Four days after signing a contract for DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, I’m still riding the high that comes with a first sale. But in the quieter moments (read: when I’m not jumping like a maniac and talking 3,000 miles a minute), I find myself wondering: What just happened here?
Yes, I’ve been working hard — writing new stuff, revising stories that still need help and, perhaps most importantly, opening myself up for rejection by putting my babies out there.
I’d also decided — not so long ago — to take the plunge into indie publishing. I signed up for a self-publishing class online. I hired a web designer and started working with a cover artist. I lined up an editor for HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS and sent OPERATION SNAG
MIKE BRAD out to several readers.
Of course, I hadn’t completely given up on a more traditional path. After all, so many folks these days are doing both. Last Monday, I entered Bree and Mike’s story, OVEREXPOSED, in the Golden Pen. The goal was to get feedback to better prep the entry for GH2014. (I wasn’t satisfied with its 2013 scores, even though it landed in the top quarter. I wanted another GH final under my belt.)
But I no longer hung all my hopes on landing an agent/finaling in a contest/selling my book to a publisher. I opted to take my career into my own hands.
Funny how life works, isn’t it? My book deal found me only after I stopped looking for it.
The day after I entered the Golden Pen, I got the email from Turquoise Morning Press; on Thursday, I inked the deal. (I believe that makes me ineligible for the next Golden Heart competition. Correct me if I’m wrong, please. I hate to have wasted an entry fee.)
Did anyone get the license plate number of whatever sent me spinning in a completely different direction?
Is it simply that, as Depeche Mode says, “God has a sick sense of humor”? Or is something else at work?
They — whoever “they” are — say that love finds you when you least expect it. Does the same principle apply to book deals?
Or maybe there’s something to visualization, to the principle of “acting as if.” That’s what these cards I found at Target the other day seem to suggest.
I also have some personal experience with visualization.
Back in late 2010/early 2011, as part of my ongoing weight-loss journey, I hooked up with a life coach. Among the things Jenn and I did was create a vision of the future me.
After chatting with me about my goals, Jenn emailed me this paragraph for me to consider:
I see a woman who is confident. She is glowing with happiness, she is vibrant. I see a woman who is fit, she is active, she enjoys the outdoors with her dogs and she practices regular yoga. She is lighter, she may even be at her goal weight! I see a woman who enjoys food. Food has lost it’s power over her. She is excited about her future as a writer. She is independent and she believes in herself. I see a woman who is a writing finalist, carrying a new MacBook. I see a woman who is a traveler. She is surrounded by people who love and support her, and she is connected with her family.
As best I could, I took our vision to heart and acted as if I’d already achieved the success I sought.
And guess what?
The fit, active yoga devotee is still mere pipe dream. Most days, I’d rather veg on the couch … or in a chair at Starbucks. The part about food losing its power over me hasn’t materialized yet, either, though I wish it would.
But the part about writing that I highlighted in purple? Spot-on.
I did become a Golden Heart finalist a few months later (and found out I’d won the Beacon on the very same day). I’ve also gotten not one but TWO new laptops since then. (Okay, the first one was reconditioned … but the current one is all mine. Never-been-owned, fresh out of the box — and I love it, even if I’ll be paying for it for a long, long time.)
While I can’t say for sure how big a role our visualization played in my success, it does make me wonder. Perhaps I should start imagining myself as a fit, active yoga lover who doesn’t let food control her.
It’s worth a shot, right?