Writing is Not a Race

I’m currently reading a book by Lysa TerKeurst called Uninvited, which is essentially about dealing with rejection from a Christian perspective. In one of her chapters she discusses the abundance mentality (originally [I think] from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). This mentality really just focuses on the fact that there is not a limited amount of success in the world.

For example, I am a writer. I enjoy writing MG and YA novels. There will always be readers for these age groups. Someone else getting published before me does not take away a reader from my future book. To convince ourselves that our level of success is defined by the failures of others ensures our own failure. Why would that make us fail? Because it would let thoughts into our minds that disconnect us from each other.

I’m not saying this is easy. There’s not a simple switch you flick to make you instantly happy when someone else achieves their dream before you. It’s hard, let’s be real. There might be a flicker of jealousy there. It’s what you do with that tiny spark of negative nature that defines who you are.

If you’re feeling the heat from this post, know that you’re not alone. I recently had to remind myself of these truths when I heard about a friend getting published. Now here’s the kicker, I’ve already been published (or at least, I have the promise of publication from a lit magazine, and I’m still kind of waiting for it to happen). And yet, I see someone I know achieving success, and for one ugly moment I think, but what about me? What about me, though? Really.

In her book, Lysa (and she may have gotten this from someone else, I don’t know) stresses that instead of focuses on the why’s we should focus on the what’s, such as What have I learned from this experience?

Why’s lead you down that dark rabbit hole called self pity, whereas what’s bring you up to the light of self discovery. (Yea, feel free to quote me on that one.) It seems so elementary, and honestly, it is. But it’s something that not many of us are inherently good at. Actually, I’d like to meet someone who is good at this off the cuff. It’s a reminder we all need that doesn’t hurt to have. Okay, maybe it hurts just a little. My pride does feel a smidge bruised.

So before you start typing at the speed of light to get your story out before that other person sitting next to you at Starbucks, remember, it’s not a race. There’s enough room in the world for all of our stories.

Running

Peace out cub scouts.
~Taylor

2017 Goals

new-year-new-goals

Like every other slacker in the blogosphere, 2017 equals a new me, which means more organization, more success, and more blog posts. Yay for you!

I wanted to kick off this new year with something totally unique – my writing/blogging goals.

Really the main reason I’m telling you this is so you can perhaps come up with something similar and *key word here* achievable. And let’s be real, maybe, just maybe, if I write it down and make it public I’ll actually stick to it.

So without further ado…

Blog Goals
-Consistently write two posts a week. The beginning of the month I will outline ALL blog posts for that month. (Guess who’s starting out strong? This girl!)
-Teach myself ways to increase blog traffic through other social media outlets and actually keep up with it. (Today I started learning how to utilize Pinterest to direct traffic back to my blog. Quick revelation: all social media exists to point Internet users to other social media. What happened to just having MySpace?)
-Don’t try so hard to please everyone.

Writing Goals
-Submit two new short stories to at least ten potential literary journals each month. (I’m about a quarter of the way to this goal for January already!)
-Find an agent for my current almost-finished middle-grade novel, The Gatekeepers. (This goal has several sub goals that I won’t bore you with. They include finishing editing, beta readers, more editing, etc.)

I usually hate committing to goals (I don’t like the saying “New Year’s Resolutions), but since I’m about to graduate with my masters (YASSSS January 9th!!) I think it’s time to stop resisting and get serious about my writing career. Who’s with me! What are your goals for this year?

~Liz