Written by Dayo Olatokun
My book P.I.P.E. Dreams: Principles to Live What You Love, was inspired by the work I’ve been doing with my organization, GPA. GPA stands for The Gifted & Purposed Alliance, Inc. It is an arts based non-profit I started in 2014 to help young people identify their gifts and talents early, so they can pursue a career doing what they love!
In addition to offering workshops in acting, dance, music, and other art forms, our students are required to participate in our life skills workshop called P.I.P.E. Dreams. P.I.P.E. represents our core value of Punctuality, Integrity, Purpose, and Excellence! We believe adopting these core values will create a pipeline towards achieving any goals, dreams, or aspirations.
Almost every time I facilitated this workshop for the first time, whether at a contracted school, partner organization, or speaking engagement, I would get the question “have you written a book?”, “Is this from a book somewhere?”, or questions of that nature.
Having this repeated so many times put the idea in my head. I just had to wait for the right moment when I had gathered the definite and indefinite thoughts of this process.
So I just continued to put the thought of writing on the backburner…until the summer of 2019.
Inspired To Write
While driving Uber, one of my several jobs at the time, I began having some ideas to add for my next P.I.P.E. Dreams workshop. Since the principles are predominantly based on my experiences, I often get these streams of thought that add layers to what I’ve taught in the past. Hence why P.I.P.E. Dreams is always evolving, each workshop is never the same, it evolves with time and exposure. The more I live, the more revelations I have to add.
When these particular thoughts and revelations came that day, I was picking up a passenger, therefore unable to pull out my phone and take notes as I often do when these ideas come to me. While driving, I tried my best to remember everything until I was able to drop the passenger off, but by that time, I had forgotten most of the ideas. I was furious!
I pulled over to a nearby parking lot and just took a break from driving. It was at that moment that I started thinking about all the teachers, students, and people I’ve crossed paths with that have encouraged me to write a book!
After taking one of those deep breaths that come with fear and intimidation, I finally allowed the thought to fester in my mind. I started thinking about what to write about and how I wanted to go about this process. I made it waaaaay more complex than it needed to be. Didn’t realize this until I called my friend Robin to tell her I wanted to write a book.
Robin Devonish is the self-publishing maven; she’s been helping authors self publish for years! And she’s also been telling me for years that I need to write a book. When I told her what I wanted to write about but wasn’t sure how to start, she said, “You already have the info you need to write. Just write what you’ve been teaching all this time.”
Writing P.I.P.E Dreams
Here I was trying to come up with new ideas when I already had everything I needed to write the book!
Between that conversation and the official book release, I wrote on and off for about a year and a half. I did my best to allot time for writing, but as an actor, entrepreneur, father, husband, and the many other hats I wear, time management
wasn’t always easy. It wasn’t until the summer of 2020 that I had the best flow of writing.
Not only did work slow down due to the pandemic, but I had a conversation with my wife Dawn about committing more time to writing. We share many responsibilities and she agreed to take up some of mine so I could have uninterrupted writing space.
Between August and December of 2020 is where the majority of the book was written. I would write at home, on the train, a café, a friend’s house, in my car, and anywhere I could when focusing on a particular chapter. The intentionality of choosing a time and location to write definitely expedited the writing flow.
I submitted the book to Robin for editing in December, we spent January back and forth with editing, and on February 21st, 2021, P.I.P.E. Dreams: Principles to Live What You Love, was released to the world. It was a feeling I pray for every aspiring author to experience. The actualization of leaving a literary legacy on this earth cannot be removed. It’s here to stay!
Helping My Readers
What’s amazing about writing this book is that I usually get on average 45 min to an hour to facilitate a P.I.P.E. Dreams workshop. What the book does is allow the audience to dive deeper into this work on their own time upon completing the workshop.
They’re able to discover things the workshop may not have allowed time for, and that takes away the feeling I used to have in the past. The feeling of “We didn’t get to cover this”, or “I wish we had more time to finish.” It’s amazing to know the audience can create the pipeline to their dreams at their own pace, on their own time.
Find more from Dayo Olatokun:
Book – dayoolatokun.com
IG, Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube – @dayoolatokun | @gpaincorporated
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