Monday, March 3, 2014

It's a Choice

True Confession time, reader-friends...

I signed up to participate in a blog hop, and I failed to do my assignment. *hangs head in shame*

The lovely and immensely talented Sheri Larsen (link) invited her blogger friends (including me) to watch a Video on Gratitude (link) each day last month and take notes on how our attitudes changed. Or just our findings in general.

Can I just say, I'm GRATEFUL that Sheri is as kind and understanding as she is. She's an amazing writer-friend. One of my first! She's always looking for ways to be encouraging and positive, and in this business, you NEED that so much.

I forgot to watch the video every day.

But! While I didn't do my homework, I am still immensely grateful for so many things that have happened to me since I started my publishing journey in 2009.

It's easy to get defeated in this business. Five positive reviews can be killed by one mean-spirited negative review.

Luck is a big part of success--and that can be very discouraging.

Don't get me wrong. Luck is not the only part of success. You still have to produce good work.

But you can work your tail off and only achieve mid-list status for a long time, and then there are friends for whom it seems to come so easy... It can cause one to lose focus. It causes some to make poor choices. (Beware the green-eyed monster, friends!)

Gratitude in this industry is a Choice.

It's not quite the assignment, but Today I Choose to be Grateful because...

1-I got into publishing at an unbelievably revolutionary time. Not only can I make a living from my books, but I get to meet my readers up close and personal, I get to meet other crazy-talented writers... the networks and connections and support are out of this world.

2-I met Susan Kaye Quinn (link). I'm sure there are other phenomenally talented authors out there who are supportive, encouraging, generous, and great friends. Sue's at the top of my list.

3-I met Jolene Perry (link). At a time when I was so scared, she pushed me in the pool. Then she stood on the side and laughed and laughed. Just kidding! She did not. But she did make six amazing book covers for me. She listens to me when I'm having "moments," she makes me giggle and swoon with her gorgeous stories, and she keeps me in the publishing loop... Jolene's another unbelievably talented author who is also an amazing friend.

4-I met Sheri Larsen... And Matt and Tami and Jessica and Kelly and Elle and PK and Lydia and Sarah and all the Indelibles and the kids over at YA Confidential... Did I mention this was an incredible time to be a writer?

The Internet has made it possible to find true friends to offer support and encouragement, to let you vent, and who share what they've learned and a helping hand. What a blessing!

5-I have the most incredibly supportive family. This should be #1. No, this shouldn't even be on a numbered list, but rather it should be the big headline up there... When this business gets me down, I'm so so fortunate to have JRM and the girls to hug me and tell me they think I'm amazing. Isn't that amazing? It makes me cry, I'm so blessed.

6-I have been lucky/blessed. From the amazing reception to The Truth About Faking to the encouraging things happening right now with the Dragonfly series on Wattpad (link), I'm so thankful for the opportunities that have come my way.

7-I found YOU, my reader-friends! (Or you found me?) I love your emails and tweets and Facebook messages and comments on Wattpad... I love YOU! You guys keep me going!

Last year was hard.

From family stresses to changes in the market to being so far from home... I was ready to walk away more than once. JRM asked me what I would do if I wasn't writing at one point. "Get a job at Target! Who cares!" I cried...

Isn't that silly? See, I can be a drama queen too. The Truth About Me, however, is I have to be a writer. I don't have a choice.

That being the case, I'm so grateful I'm alive in these days. I've said it a lot, but this is truly the best time to be a writer.

Please visit these other fab bloggers who actually did the assignment (link), and have a super week, reader-friends~


Unknown said...

Writing can be an isolating endeavor. Isn't it great that the things you (and a lot of other writers, including myself) are grateful for include forming relationships with others? :)

Barbara Watson said...

Gratitude is a choice, one we have to make every day. I love this post, Leigh.

Frankie Miller said...

You are definitely blessed, Leigh, and I can tell you are truly grateful for that.
Good Gratitude post.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So very true that gratitude is a choice. And we definitely need to make it whatever we're doing. So glad you've got so much to be grateful for. We all do. And don't feel bad. I didn't do the assignment either.

Vicki Rocho said...

Hey woman! After being away forever, I'm baaaaack and I had to stop by and say hello. How many books have I missed in the last year? You're probably wondering why you didn't accomplish more and I'm sitting over here going "Holy SH*T! How'd she do all that?"

LTM said...

@Laura--I am SO grateful for those years I spent waiting on traditional publishing. I can see now that time made me both a better writer AND it led me to amazing friends like you~ <3

@Fanny--It is so true. And I am incredibly thankful. It's good to remind myself when I'm feeling down. :) Thank you for stopping by~ <3

Jenni said...

I was glad to hear I wasn't the only one who didn't do the assignment. :) I loved your list!

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like you have a lot of wonderful things to be grateful for!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

You hit so many vital items to be grateful for! I'm on overload - in an amazing way!!! Yay! for us meeting. Yay! for you jumping in the pool! Yay! for the group of us who met at a similar time, all in a similar space in time, Yay! - Okay, I can't do another exclamation point. #snickers

This was great. Thanks so much for helping me remind ourselves of the importance of gratitude. I have a gift for you over on my site. Feel free to stop by anytime.

Sheri at Writer's Alley

Home of Rebel Writer CREED 2014
Mighty Minion Bureau Team #atozchallenge

Kristin Smith said...

Loved visiting your site and reading your gratitude post! I wish I could say I watched the video everyday, but I only watched it once! So don't feel bad!

Looking forward to reading your books!

LTM said...

@Jenni--Argh, well, it's a great video. LOL! And like I told Sheri, this is a great exercise. It's important to refocus on what's important. Thanks for stopping by~ <3

@Sherry--I do have a lot to be thankful for. Thank YOU for stopping by! :) <3

@Kristin--Thank you for visiting! Even without the video, remembering all the amazing blessings helps when things don't always go exactly right. Hope you enjoy my books! :) <3

Luna said...

So happy to have found my way to your blog through the hop! Thank you for inspiring me today and giving me hope for my own writing journey.