IMPOSSIBILITY & AUTHORING
JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group
May 25, 2023
It’s been a pretty big week for me. After three years of writing, investigating, rewriting, editing, and organizing, I finally printed out the first manuscript of my first book. It’s not ready to be published quite yet. It still needs it to be professionally edited. I still need to have some conversations about how I’ll publish it. And I also need to do a lot of legwork to market and promote it. But … I did it. I wrote it. Me. The person who used to proclaim she wasn’t a writer. The person who used to think she wasn’t good enough to hold that title.
I thought it would be impossible for me to complete such a herculean task. When I wrote the first few chapters, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to cross the finish line. Sure, I could write a 300-word blog pretty easily. I can even write a 2,000-word essay. But a 90,000-word book? I was afraid I’d never finish it. I was afraid I wouldn’t have the courage to get it complete. But as Paulo Coelho said in his book The Alchemist, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
I had to do one thing. Keep going. If I succumbed to my fear, I’d never complete the task at hand. If I just kept going, I’d eventually finish. And I did.
Now that I’ve made it to this point, I can’t help but think … I want to write another! And I will. I know I will. It’s possible. And it makes me wonder what else I’m capable of. I think of all the things I’ve accomplished that once seemed impossible. I also think of things I currently have in the impossible column. And next, I’d like to move them to the possible column. If I take away my fear of failure, I’ll set myself up for success.
It makes me think of the quote from Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Me, too, Alice. Me, too.