Making Positive Outcomes Inevitable
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve
I came across that quote recently while I was working on a freelance magazine article about an equine riding therapy program. It really spoke to me, even more so when you think about all Reeve went through.
As I think back through my life, I can see the absolute truth in his quote. So many things followed that same progression – managing to pass trigonometry in high school, getting accepted into college (the first in my family to do so) and managing to pay for it, becoming a published author. There were nights when I was taking trigonometry that I would cry because I just couldn’t figure out my homework. It was doubly frustrating because I was a good student and I was depending on my grades to get into and pay for college. Trig just wasn’t how my brain was wired. With help from my best friend and my patient and understanding teacher, I managed to pass, albeit with the only C I ever got. And I was actually grateful to get that C.
My path to getting my first book published was a long one, also filled with tears and frustration every time I got a rejection letter. It took me 11 years of working my way through the impossible and improbable stages to get to the inevitable one. Despite all the rejection, at some point I decided that I wasn’t going to have put all that effort into something only to quit or fail at it. Call it determination. Call it stubbornness. I figured the longer I worked at it, the better my chances of selling. And eventually I did, though not before a lot of self-doubt had bombarded me.
Now I’m facing having to rethink my career. My line at Harlequin is closing next summer, which means my current contract is likely my last with them. I still have a lovely working relationship with my editor and senior editor and everyone I’ve come into contact with at Harlequin, but the numbers are not in my favor. There are probably 80-100 of us who are in the same or similar boat. There simply isn’t enough room to move us all into other lines that are continuing, so I’m thinking about other directions and what is best for me at this point in my life and career. I look at the really successful self-published authors and that’s what I want to aspire to, along with getting a new publisher for my young adult novels, which don’t do particularly well in the realm of self-publishing like other genres such as romance do.
So I have a bit of the impossible (“I’m too late to the game” and “It’s so hard to break out in a crowded marketplace”) and improbable (“It’s not realistic to think I can make five figures a month”) going on in my head, but I’m trying to believe in the inevitability that I will become a bestseller and not only replace my Harlequin income but surpass it. I’m doing lots of reading about positive steps such as mastermind groups and setting goals, the latest market news and promotional strategies, keeping up my daily story idea journal that I blogged about here. While I’m attending the Romance Writers of America National Conference this week, I’m going to soak up all the useful information I can and come back to plot out further strategies for getting to that inevitable stage. After months of not being excited about writing, I can feel the stirrings of excitement again and that, in itself, is exciting.
Being part of this new #upbeatauthors group is definitely helping me to keep my mind pointed in positive directions instead of negative ones. I’m hopeful that all the positive messages that are being shared by the group are helping all of you as well.
Since I’m a lover of quotes, share your favorite quote about being positive. I’ll give away a signed copy of one of my backlist titles to one commenter.