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A Thousand Second Chances

I wasted time yesterday morning in the most delicious, productive way. (Yes, that is possible!) For some reason, I got the hankering to visit my YouTube channel for the first time in about two years. (I also discovered a year-old review of Beauty Shop for Rent, but I avoided watching it because my self-esteem couldn’t take the possible negative hit.)

Oh, my poor neglected channel with its six videos and nine subscribers. (Not that I’m complaining about the nine … I’m rather thankful they’ve stuck around.) With chocolate-flavored coffee in hand, I watched a video from a builder show we attended back in 2016 that might seem boring to some, but made me smile.

I then indulged in a luscious fantasy where I finally give my channel some much-needed love by posting videos I’m passionate about. On topics like writing and books and planners and journaling and reaching your goals. I even imagined getting a surprise boost from Cynthia Leitich Smith, an author who I’ve greatly admired for a long time. Her imagined shout-out even brought some tears to my eyes, since I’m really great at imagining.

Hmm, maybe you should start vlogging about writing

This notion did tickle the back of my brain, but nope, that’d just be another procrastination method and I’ve already been doing enough of that. So for now, I’m going to keep concentrating on my own writing, life planning, and goals. I did update my channel’s description, however. And that fantasy shout-out by Cynthia got me thinking about a wonderful quote she had offered me some time ago. I couldn’t remember what it was for … As the Eraser Burns? This blog? So I continued my delicious time wasting by searching for her quote because it was something about reinventing yourself and I JUST HAD TO READ IT.

It didn’t take long to discover she offered the quote for me to use for a presentation about slumps and roadblocks. (And baby, I’ve had many!)

Choose yourself. Don’t worry about what you can’t control in publishing. Who’s the lead title, the trend of the moment, the critical/social-issue darling of the day… Focus on what you can impact. Hold yourself out as successful, upbeat, hardworking, and give back, too. Develop your own strategy, considering your individual strengths and resources, for serving as an effective ambassador for your books and the body of literature as a whole. Invent. Reinvent. Choose yourself. Reinvent again, and choose yourself again, too–embracing the fun along the way.

-Cynthia Leitich Smith

Wow, that was perfect for me back then and it’s still perfect for me now since I am reinventing myself. And you know what? I’ll keep reinventing myself again and again and again. This notion made me think of a video I once saw with Lisa Nichols. I couldn’t remember where it was, which led to yet another search.

And once again, it didn’t take long to find it on YouTube. It was from an interview she did on the Steve Harvey show:

My biggest accomplishment is being willing to give myself a thousand second chances and every time I got to 999, I pressed reset. I didn’t ask permission, I gave notice. At some point, I have to stop asking can I be great, can I be brilliant, can I be okay and still be accepted. I just stop asking permission and just gave notice, unapologetically. Not in a braggadocious way. Not in a way that shrunk anyone else. In a way that said, “I only got one life and I’m going to ride this one until the wheels fall off.”

So yeah, I’ve completely screwed my writing career over the past ten years … okay, longer than that. And yeah, throughout those years, I’ve kept coming back to this blog with claims to reinvent myself and get back to writing. Again. Again. And again. And yeah, I’ve failed many times. But you know what? I’m going to keep trying. I’m going to Invent. Reinvent. And choose myself.

I’m going to give myself a thousand second chances.

This energizing spirit motivated me to stop with the video watching and get back to work on Heroes, Wishes, and Trailer Park Hitches, a mid-grade I plan on sending to my agent by the end of July … and one that needs even more love and work than my neglected channel does.

Afterwards, however, I got to thinking about how Lisa Nichols was a part of The Secret, which made me remember a video someone put together with Oprah about her experience with the Law of Attraction.

So yep. This led to another Google search.

All of the above memories, fantasies, and inspiration started to come together in the most delicious way. I thought of how much the video of my family made me smile. I thought of my desire to talk about writing, planners, and goals. I thought of how much those videos inspired me and how I would love to give back by inspiring others. So I’m using the Law of Attraction by making this claim: One year from now, on May 10, 2019, I’m going to relaunch my YouTube channel and make that fantasy a reality.

Which meant I needed to get back to work.

But first … there was one more video I had to watch, if only for my morbid curiosity. That review of Beauty Shop for Rent posted in November 2016. Something told me to stay away … far, far away … but I couldn’t help but imagine how a glowing review would be a sign from the heavens that I’m on the right track.

Yeah. No. That didn’t happen.

Within the first minute, I discovered she didn’t like the book and couldn’t get beyond ten chapters. Ouch. Now, I must admit, there was a time when hearing something like this would leave me devastated. I even allowed my joy and happiness during BSfR’s release to be completely overshadowed and ruined from a bad review.

One. Bad. Review.

And that review came from a gal who only read my book because I reminded her of her mother. Still. I let it destroy me.

This time around, however, I let that momentary feeling of disappointment wash over my heart rather than sink in because I was curious about why she didn’t like the book. What I could have done to make it better. What I could do for any of my future books. Turns out, her main reason for not liking BSfR was because the story is high school related but at that stage of her life, she was tired of high school stuff since she had graduated. Which, hey. Fair enough. She even mentioned feeling bad for the author (me) about saying this which I also appreciated and she recommended it for those who do enjoy books about high schoolers.

So with that, I closed out of Chrome, went back to Scrivener and got back to work.

 

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Debbie May 28, 2018, 5:47 pm

    Hmmmmmmmmm. Who is to say you have not already redesigned yourself and that procrastination has provided a new you, for a new book. As for that negative review, you can handle that one with ease. You worked towards that foundation of coming back throughout your youth. It is easier to climb the mountain than to be on top and find yourself rolling down unchecked. Just remember record books, and horse show competition. How many opinions and placings, if at all from judges. Did you quit? NO!!!!!! You reminded her of her mother. What a compliment because without her Mom she would not be here. So at least you sold a book and she read it. If the circumstances and book was different, perhaps even that would not have happened. Maybe her negative critique has some validity, to make the next one better. who knows the first book will make her better. Do what you love and love what you do.

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