Getting to goal, one choice at a time …
The other day, Lindsay wrote a great blog post sharing her advice to the world. The premise: You have a magic microphone that will allow everyone in the world to hear and understand you, and you can say three things.
Lindsay’s were: 1) Treat others the way you want to be treated, 2) Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything and 3) Comparison is the thief of joy (something I’ve blogged about myself).
Immediately, I started thinking about the advice I’d share — and fired off a retweet that included my response.
Then I read Carly’s post about making inspirational quote graphics online using Recite This. I knew I could write a simple post fairly quickly. And that appeals to me more than ever right now.
Dying to know my three things yet?
1) Spelling and punctuation matter.
I’m a writer. Of course I have to include that. I can’t stand seeing poorly spelled tweets and blog posts. Although I do occasionally lapse into text-speak to make my tweets shorter, it drives me crazy. And I actually text in complete sentences (most of the time), unlike the Boyfriend. Did I ever tell y’all I deleted his first email to me because it was riddled with typos/text-speak and I thought it was spam? True story. When the friend who was trying to introduce us asked me if I’d heard from him, I had to have her ask him to email me again.
I fear for the future if no one can read/write/express themselves. Reminds me of that Luke Wilson movie, “Idiocracy.” He plays an average, not-terribly-bright American who’s cryogenically frozen and wakes up in a distant future where he’s the smartest guy on the planet. No one thinks for themselves. Machines have pictures but no words. He has to … umm … save the world and stuff — I think. I couldn’t finish watching because the movie was so bad.
Yet I still think about it sometimes. Go figure.
2) Be kind. Self-explanatory, right?
3) Do what you love.
Life is far too short to be stuck in a job/house/relationship you hate, so make the most of the time you have.
The interesting thing about that? The day after I crafted my tweet answering Lindsay’s question, Katie from Blonde Ambition wrote a Treat Yourself Tuesday post that fits in with that third bit of advice. She celebrated her 25th birthday yesterday (yay, lower car insurance rates!) and talked about her “quarter-life crisis.”
I have settled for a lot of things. I settled for an internship (which actually ended up being great), which eventually led to me settling for the first job I was offered. I was in a serious relationship for the first time – we were together for nearly 2 years, but looking back I can see that I was unhappy for much of it towards the end. I still live in the city I swore I would nevercome back to after college.
Then she talks about her change of attitude.
Whenever I come up with a decision to make, or two diverging paths to choose from, I only ask myself one question: what will make me happy? What will get me what I want in life, or where I want to be? No more settling.
Boy, did that hit home. I tend to settle. I’ve been in Flagstaff since 1999, working for the same employer even as it has changed owners and gotten to be a less-great place to work. The corporate overlords keep expecting us to do more with fewer people and resources. Our computers are nearly a decade old. We still work with CS2 — CS2, people. (Adobe’s selling CS6 or something now.) We can’t even upgrade our web browsers because the newer version of Firefox won’t run on our computers.
Yeah. I could go on … but that’s not the point. The point is that even though I may not be happy with where I am, I’m still there. It’s a paycheck. I can’t afford to quit (yet, anyway).
Perhaps more important: It’s comfortable, known. Safe. Fear of the unknown keeps me here.
I’m not completely stuck, though. Writing is my escape hatch. If my books take off, I might be able to quit the day job and write full time.
I knew I wanted to be a writer in second grade. In high school, trying to be practical, I decided to major in journalism. Even then I knew writers didn’t make money until they sold a novel, and I saw journalism as a way to make money writing while I tried to sell that first novel. So I got my degree and went to work as a cops/courts/city council reporter in Logansport, Indiana. After a year, I changed beats and started covering education.
I think it was in 1996 that I started writing my first romance manuscript (about an education reporter, naturally). Then I moved to Arizona and joined a writer’s group. I was writing at least a little bit the whole time (with the exception of several months after 9/11 when I didn’t feel like writing romantic comedy).
But it wasn’t until 2010 that I started really striving toward publication. That was the first year I entered the Golden Heart. I didn’t final that time, but I did in 2011 — and that GH final started opening more doors. And now here I am, with DIVA IN THE DUGOUT set to debut in mere weeks.
By the way, if you like funny, slightly racy romance novels and want to attend my online release party for DIVA, head to this Facebook Event page. I’m going to be giving away Amazon gift cards and other goodies the week of Oct. 15. Feel free to invite your romance-loving friends, too. The more, the merrier.
Wow. So much for a simple, quick blog post tonight. I started waxing philosophic, and now it’s nearly 3 a.m.
Ah well. Sleep is overrated, right?