Thursday, June 9, 2016

Have you given yourself a pat on the back today? By Christina Lorenzen


So there I was in 2014 beaming from ear to ear with my first book contract. I compare the feeling to being in love. Your heart is racing and all you can think about is that special someone (in this case the future book). Unfortunately, once the book releases and the hype dies down, like the flush of new love, some of the feeling fades. It was a great achievement, but all around me I saw friends announcing contracts for second, third and fourth books.  
I joined in Nanowrimo to write a sequel to my 2014 release. I worked like a madwoman. On December 2, 2015 I got my second book contract. I was ecstatic at the thought that I would have two books published. Fast forward to April of this year. There was the usual hoopla that comes with a book release – guest blogs, author spotlights, internet radio interviews and more. I was on cloud nine.
Last week I was cleaning out my file cabinets (I still have 4 metal file cabinets dating back to my writer beginnings, the 80s. I’m dating myself). One piece of paper made me stop what I was doing. It was a list of goals titled “By the time I am 55”.  I laughed because I’m teetering close to that now. I am happy to say that ‘have at least 2 books published’ had been met. Now I’ve read articles about how the brain will focus on that one negative thing even if there are five positives. Sure, the other goals were met. I had opened a separate savings and checking account for business. I had taken those college classes. But there were still a few goals I hadn’t attained. And while I should have patted myself on the back for what I had accomplished so far, I was agitated.
Though I’m sure people in all walks of life find themselves always looking for the next rung on the ladder, writing in particular lends itself to a certain discontent. In such a competitive industry, we often obsess over what comes next. If we have one book published, we need to get that second book out. 
Even after that second book is published, you need to get the third and fourth book out. If, like me, your books are eBooks only, you might feel pressured to be in print. Maybe you think it’s time for an agent. . What about movie rights? I’ve seen several friends negotiating movie rights (Hallmark Channel, have I got a movie for you J). No matter where we are in our careers, we often feel like it’s just not enough. It’s the proverbial hamster wheel. And round and round we go.
It’s easy to obsess over the big picture, easy to forget the little victories. I’ve learned that the key to discontent is to compare your journey to someone else’s.  I’ve found the key to my own happiness is to enjoy the journey.  Nothing new there, right? But oh how hard it is to do it. Like many things in life, it’s something you have to choose to do each and every day. When I feel myself comparing my career to someone else’s (and we’ve all done it), I take a trip down memory lane. I relive what it felt like the day I opened that email that said “we would love to publish this”.  And I remember to give myself a little pat on the back. 
Have you celebrated just how much you’ve accomplished already?
A Wife for Humphrey on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/gr8mhle


Christina started writing as a young teen, jotting stories in wire ring composition notebooks. Her first typewriter made it faster to get all those stories out of her head and down on paper. Her love of writing has sustained her through a myriad of jobs that included hairdresser,legal secretary, waitress and door-­to-door saleswoman.

Luckily for her, writing proved to be successful and a lot less walking than going door to door. "A Husband for Danna" is Christina's first novel. She is busy working on her next. When she isn't writing or reading, she can be found walking her dog, talking to her herd of cats and spending time with her family.

Christina's second book, A Wife for Humphrey, was released on April 28, 2016. Her first Christmas novella, Snow Globe Reunion, will release on September 1, 2016.

To find out about Christina's upcoming releases, visit her website at http://christinalorenzen.com/.
Subscribe to Christina's newsletter and be entered automatically each month to win a $5 Amazon gift card at http://christinalorenzen.com/connect-with-christina/

16 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the reminder, Christina. We all need to stop sometimes and not only smell the roses, but take a sniff of the sweet smell of things done. Congratulations on your second book release. I hope it sells great!

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    1. I love that, Angie - "take a sniff of the sweet smell of things done." I couldn't agree more. Thank you for the well wishes!

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  2. A great reminder! Thanks for that, Christina. And all the best with your writing!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed my post, Connie. And thank you for your well wishes. I appreciate it!

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  3. Chris - thank you for reminding us to savor the joys in this crazy business and not focus on the hard times. I've really been beating myself up lately. You and I have to talk! I'm so excited about your Christmas novella. Well really about all THREE of your sales.

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    1. Isn't it true though, Terri? This business is so crazy and yet there's always something to love about it. And I so can relate to beating yourself up. I try so hard to be kinder to myself. Yes, we do have to talk :) And thank you for sharing in my excitement over my three novellas and for having me here today!

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  4. I'm a reader, not a writer, but I think it's important to celebrate our achievements instead of focusing so much on what we failed to do! Wonderful article!

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    1. Yes, I think we all forget to celebrate our achievements. I've read that even if we have 10 good things happen to us, our brains will focus on the one bad thing that happened. For me this means we have to consciously choose to focus on what we've accomplished, the positive. I'm so happy you enjoyed my article. Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. Well my first book was not a contract but an Indy published book cause I did not think I would ever bet published any other way. God's Lemonade Stand:101 Sips To Refresh Your Soul available on Amazon and other sites in paperback and e book. Out 27 April 16. I wish you well .

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    1. Becky, I know exactly how you feel. Even with traditional publishing, I think going indy is an excellent way to get ourselves out there and meet more readers. I love the title of your book and I'll add it to my list for my next shopping trip on Amazon (which will probably be this weekend lol). Thanks so much for the well wishes, and thank you for stopping by today to chat with me!

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  6. We all need to celebrate our achievements. Thank you for the reminder. Time goes so quickly, it's easy to forget!

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    1. I agree, Mary! And time sure does seem to fly. So nice to have you stop by today!

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  7. Thanks for the reminder, Christina! It's so easy to get caught up in what I haven't done. But, boy ... when I look back at all that has been accomplished since I started to seriously focus on writing, it feels awesome. :-D

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    1. Dawn, I actually sat down and made a list of my accomplishments. That's when I finally realized how much I've done. So on those days when I'm beating myself up because I haven't hit 'this mark' or 'that mark', I pull that list out and go down memory lane. It does feel awesome, doesn't it? Thanks so much for stopping by today and chatting with me.

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  8. Chris, thanks for spending the day with us at Seriously Write!

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    1. It's my pleasure, Terri! And thank you again for having me. I truly enjoyed it :)

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