday, July 22, 2007

Determination, Desire, Discipline

Most of you know Debbie Macomber – or about her if you haven’t read any of her books. She is a very prolific and popular romance writer – but guess what? She’s ordinary and she’s motivated by need — or at least she used to be. I found the article below as part of a book by Jack Canfield **The Success Principles, How to get from where you are to where you want to be. I thought it would be an inspiration to us all.

When Debbie Macomber decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, she rented a typewriter, put it on the kitchen table, and began typing each morning after the kids went off to school. When the kids came home, she moved the typewriter and made them dinner. When they went to bed, she moved it back and typed some more. For 2 ½ years Debbie followed this routine. Supermom had become a struggling writer, and she was loving every minute of it.

One night, however, her husband, Wayne, sat her down and said, “Honey, I’m sorry, but you’re not bringing in any income. We can’t do this anymore. We can’t survive on just what I make.”

That night, her heart broken and her mind too busy to let he sleep, she stared at the ceiling in their darkened bedroom. Debbie knew with all the responsibilities of keeping up a house and taking four kids to sports, church, and scouts—that working 40 hours a week would leave her not time to write.

Sensing her despair her husband woke up and asked “What’s wrong?”

“I really think I could’ve made it as a writer. I really do.”

Wayne was silent for a long time, then sat up, turned on the light, and said, “All right, honey, go for it.”

So Debbie returned to her dream and her typewriter on the kitchen table pounding out page after page for another 2 ½ years. Her family went without vacations, pinched pennies, and wore hand-me-downs.

But the sacrifice and the persistence paid off. After 5 years of struggling, Debbie sold her first book. Then another. And another. Until finally, today, Debbie has published more than 100 books, many of which have become New York Times best-sellers and 3 of which have sold for movies. Over 60 million copies of her books are in print, and she has millions of loyal fans.

And Wayne? All that sacrifice in support of his wife paid off handsomely he got to retire at age 50 and now spends his time building an airplane in the basement of their 7,000-square-foot mansion.

Debbie’s kids got a gift far more important than a few summer camps. As adults, they realize what Debbie gave them was far more important — permission and encouragement to pursue their own dreams.

Today, Debbie still has dreams she wants to fulfill—a television series based on her books, an Emmy Award, a number-one New York Times best seller.

To accomplish them, she has a routine: she gets up every morning at 4:30, reads her Bible, and writes in her journal. By 6:00, she’s swimming laps in the pool. And by 7:30 she’s in her office answering mail. She writes between 10 AM and 4:00 PM, producing three new books a year with discipline and perseverance.

What could you accomplish if you were to follow your heart, practice this much daily discipline, and never give up?

This book is filled with motivation and inspiration like the Chicken Soup for the Soul series he is co-author of — it gives one pause to think, and then take action. Unstoppable — that’s what we need to be. WRITE ON gang.

The Success Principles. How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield ISBN 978-0-06-059489-3 $15.95

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