Something happened the other day that made me stop and think. Let me preface this by sharing how easy it is to forget how far you've come. Prior to releasing my first novel, I dreamed about it in a way that was surreal. I thought that writing for a living could never ever be a reality and that was only for dreamers. But, as the best writers before me have said..."keep writing no matter what."
I listened to Stephen King's advice and I wrote every day for the past three years. But, over time, it's easy to get down on yourself. It only takes reading one bad review to spin your day around from good to bad and it's so easy to forget how much I've put into my craft. It's like anyone else who has a passion for something. Singers spend countless hours fine tuning their voices, dancers continue to leap and stretch their way to perfection, and while we never think we are as good as we could be, there is something to be said about looking back and seeing just how far you've come. A moment like this happened to me a couple of weeks ago while Emily and I were in a book store that we frequent often. My book, "The Gift," was up on display and Emily got all excited and pulled me toward it. She grabbed my hand and pointed to the book and said..."Mommy we have that book on our shelf at home...it's the SAME book that we have!"
She was so excited, I was afraid that if I told her the truth about the book that she would easily melt with boredom. I thought about telling her that her favorite super hero wrote the book and magically placed it on her shelf at home. Then I thought about maybe telling her that it was Peppa Pig's favorite library book, which was why it was on display at this store.
But, instead I was honest with her and with myself and I simply responded with..."Mommy wrote that book." And for the first time I realized just how far I've come. I beat myself up every day for not getting enough done. I get angry and sad when I get a bad review from a complete stranger. But, what I don't do enough is give myself a pat on the back for working hard and doing what I love.
So, what is something that you should be applauding yourself for?
As a celebration of that Aha moment...I'll send the first five people to respond a copy of The Gift, in exchange for an honest review on Amazon.