The Story Within Us

It’s interesting that in publishing my first novel at the tender age of hmmmm…..many have asked, “How did you do it?”  “How did you discipline yourself to write a whole book?” I did set myself up for success with a few tricks.  If you think of a marathon runner, they don’t start out running 26 miles in a one day (or at least few successful runners do.) I have always wanted to write a book, so I reached out to a fellow writer, DeAnna Sanders and contracted with her to help me make a plan of action. DeAnna and I went on a learning journey together for while we both had a lot of years’ experience in the world of non-profit, particularly in development and communications, neither of us had yet written a book. Happily, we have now achieved this goal!

It was DeAnna who gently pushed me to create an outline and to tie together the many threads of the action.  I set a goal for myself to write a chapter a week and I sometimes wrote two.  It was great fun, knowing that Deanna was going to be my first reader! I would sometimes tease her by saying, “The gala’s coming up!” or “Maybe I’ll come up with a surprise ending!”  Practiced authors don’t wait for inspiration. They make regular time every day for their work.  It’s the same with effective fundraisers. There is always something to be done to move the organizational mission forward and we have to be disciplined to stick to it each day.

In fact, even in the height of the chaos I have my heroine, Lupe, take her team out to work on their annual development plan.  I find this effort reaps rewards for teams large and small.  Sure, you may not get to everything on the list and projects may not always go to plan but it helpful to have a roadmap to channel one’s daily energy.  It’s also so exciting to look back at the end of each month, quarter, and year and review the accomplishments!

I already have plans for Lupe to solve other cases and learn more about gift planning, socially responsible investing, and board governance along the way.  My goal in this book was to prove that learning about advancement needn’t be boring and I hope I have succeeded.