I woke up this morning with a horrible stomach ache and have spent most of the day throwing up. I must have caught some kiddo germs at school last week – yuck. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten much accomplished today. I did get some writing done and I’ve watched a ton of episodes of one of my all time favorite t.v. shows, My So-Called Life.
I’ve been watching the Golden Globes tonight and I have to admit, as embarrassing as it is, I always think about what I would say if I ever found my name called at one of these events. My imaginary speech changes a bit from year to year, depending on what fantasy award I’m winning. I think it’s kind of silly too, but for years a big award on t.v. epitomized what I thought success would look like.
Don’t get me wrong. A big deal award like an Oscar or a Grammy would be amazing and I wouldn’t turn it down, but over the last year my success meter has been shifted.
These days success looks like a class of fourth graders who can’t wait to talk with me about writing. Or seeing my e-book on major bookseller websites. Writing every day for two weeks is a great realistic success that I won’t get any fancy awards for, but it feels like a Golden Globe to me.
I haven’t written consistently in almost a year. I’ve written some, yes, but mainly in short bursts of inspiration followed by extra long periods of frustration and blank pages. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to commit to writing every day, but this time I didn’t put any expectations on it. I’m shooting for about 20 minutes a day, however yesterday I only wrote a paragraph and never got back to it. I wasn’t upset though because at least I wrote a paragraph. Even one new word would have been a success.
I’m not sure how long it will take to finish this book with this new writing goal, but I do know for sure that it will get written.
Maybe some day I will find myself in a fabulous ball gown dripping with diamonds walking up to stage to accept an award. Maybe I won’t. But either way I’m glad that I found a way to shift my perspective on success. Who knows what successes I might have waiting for me. I just have to keep telling the story and watch my own story unfold.
As I look at 2010 coming right at me, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love that has come my way these last months from the amazing people who have read my book The Christmas Child.
Hearing stories of reluctant readers putting aside their video games to read or people who have found hope on the pages and now feel Christmas in their hearts. With each story, I am blown away and deeply humbled.
In all honesty, I had a hard time finding the Christmas spirit myself this year. I have been struggling financially and spiritually. I have been putting myself through the paces for things that are outside of my control. I have been more like The Ice than myself!
But hearing these stories and receiving hugs from readers have made all the difference. Even if I never sold another book, I would still feel like a successful author! I also understand more than ever the power of story. I am grateful for everything that has happened this year in relation to The Christmas Child.
I’ve heard it said that we write what we, ourselves, need to hear. That could not be more true with this book. The Christmas Child is ultimately about the power of belief, especially the belief in yourself. I struggle with this often and I have learned so much from Becca’s journey and transformation.
So as 2009 comes to an end, I would like to say thank you to the wonderful people who came to book signings and my launch at the Mercury Cafe. To the classes I visited, the kids and kid’s at heart who left their world behind to travel to the North Pole with me…you have made my heart light and joyous. I am so grateful and thank you doesn’t seem big enough to describe what I feel.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year for everyone. Cheers!
What is the definition of success for a writer? I’ve thought about this a lot over the years. Is it a combination of books sold, starred reviews and millions in the bank? Is it getting an agent and a publishing contract?
As I wrote TCC, I daydreamed about success all the time. What my first launch would look and feel like. How it would feel to sell the movie rights. As I received rejections and passes on the manuscript, I would dream and think of success even more. Maybe to compensate for the blow to my ego and the rip in my heart.
I have felt many successful moments on my publishing journey with TCC and each success felt awesome, but nothing as wonderful as this –
An eight year-old boy can’t put my book down. He hasn’t played video games in days, he takes my book to the table with him and reads it before school. I can hardly believe it, even as I write this sentence.
This is my new definition of success. I can’t put into words how incredible it felt to hear this news. I hope that TCC goes on to connect with more readers, but anything else will be icing on the cake.