As I’m looking back at many of the posts I write, I notice that first, this blog is older than I remember. 😉 And second, that I write a lot about overcoming frustration, remembering our successes, and moving forward even when we get discouraged.
Because here’s the thing: I get discouraged, too.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first stories were kind of romances since I wrote about people meeting and “loving” each other (I didn’t know how to spell the word “like” and getting everything corrected by the teacher annoyed and slowed me down, so I stuck with words I knew.) I have written ten complete novels, with four or five more abandoned early on (though I do have plans to go back to them – really!) And when I tell someone I’m the writer, the first thing they ask is: are you published?
I know at this point hitting them over the head or screaming is not an acceptable response. After all, I am trying to set a better example for my daughters (I try, anyway.) I want to grind my teeth. Perhaps a bit of gnashing. But instead, I usually smile politely, and say “No, not yet.” I may even try to enlighten them a bit as to how our industry works, ie: while there is the option of self-publishing, it isn’t the path I wish to take just now, and it can take a long time to become traditionally published, etc, etc.
But you know what? Especially at the end of the year, when I have to look back at what I’ve accomplished, the “still not published” rankles. In fact, if I let it, it can blot out all the other wonderful, great things that HAVE happened that year. It can blot out the fact that while I may not be where I want to be yet in my career (and to be honest, I suspect no matter where I am, I’ll probably always keep wanting to reach for whatever the “next step” is), I am moving forward. I am always becoming a better writer. I have met some of the most wonderful writers, and consider some of them my friends, for which I am incredibly fortunate.
And so this year, I decided to do things differently. This is my jar of “Good Things” for 2016, and on into the foreseeable future. I am far from the only person doing this, nor is it originally my idea, but it’s one I liked. I made this jar and placed it prominently on my mantle where I can see it everyday. And I chose the saying “Remember…Life is Good” to remind myself of that, especially on the days I have my doubts. 😉
As you can see, there are already some pieces of paper in there. And so this coming New Year’s Eve, as I look back on 2016, I plan to read these pieces of paper with my family so we can remember all the wonderful things we enjoyed, instead of bemoaning anything at all.
It’s only January, almost into February. I can hardly wait to see what this year brings, and this time, to remember the great things.
What about you? Are you planning on happiness?
Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a great week, and happy writing!