The Big Reveal

Edited to add new projects below!


Reading through the goals you have set for yourself as part of Project Dreamcatcher was really moving and humbling. I am amazed and inspired by all of you, and I can’t wait to follow your progress.

I guess I’m ready then. Here comes my own big reveal!

But I’d like to first speak about the Matt Cutts/TED lecture I chose for Week One, which was short and sweet. Watching Matt’s talk was the spark that actually inspired me to create this project.

Matt talks about his own experiences with making a goal come true in 30 days. The 30 day time period is significant for a few reasons: research suggests that once you do something for a minimum of 30 days, it starts to become a habit. (Although, for the average person, a habit isn’t fully formed for 66 days.) But: 30 days is also a short, manageable chunk of time. The reason I have chosen 8 weeks for our timeline is because I think it gives us a better chance of achieving our goals and making a habit.

While watching Matt’s video, a few things struck me:

1. Matt claims the time during his 30 day challenges was much more memorable. Instead of the month flying by “forgotten” he savored and remembered moments more.
2. Working on and mastering a new challenge increased Matt’s self-esteem and led him to complete more adventurous goals, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
3. He also notes that if you really want something badly enough, you can do anything for a short period of time. The act of COMPLETING a goal is incredibly inspiring.

He concludes his speech with this rousing invitation:

“So why not think about something you’ve ALWAYS wanted to try, and give it a shot!”

Matt’s point about how empowering it is to complete a goal was the kick in the butt I needed. It forced me to take action.

So. What have I always wanted to try?

Before I even get there, (ARGH!! I hear you thinking, unless you’ve already scrolled to the end. Understandable.) I used to be of the philosophy that it was stupid to reveal a goal or a dream to others. Keep it under your hat, I always thought. That way, no one knows whether you’ve failed.

You know what? Screw that. Kathy said something that really resonated with me: “I am always looking for ways to keep myself accountable to my goals.”

I need to apply the same accountability for this dream that I apply to myself in the workforce. If I have a work deadline, I never, ever miss it. EVER. Yet, I feel so reluctant to put that kind of pressure on myself when it comes to a personal goal.

But that’s exactly what I NEED to do. Because my own dream is just as important to me (and probably even more so) than some arbitrary work project. And I need to treat it as such.


(Sorry, I’m nervous.)


By the end of this summer, I will complete my book. What’s my book? It’s a much longer version of Faces of ALI, and it focuses on little known but inspiring stories of ordinary yet extraordinary people going through infertility and loss and adoption with hope and grace. I think a lot of us are irritated that the infertility books being pushed by the big publishers are books like this. So many people suffering from infertility need to feel they are not alone, that there are other people out there who have gone through the same things and survived and eventually thrived. Leah and her fabulous book have inspired me to get these real stories out there, so others can read them. And take heart and have hope.

I will not only complete my book, but I WILL publish it. It will be available to the public by September 2, 2013.

And that’s my goal!


But I will do it, with your help. And I will help you to make YOUR goals and dreams a reality. Together, we can do it.


Here are links to bloggers participating in Project Dreamcatcher. If we could all help each other along our journeys to our dreams, that would be RAD. Research shows that those who are supported are 33% more likely to achieve their goals.

1. R. Sativus: Feel Better About Myself
2. Cheryl That’s Me: Improve Study Habits
3. Adventures in Writing, Reading and BookCrossing: Establish a Daily Writing Habit
4. Little Chicken Nugget: Take Care of Myself
5. Project Progeny: Make Significant Progress On My Dissertation
6. Stumbling Gracefully: Plant a Garden
7. Too Many Fish To Fry: Finish and Publish My Book
8. Ms. Mom PharmD: Run a 5 k
9. Wordgirl: Project Urban Farm
Link to your post in the comments below and I will add you ASAP.
10. Dipitie: Master Photography

What is Project Dreamcatcher? Click here.

To everyone else, please feel free to join in at any time and/or discuss in the comments below what has helped you meet goals in the past! Was it a supportive community? Deadlines? Did you feel more alive while engaged in making your goal happen?



Filed under Blogging, Fear, getting published, Project Dreamcatcher, writing

30 responses to “The Big Reveal

  1. YAAAAAY! Go, you! I will cheer you on. Right now I’m treading water, and don’t want to goal-set … unless it’s to survive the next few months without having a mental breakdown. πŸ˜‰ But I’m so glad you’re doing this!

  2. so wonderful! you should be proud for setting such a life goal in motion. cheering you on from the sidelines. let us know how we can help.

    and that is a very auspicious date indeed — Z will turn 2!

  3. My goal is to run a 5K, and I’m signing up for one in 8 weeks. Eeep! Also, yay for your goal! I am so excited to read the book!

  4. I guessed right! πŸ˜‰ So looking forward to reading this! πŸ™‚

  5. Yay you!! That is an awesome project! Can’t wait to see what it turns out like! I’m kind of with Justine as far as being in survival mode, but look forward to following along with the goals.

  6. I love this. Your first post on this made me wistful, I wish I had a dream that was attainable in a summer. Ah well. Looking forward to reading about it!

    xoxo (I was formerly Serenity). πŸ™‚

  7. Mo

    Yes! I was hoping you would bite the bullet and self-publish! Yaaaay!

  8. I was hoping it would have something to do with this project. I’m so glad and proud of you for taking the step to publish these stories. I can’t wait to read the book πŸ™‚

  9. SRB

    Holy shit Jessica! YAYAYAYAYAY! Can’t wait to read it and talk about it endlessly to everyone I know.

  10. This is AWESOME. You can totally do this… And your writing is fantastic, the project needed… Hooray! I’ve been in a weird space but ultimately decided this would be great for me. G and I are embarking in an urban farming project with raised beds (Which he has finished already) And now have to implement them… Along with the chicken coop. We may not get chickens until next year but we’d like to get it all in place. So… Project Urban Farm here at Bloodsigns ….

    As I’ve discussed here before I was in fairly rigorous MFA program 96-98. I wish I had thought of it more in terms of writing time rather than support. I did receive and make some fabulous friends/friends who were readers but the program itself was not geared towards real support… Nor is any workshop program. I’ve come to believe that the warring egos combined with the promise (Either real or imagined) of literary book deals w/ traditional publishing houses is not a setup for a rich, nurturing environment. I brought my young writers heart and relatively thin skin into a cutthroat world and my own writing is still recovering — so much so that still I can’t set goals for writing projects. I find that I keep writing like my own secret. Did you ever see Woody Allens Vicki Cristina Barcelona? Javier Bardem’s father is a poet who doesn’t like the world so he hoards his own poetry?

    Anyway. I’d love to be in a supportive community.


    • That is an excellent project!! I’ve always wanted to build an urban farm (with a chicken coop) and I can’t wait to read and learn from your progress πŸ™‚

      When I was researching this project I wasn’t surprised to learn that support really makes a difference in the outcome of completing a goal. I felt we have such a great group here online that why not harness the energy to help us all out?

      I am thrilled you are in. πŸ™‚

  11. This is such good news.

    For anyone from her forward who seeks information on real faces of adoption, loss and infertility.

    I can hardly wait to see what happens. It’s going to be great!

  12. Pingback: Struggling with solids | One Step At a Time

  13. Awesome! There need to be more real stories out in print. You’ll do a fabulous job.

  14. FANTASTIC dream!!! I’m so excited for you! I picked Photography as my dream after all – no sense in letting a lack of equipment hold me back πŸ™‚

  15. Yay yay yay! I am so beyond excited to see you taking the plunge and going for it! You won’t regret it lady – I promise!

  16. Great Idea! I will be going through fertility treatments very soon, and your book sounds amazing and inspirational. I can’t wait to read it! I’m going to start out small by accomplishing these goals in 30 days. My goals are to meditate for 10 minutes a day and sell items that have been sitting in my garage on Craigslist and Ebay. Thanks for the motivation!

  17. Yay!!! So happy to see this and sorry I am late to congratulate you! I too was guessing and hoping this was your project! As much as I would love to see you get Faces of ALI published traditionally, I admire you pursuing self-publishing, which it sounds like you are doing? And you never know, that can still lead to a book deal later on, right?

    I can’t wait to read your book when it is complete and help you to promote it to my family and friends. I do believe there is a need and a market for this and you are an awesome person to fill that gap with your moving and inspiring writing. You go girl!

    Looking forward to following your progress, as you know, I too am working on a book project, but don’t see myself finding/making the time this summer to get it query or self-publishing ready by September. Maybe this time next year thought, if not before?

    Also, at this time I don’t feel I can commit to a Project Dreamcatcher goal, as I already have enough on my plate with helping to plan my 20th High School Reunion next month and still doing the Winter turned Spring Shed, soon to be Summer, on my blog. I do mean what I said about accountability though and if things slow down at all in my life, I may try to jump in and out, as you have offered as an option, in the weeks to come. I do love the idea and plan you have for Project Dream Catcher! Way to go! πŸ™‚

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