But to get the chance to receive this benefit, first you have to muster the courage to write the thing you want to write, then you have to drum up even more courage to put your written baby out in the world where it can get praised, criticized, or ignored.
I’m here to tell you, it’s hard. Being an author is not for the faint of heart.
Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, you’ll hear from a reader that makes all the fear, doubt, and hard work of being an author worthwhile.
Here’s a story about Rebel Millionaire from R, a friend and former colleague of my hubs Marcus, that arrived in my inbox in February 2021, about a year after the COVID-19 pandemic started, and nearly a year after I released Rebel Millionaire into the world.
My son recently graduated from college with a psychology degree. He has been home since last March, but just went back to campus for a couple of months to be with friends while he figures out his next steps. After he left, in his room I found “Rebel Millionaire.” Just glancing briefly at it, I thought he had somehow gotten involved in a pyramid scam! 🙂 But after looking in more detail, I recognized you as the author and realized it was legit. Some friends of ours gave this to him for his college graduation. What a thoughtful gift and what a thoughtfully written piece. I think, given where he is in his life, that this will be inspiring to him. Already he has started to do some investing on his own. I also found your booklet to be a good reminder to myself, as someone who has taken some non-traditional zigs and zags, that a non-linear, “risky” path is worthwhile. Thanks for putting this out into the world…it couldn’t be more important. Especially for those who want to try to have some agency over their lives and a decent amount of work-life balance, which I think should never be a lost cause.
If I hadn’t put my money zine out in the world, I would not have received this heartfelt and gratifying letter. Thanks so much, R!
The funny thing is, I almost didn’t write my zine at all. Back in 2019, I had tons of anxiety about writing a zine about money, specifically about my money. I didn’t know if I wanted to be public about such a private thing. Even though I knew what I wanted to write, I procrastinated for months and months on it due to fear and doubt. But, I was inspired after reading the book, Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynne Jackson to ask the Universe for help.
Before leaving for an 11-day vacation to Philadelphia with Marcus, I asked the Universe to please send me the sign of a blue butterfly if I was meant to go forward and write Rebel Millionaire. Why a blue butterfly? I wanted to pick something beautiful that I was always happy to see–a butterfly–but that was rare enough that it wasn’t too commonplace–hence, a blue butterfly.
About a week went by. I was enjoying our time in Philly–seeing historic sites and eating loads of delicious food–but I also felt discouraged that I hadn’t seen a blue butterfly yet and was ashamed that I was depending on the Universe to make this important decision for me. Finally, on a day when Marcus was out on a photo walk, I sat down in the front room of the row house we were staying at and started typing some thoughts about money into the Notes app on my phone. After an hour or more–I can’t remember how long it was–I had drafted the introduction to what would someday become Rebel Millionaire.
I was so relieved! I had broken my long streak of writer’s fear! (If you’re wondering why I don’t call it “writer’s block,” it’s because I think of blocks as when you can’t think of what to write, whereas, I often know what I want to write, but my fear keeps me from actually writing it down.)
I got up, stretched my tight legs, and walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water. I was high on having finally written!
When I sauntered into the living room with my glass, that’s when I saw it.
The blue butterfly had been there all along. It was printed on the middle pillow of the couch I had been sitting on. I had been leaning and resting against it while watching TV for almost a week! The Universe sent me a sign in plain sight, but, I didn’t see it until I started writing. Then, it appeared as if by magic to say, I’ve been here all along. In fact, I’ve had your back this whole time. I am your sign. Go forth and write your money book!
So, I did.
Rebel Millionaire was released in March 2020, around the same time that COVID-19 was spreading across the world. I had a lot of fear about putting it out in the world (and also about getting a deadly virus), but I felt the fear and did it anyway.
Rebel Millionaire has become Plaid Frog Press’s best selling book. I’m still amazed about that.
That said, our shop has close to 100 copies of the Rebel Millionaire zine left. This zine will not be reprinted. Plaid Frog Press is converting from analog to digital in the near future, so if you want a copy of this beautifully printed zine for yourself (and all your family and friends!), order it now and you’ll get 20% OFF. While you’re at it, take a look around the Plaid Frog Press shop and get everything for 20% off from now through 12/15/2023.
My gratitude goes out to every person who has bought Rebel Millionaire, read it, or told someone else about it. You never know how your writing will have a positive impact on someone, even if that person is you. 🦋
Peg Cheng is the author of Noodle Taco, a Taiwanese-Mexican-American culinary adventure, Rebel Millionaire, a guide for how to retire as a millionaire even if you make a modest income, and The Contenders, a novel that asks, can enemies become friends? She is also the owner of Plaid Frog Press with her husband Marcus Donner. Born in Southern California to Taiwanese parents, Peg currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
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