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Playing Chicken with Fear

So what if I told you that we were going to write a book? Sounds like a challenge, but we’re not ones to shy away from a challenge. What if I told you we had 90 days in which to do it? 90 days to take it from idea, to outline, to draft, to final manuscript, to published. 90 days to create something that will withstand the test of time. 90 days to capture the heart and soul of this venture and put it on paper for the world to consume.

90 days.

3 months.

12 weeks.

Holy shit.

As the clock struck midnight last weekend, that’s exactly what happened. Our first book was published. We sat in bed, waiting, as the minutes ticked down, nervously looking at each other. Then we saw it. We opened up our respective Kindles and there it was. Our book. OUR BOOK! We were published authors, just like that. We had conquered a seemingly immeasurable challenge. We overcame fear and all of its attempts to derail us. We made it happen.

Three months ago, it was an idea brought to us by a friend. What a great thought; cement our guiding principles through the written word, plant our flag, and force this venture to stand up proudly. We loved the idea, but in crept our old nemesis, fear. Neither one of us was a writer, and certainly we had never taken on writing a book. Where would the inspiration come from? How would we do it? Could we do it? Why would anyone care even if we did? There were a few conversations early on that included responses of “yeah, but…” However, we knew our principles, and had been living them every day. As soon as “yeah, but” appeared, with fear lurking behind those words, we immediately recognized it and addressed it. Had we not, this book would never have come to fruition. The biggest challenge we faced, and still face today, is fear. Virtually everyone can attribute hesitation, safe decisions, and a retreat to comfort to fear. Of the ten principles upon which Fat, Drunk and Fancy are built, facing and overcoming fear is the linchpin. If you can’t get past that one, the others will be significantly harder to achieve. That was our challenge, and we had 90 days in which to conquer it.

The preface and introduction were late night inspirations. I would jump out of bed, awoken by the thoughts racing through my head, and plant myself on the couch. Staying quiet so as not to wake anyone in the house, I would write. When I’m inspired, the words flow from me like a stream flowing from high in the mountains down to the valleys below. It was a start, an anchor in this project. Kim began to capture her experiences, and contacted friends and family where she thought she could find a great, powerful story. She interviewed people, took copious notes, and began to transcribe them into stories. We sat together and discussed those stories, ideas for weaving our principles into them, and crafting a narrative that would best capture our desires and our vision for the world.

There were challenges. Creative differences, looming deadlines, revisions. It was stressful. There were even some fleeting moments where it seemed that we would miss our deadline. We pushed through. We made it clear that no one, and nothing would get between us and our goal. We had a message we needed to share, and it would be shared on time. Edits, revisions, new ideas, brainstorming, right up until the end. There was a sigh of relief when we sent the manuscript off to the editor, and then another sigh when the completed manuscript was uploaded. It was about to become real. We were going to publish our first book. Finally, just a few days ago, that idea became reality.

Now there are new fears to contend with. How will this be received by the public, by our followers, and by those in the book? That remains to be seen. However, we are confident that it will anchor the mission of Fat, Drunk and Fancy. We will continue to face down fear, and make damn sure fear blinks first. That’s what this is all about. Living life with no regrets. And that, my friends, begins with conquering fear.

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