An Everyday Miracle

At a book signing last week a young woman pulled out her iPhone and showed me a picture of her office. “You can’t really see it in the photo,” she told me, “but I keep a quote of yours – the one about what it is you most want to say – on my computer so I can look at it every day.” I squinted, but to no avail. It seemed appropriate that I should have take her word for it, as the idea that something I had said or written served as a daily inspiration for a person I had never met felt mildly miraculous to me. Yes, I write a column that is inspirational in its intent; yes, when I speak I do so more to inspire than to educate; and yes, I have published a book whose sole purpose is to inspire the reader to do what he or she loves. No matter. Within me is the recent memory of waiting tables and writing books that no one read. How exactly did this happen?

Still, my own story is mundane compared to that of Marc Allen, with whom I had the pleasure to chat two weeks ago on Author2Author. Marc is the co-founder of New World Library, a multi-million dollar publishing company. When Marc says that if he can find this kind of success anyone can find this kind of success, he really means it. The day he decided he wanted to start the company he was thirty years old, unemployed, broke, had never thought of starting a business, nor writing a book. And yet, here he is.

To hear Marc tell this story is to understand the everyday-ness of the miraculous. It is easy to call a miracle a lovely fluke, a gift of life’s roulette wheel of fortune and failure. Yet my own brief astonishment at the book signing quickly passed. I had merely lapsed for a moment into the dream-world of memory, a place where I had not yet perceived how this moment was possible. In the next breath I was back in the present where book signings and were not just possible but occurring, where what had once seemed as unlikely as a miracle was now reality.

9781935961994-Perfect_CS.inddWrite Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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