The other day I received a phone call from a former freelance article subject. The brilliant caller left me a voicemail with the words, "I have an interesting proposition for you. I can't tell you in this message, you'll have to call me."
When anyone says they have an interesting proposition, you'd think I'd jump at the chance. Truthfully, I was filled with anxiety. What if he asked me to do something I don't have the capacity to do? How do I tell him no without hurting his feelings? I already had the "no," in my mind and dreaded making the call.
I'm fond of this individual and find him fascinating. He was a great subject for my article and he has a lot of great stories that can keep you entertained for hours. He's elderly, so he has those hours to spare.
After I got out of my head, I made the call the following day as I drove into work. As he explained his proposition, I held my breath.
"I want you to write my memoir."
Oh. Wow. Okay. I'm limited on time and resources but perhaps I could make that work. Surely it was a task I was capable of.
"Make a list of what you want to include in this book and we'll meet on Saturday," I told him.
I was relieved and elated. A small fog of anxiety lingered as I pondered the details: when would I have time to do this, what would the financial aspect look like, in what manner would we get this done...etc. But the irony of the "proposition," was it was EXACTLY what I want to do with my life. I want to help people tell their stories, either by ghostwriting for them or, in this case, writing the biography with them. It was an opportunity I desperately needed because it was so in line with who I want to be and what I want to spend my life doing.
So we meet next Saturday to map out a plan. I'm so thankful I called him back and didn't let my anxiety get the best of me. My advice? If it excites you, say yes. Your heart will lead the way.