If you’ve been following my newsletter, you already know that I’ve started a #projectgethappy in regard to my health. All my life I’ve been bigger, and I’ve spent years endlessly searching for a quick fix. Pills, considering surgery, even tried tightening corsets to try to force my body into a specific shape, all while still trying to enjoy my laziness. I would try everything under the sun but exercise, because… ugh. 😉
Stay with me now, I’m getting to the analogy part for the title of this post…
I grew up with my brother as one of my best friends. He’s a year younger and we hung out in the same circles, but more than anything else, I think we had this struggle in common—we were bigger kids. We embraced ourselves despite our overweight bodies, and I believe we were both often sought after for company. I looked to him a lot, and once we grew up, our lives took very different paths. But we were still the two big kids on the block 😉
Last year, he dropped 100 pounds, and I was dying to know his secret. I’d had a very rough year, struggling with not only my weight, but trying to understand what I had to offer to anybody. Stress had stifled my personality that even I didn’t want to be around myself. When he told me that all he did was eat right and exercise, I wanted to throw something at him. I excused it away as him being a boy; of course he lost weight that way. But when I finally screwed my head on straight, I realized that the reason why I wasn’t losing weight was because I wasn’t working for it.
I’m on month 4 of #projectgethappy and I still see that person who just wants results now. NOW I TELL YOU! But the thing about doing things the right way is that they take time.
If I lose weight the right way, it will be a gradual descent. Some descents are faster than others, depending on the person, and it’s easy to compare my progress to someone else’s. But that’s not my journey, that’s theirs.
Did you stay with me? If not, I suppose you can start right here 😉
This year, I will have published 20 books. How many of them have that special italicized title above my name? Zero.
I’m not talking Amazon bestseller. If you take a look at that title, yes, I’ve probably hit one of those lists. Back when I published my first title, I hit several lists on Amazon, even Barnes, but the big three (USA Today, Wallstreet, and NYT) were all laughable IMO. No way could I reach those. It’s impossible for me or anyone else I know. Those are the Oscars of Publishing.
Then as time passed, more of my friends started hitting those lists. Am I jealous? Sure. But I’m also quite happy for them. However, the longer I write, the more those lists seem farther and farther from my grasp. I start comparing myself to these books, these writers, wondering what the secret is, how are they doing it, and what’s the code I need to replicate in my own novels.
My friends are fabulous, and they give me all the advice possible. It’s all work, of course, because nothing this amazing comes easily. And what worked for some of them two years ago will do absolutely nothing today, so not only is the “formula” hard, it’s unsteady. With every piece of advice, there is always the “and a lot of luck” tacked on the end.
Some of my friends debuted as bestsellers. But me?
I’m on book 20 this year, as I said before, because like my weight loss, this is my journey. The question isn’t if I’ll make a list; it’s if I’ll turn back around before I get there.
I don’t know how long this will take. I don’t know if this dream will be one I reach when I’m 30 and I can travel off to find another one, or if it will take me 30 years. The only thing I’m sure of is that it will never happen if I don’t try.
Sitting on my butt will not make me lose weight faster.
Writing books just for the sake of getting them published will not make me hit a list. (Sitting around, not writing anything, won’t help either 😉 )
So each book I put out has all of my heart into it. It’s done the right way (ie: edited, formatted, professional cover, advertised, etc.). I’m so excited to get my words into reader’s hands. If it’s not a bestselling book, does that make it a failure? Does it make it less valuable?
To answer all my author friends who have yet to hit a list (or whatever your goal may be that you haven’t yet reached), absolutely not.
There is something to be said about the person who endures. I’m talking about those of you who, no matter what anyone else around you may be achieving ahead of you, keep on going. I look up to you. I want to follow your example. I know that if I do, I’ll get there, no matter where “there” is.
So no, I’m not a bestseller (yet 😉 ), but I may be something else—a fighter. And that may be just as rewarding.
Spell for the day: