First of all, Happy Birthday to my friend, Crash Test Dummy. Thank you for making me laugh and for bringing a bit of tropical excitement and energy to the blog world. If you don't know Crash you ought to go visit her blog. By the way, Crash, I haven't read your blog today. I found out about your birthday all on my own because of my superb internet stalking skills. Actually, it was on Facebook.
And, yesterday was another birthday, my other funny friend, Kristina P/SnuggieQueen who makes us laugh in her own posts and then leaves supportive comments on everyone else's all over the blogosphere.
To begin, I have a favor to ask. First of all, if you a) have already ordered your book and b) are signed up on Goodreads, would you mind shooting me an email? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm looking for some people who would be willing to read a PDF copy of the book and do a review/rating on Goodreads.
Now that's out of the way. I want to talk about something. I think I may change the title of this blog to "Restating the Obivous." But alas, that's where I am in my personal journey--learning (or relearning the obvious). On the premise that there are others out there who are on this same circular learning curve, I am offering this instructive little tale. This is really not complaining, I promise. It's reflecting.
Before I was published, I thought, "Oh, I'll be happy when I'm published. That will bring me such joy that it will make all tribulation pale by comparison." And it was true for a week or two. Then, I found out about a group of Mormon writers. I wanted to join and be part of the club. But you can only join a month before you publish your first book. So, I waited and thought, "I'll be so happy when I join LDStorymakers." And so on.
This past week has been rough. Spiritually, I'm in one of those places you look back and say, "That was really good for me. Not fun at the time, but I really grew." (Not asking for sympathy here, just being authentic). Nothing critical, just the kind of internal struggles that come with trying to be a better disciple, better person, better husband, better father, etc.
It has also been disappointing. I got rejected by two agents for the same manuscript in the same week. I didn't get the copyright permission I has hoping to get for the song Sherrie and I are working on. And, marketing/promoting The Road Show takes a lot of time. A. Lot.
I know. Cry me a river, right? I'm senot complaining. I'm just making the point that no external event--publishing a book for example--and no future milestone really confers happiness.
I'm the same person I always was. To the extent I was happy before all of this, I still am. To the extent I wasn't, I'm still not.
The lesson I've (re)learned this week is this: be happy and focus on the things that are most important. Goodreads reviews, agents, blog tours, are all nice things. But they can only be enjoyed to the extent I'm already happy and grounded.
If I'm not happy and grounded, then there's no amount of agents, good reviews or contracts that will change that.
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Please don't steal my words! Whatever I lack as a writer, it's still one of the few skills I have.
If you foolishly disregard this warning, I will send this guy after you. He's 6' 6".