Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ready, Willing, and Able

As a writer, I thought I’d heard of every seminar under the sun. But a friend of mine has me beat. Not long ago, she told me about the Ready Seminar. In case you haven’t heard of it, it goes something like this:

This new year, say you hope to find your significant other. Your ideal partner. Your soul mate. According to the seminar leader, you need to go home and clear out half your closet. Empty half your medicine cabinet as well. Slide your DVD collection to the side and make room on half the shelf. Why? So you’ll be ready for Mr. Right when he comes along. Because once you’re ready, he will come along.

Now, truth be told, it would take more than someone showing up on my doorstep to make me toss half the contents of my closet. And really, I’m not sure this seminar is going to put professional matchmakers out of business. But I didn’t let that prevent me from latching onto the moral of the story. What is it? It’s simply this: be ready.

Ready, ladies and gentlemen, is my word for 2012. (For more on the Rockville 8 and our Words of the Year, see Keely’s post which kicked off this series.) Now, that doesn’t mean I’m already ready for everything. But it does mean I intend to identify my heart’s desire, and do the prep work ahead of time so when Opportunity comes knocking, I can open the door with confidence.

And wonder of wonders, Opportunity has already come calling. A literary agent recently offered me representation. When she wanted to discuss a course of action for my manuscript, when she sent the representation agreement, and when she sent her first revision letter, it hit me. All that reading, all those workshops, all that writing I’ve done over the years—all of it made me ready for this step.


Now, I want to be ready for the next time Opportunity knocks. I want to be able to grasp that doorknob, give it an assured twist, and invite Opportunity in. So I’ll be working on being ready throughout 2012. Will you join me in being ready for the good things coming your way? What’s your heart’s desire this year? How can you prepare to take that step? Tell the R8. We’d love to know!


  1. Good lesson, Nichole. How often do we make ourselves inhospitable to Opportunity? I would wager more frequently than any of us know. and that is because of the risk--the risk to our safe, predictable worlds where "better the Devil you know that the Devil you don't rules."

    Hmmm... I'm getting an idea for my word of the year.

  2. Nichole - awesome, awesome word. Your readiness fair leaps from the screen and I am so delighted to see it!!

    I completely "get" the idea of getting oneself into the ready state. I'm hacking away (cleared out the medicine cabinet!) with the goal of having a dedicated and inviting and READY space to write at home. Get the clutter out to be READY for the creativity to move back in. Yay!

  3. Hi, Shellie,

    How exciting you're considering coming up with a word to drive you on this year!

    I think you're right on about human beings and our safety zones. Really, though, are those zones safe? Or just comfortable because they're familiar? From time to time, the risk can be in standing still, don't you think?

    Can't wait to see what your word for the hear may be!

  4. Thanks, Keely!

    Why does READY have to involve so much WORK?

    Not to worry, though. It'll be worth it! Keep us posted about your progress toward writing at home.

  5. Ready is a great word and you definitely were and ARE. Hurray!

  6. I'm going with "risk". It's risky. It's not safe. It's scary. I don't even know what it means, but I know it will be the opposite of whatever thought or action comes up naturally. Oh, boy is this going to take some work!

  7. Thanks, Evie.

    "Ready" feels like such a mundane word to me. But it's led to a couple of Eureka Moments for me. So I'd better stick with it!

    Of course, it's fun to apply it to other aspects of my life.

    Better buy some chocolate. Why? To be ready for that craving I'll have at 3 AM after I was good and ate a salad for dinner.

    Better buy some vodka. Why? To be ready for that cold front that's moving in this weekend.

    Yeah... Ready... Excellent word!

  8. Shellie, "risk" is a fabulous word! And I agree, a little scary. But there's managed risk, right?

  9. Awesome post, Nicole. Love your word. Ready connotes such potential energy. It's perfect.

    We're very proud of you. Congrats on landing the agent. Yay!

  10. Ready is a word that has many levels. I think it's an ongoing process to be ready, not just a one time action. Glad you were ready when the time came. Congrats on the agent.

  11. 'Potential energy.' I like that, Candy! Like being ready isn't a one-time deal. Nice!

    (And thanks for he congrats!)

  12. Hi, Lisa. Thanks for the congrats! And I'm with you--I think ready is a process, too. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?