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Owning Your Dreams- Never, Ever Give Up on YOU

Lissa Rankin's picture

IMG_0246When we started Owning Pink just over six months ago, I set a personal goal- I wanted to write books. I had already written a memoir that Barbara Poelle, my literary agent who I lovingly call Monkey Barbara, shopped around. A whole slew of editors took the book to editorial boards, where it got shot down by a whole slew of marketing departments who didn’t know how to put it in a box. The glowing rejection letters piled up.

Set Goals, But Release Attachment to Specific Outcomes

But I refused to count this as failure. Instead, I figured that book just wasn’t ready to get published yet- or maybe, I wasn’t far enough along in my personal development to handle it. Either way, I still wanted to write books. I figured I’d wait for a Sign from the Universe. I decided to simply let go and let God.

Well, wouldn’t you know it. God took over. A few months later, an editor from St. Martin’s Press, who was familiar with my writing, ran into my agent and said, “I have a book idea and your client is the perfect person to write it.” When Rose Hilliard and I spoke about the project, Rose said the magic word, “empowering.” She wanted me to write a book answering the questions you’d only ask your gynecologist after three martinis. She figured we could use the opportunity to educate women as part of a greater goal to empower women to own who they really are. When Monkey Barbara was shopping the memoir, I felt like people kept putting me in a doctor box where I no longer fit comfortably, so I had resisted putting on my white coat, standing up on a pedestal and talking down to people. But I felt myself light up when Rose sent me the questions her girlfriends and female staffers at St. Martin’s had asked. Yes, I could use this book opportunity to help women Own Pink. So I wrote a book proposal, prayed like mad, and once more- I surrendered it to the Universe.

The Universe Listened

Voila. Suddenly, I had not one but four publishing houses fighting over the book proposal I wrote. But I stuck with St. Martin’s Press, where Rose believed in me and gave me a chance to realize my dream. She had been an answer to prayer, and the synchronicity between her idea and my dream felt like one of those Signs from the Universe I listen to. It honestly felt too good to be true. I mean- seriously- after a year of disappointment, an editor was going to just show up and hand me a book deal? Apparently, it’s that easy. You set goals, you release attachment to outcomes, and you just let go…

So I’ve been writing writing writing, and yesterday, I just sent the manuscript to Rose. I’M DONE, PINKIES! Amazing authors helped me along the way- Bonk, Spook & Stiff author Mary Roach, sexpert Lou Paget who wrote The Great Lover Playbook, S Factor founder Sheila Kelley, Barbara Whipple (who famously named the G spot- opting against the chance to name it the Whipple Tickle), Tantric sex goddess Caroline Muir, piercing guru and The Piercing Bible author Elayne Angel, and Susan Crain Bakos, author of The Sex Bible. And now- miracle of miracles- Dr. Christiane Northrup just agreed to write the foreword (Thank you Chris! I love you!)
Introducing My Book

Nine months from now, my book What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend will be on book shelves. And my dream is that it will unleash a whole revolution of Pinkies owning it. Hey, when I dream, I dream big!

Writing this book has been such a blessing for me. You Pinkies submitted amazing questions- hundreds of them (thank you Pinkies! YOU made this book!) Your candor, wit, and vulnerability built the perfect skeleton so I could flesh out what we collectively know, feel, live.

So what's the book about? Just imagine if your best friend was a gynecologist and you could talk candidly about every question you’ve ever had about gynecology, sex, and women’s health, all while drinking a glass of wine and sharing a good laugh? My girlfriends actually get to indulge in that kind of intimacy, asking me all the things they would never ask their doctors. Most women don’t have a gynecologist at their beck and call, so they share girl talk amongst themselves, often perpetuating myths and repeating misinformation. My goal is that What’s Up Down There? will help bridge that gap. I tried to answer your questions with typical Pink style, aiming to demystify the female body and all its quirky, eccentric intricacies, while empowering you to learn, grow, and celebrate the curious oddities that make us women. I say let’s invite the G spot, the scary metal duckbill, the bikini wax, and the feminine deodorant spray to come out of the closet. Let’s put the maxi pads, the douche bags, the sex toys, and the clitoris out there on the table for discussion. Let’s give vaginas a chance to shine, empowering women to embrace and own their femininity, with all its glorious pink power.

Now, the book is done, and I’m looking back on the magical journey that has lead me to this place in my life. You Pinkies were a big part of helping me realize my dream. That you care what I have to say helped convince publishers that there is an audience for what I write. And this is just the beginning. Somehow, I know and trust that there will be more books ahead. Maybe my memoir will even get published one day…

Never, Ever Give Up

The reason I wanted to share all this with you Pinkies is because I want to encourage you to never give up on your dreams. After a year of rejection, I might have convinced myself that I wasn’t good enough. If all those publishers passed on my book, I must lack the chops to be a professional author, right? After all, I had quit my job and spent a year of my life holed up in a cave writing a tell-all book. And it was all wasted, right? How many of you would have told yourself those stories if it had been you? How many would have given up on your dream?

Certainly, the gremlins of self-doubt jumped all over me, whispering evil nothings into my ear. I had dark nights of the soul when I lay silently in the dark, crying. My anxiety mounted and niggling voices threatened to rob me of my mojo. But I pulled out my Monster Spray (thanks Dana!) and clung to my dream. By golly, editorial boards could reject me, but nobody was going to take my dream away from me. I guess, deep down, I’ve always had the confidence that- no matter what happens- I would land butter side up.

What about you Pinkies? What’s your dream? What’s keeping you from pursuing it? Are the gremlins getting you down? Are you afraid to take a Pleap (Pink leap of faith)? Or have you Pleaped and then Unpleaped, because things aren’t happening effortlessly? Have you tried giving your dream a great big hug and then letting it go into the Universe?
Never, never, ever give up, Pinkies.

Still Pleaping,


Dana Theus's picture

you're welcome, Lissa. and

you're welcome, Lissa. and big congratulations to you. enjoy your time off as you contemplate your next big adventure!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you Heather and Alice!

Thank you Heather and Alice! So appreciate it. xoxo

Alice's picture

Glowing with pride for and

Glowing with pride for and with you, Lissa, plus a huge dose of admiration!

Congrats and so much more success to come. Pink love, Alice

Heather's picture

sounds like you listened to

sounds like you listened to that ever wise "quiet" knowledge...congratulations on your accomplishment - very impressive :)

Lissa Rankin's picture

Yes- deciding what you want

Yes- deciding what you want is the hardest part for me. In big letters written in magic marker on my office wall are these words: "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." People are always telling me "You should write a cookbook" or "You should start your own practice" or "You should sell the aromatherapy potions you create" or whatever. Sure- I could do those things. But what if I don't want to?

So often, I think we get caught up in doing what other people think we should. But what about passion, desire? What do we REALLY WANT? Ah...hard questions.

And yes, Kim, sometimes our dreams feel scary. I am scared shitless that I am going to likely end up on TV to promote my latest book. I hate even having my picture taken, much less a TV camera and millions of viewers out there watching. But you know what? I'll deal with that when the time comes. If I have a big message I wish to spread, I must overcome my fear and trust the process. You too- your needs will all be met, honey. But you know that....

Kim Jenkins's picture

Hmmm. Fabulous. Inspiring.

Hmmm. Fabulous. Inspiring. Wonderful. Amazing. Scary. So many words describe this post of yours. So often the biggest battle is just deciding what you want (didn't we address this? ;) ) You knew you wanted to write books....that part alone is HUGE! I know I want to inspire, empower, lead..but without having to do it before large audiences (scaaaarrry). But how the heck do I do that? I guess I keep gathering, giving, sharing and then letting go of the outcome and allowing things to come my way. Thank you for leading the way and showing us what's possible Lissa. Big hug for you!


Lissa Rankin's picture

You can do it Laurie! Go to

You can do it Laurie! Go to the core of what you care most about- and then write it. You'll never fail...

The Adventurous Writer's picture

Congratulations, Lissa -- and

Congratulations, Lissa -- and thank you for this inspiring post. Your book sounds fabulous, I love the title.

I'm in the middle of writing a book proposal right now, I have an agent, I have a pile of rejections for past book ideas, and I'm scared but forging ahead anyway!

Your words are gave me just the boost I needed to keep slogging through this proposal....

:-) Laurie

Lissa Rankin's picture

Ah, thanks MB! And yes, Eat,

Ah, thanks MB! And yes, Eat, Pray, Vagina is coming up next...

monkey barbara's picture

My goal is to KEEP SELLING

My goal is to KEEP SELLING YOUR BOOKS!!! (My dream book for you is still EAT, PRAY, VAGINA)

Lissa Rankin's picture

Yes, Lucy! Thank you for

Yes, Lucy! Thank you for believing in me, sweetie! xoxo Lissa

Lucy Cooper's picture

If I mail you the copy I buy,

If I mail you the copy I buy, will you sign it and mail it back?!

Congratulations. I love your tweets and blog and now a book!

TAHIRA's picture

Congrats! Continue to let the

Congrats! Continue to let the Universe guide you!

Lissa Rankin's picture

You can do it, honey! (Waving

You can do it, honey! (Waving my pom poms for you!) We all go through these tough times. As one friend told me, "You don't go straight to the Promise Land. Most of us have to walk for years in the desert with God first."

I believe in you...

Cafe Chick's picture

This post is incredibly

This post is incredibly timely for me. After a very difficult employment-related year, I have come up with an idea for my own business. It has taken a looooong time to get excited about a concept and I think this is finally it. I desperately need to learn confidence in myself if it's going to work. Thank you for sharing your story.

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you darling Leslee! You

Thank you darling Leslee! You are an amazing writer and already doing much to empower others, so I'd say you're well on your way! Keep the faith, girlfriend. And thank you so much for the affirmation. It means a lot to me. Love you Lissa

Leslee Horner's picture

I am so impressed and

I am so impressed and inspired! I am crying happy tears for you and me (me because when I read about your success, I can feel mine on it's way). And seriously, CHRISTIANE NORTHROP is writing the foreword! Is that awesome or what?!?!

My dream is a lot like your dream...I want to write books and empower others. I am very aware that letting go and having faith is key. I am also learning to stop asking when and how.

Thanks so much Lissa for being you! I love that I am a part of this community and it means to much to witness your success unfold!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Hold tight, then let go,

Hold tight, then let go, love.... We can't control everything in life. We can only build the infrastructure and then give it up to God...

Megan Monique Harner's picture

Thanks Lissa, it is nice to

Thanks Lissa, it is nice to hear that reassurance sometimes.

Lissa Rankin's picture

Hold tight to those dreams,

Hold tight to those dreams, Megan. I just read a great book called The Answer about making your business dreams come true. And I l realized, reading it, that I had intuitively done everything they recommended doing...so I guess it works! You can do it too. You have within you everything you need...

Megan Monique Harner's picture

HOORAY LISSA for the book

HOORAY LISSA for the book being complete! I know we are all anxiously awaiting it's arrival. :)

Right now, I am in the midst of making my dreams come true. I want to travel and lead workshops, all over the US to begin with. I must admit I do get discouraged, considering the cost of traveling and not having a large following in other states, or offline for that matter :) But I am going to keep my head and indeed release attachment. My answers will find me.

Sally_K's picture

Congratulations! You rock! I

Congratulations! You rock! I can't wait to be a proud pink owner of your book. Thanks for the reminder to never give up on our dreams.


Sheila McCann's picture

Congratulations! A big

Congratulations! A big *fishegg* hug. This is just what I needed to read as my path with fisheggs keeps turning. Can't wait to read the book. Great title!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Ah, thank you Pinkies! I

Ah, thank you Pinkies! I couldn't have done it without you. You gave me the courage...

Kristen's picture

Woooooo-Hooooooo and

Woooooo-Hooooooo and Yeeeeeee-Haw, Lissa. Soooo very inspiring. Isn't it fun living your dreams? Kudos!! XOXO Kristen

Juliana's picture

Congratulations!! And thank

Congratulations!! And thank you for all you do.

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