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:

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
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