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I’m one of those people who constantly doubts myself. I make decisive actions and don’t regret my choices, but I do doubt my capabilities. Do you do that?
Isn’t that crazy? That I come up short in MY OWN MIND. Me. The one person who should love me the bestest doubts me the mostest! (Yes, not the best words, and yet, I know you get it.)
When I have a pep talk with myself, it sounds like this:
Me: No, I could do better.
Me: Stop. What more do you expect from yourself besides your best?
And yet, who determines that? Who determines my success or failure?
My reviews have been great. I love the positive and negative ones. I’ve had tremendous reviews from both ends of the spectrum and I’m grateful for all of them.
And I have to tell you that… I used to believe that. I used to believe that other people’s standards determined my happiness. Determined my success or failure scale. But I just saw a panel that was being offered in a pretty big class and the author stated that she was making 3 to 4,000 dollars a month – and that is success.
And contrary to what a person in my RWA group said, I started making this BEFORE Bookbub. Although, I did have tremendous success with my BB ad (and I continue to do so because it’s an amazing service). I want to make sure that is clear. (An aside, at the time, her comment really bummed me out. But now I can look back and say, that’s okay. I know she’s coming from a strictly traditional supporting POV and I’m a hybrid.)
I’ve been doing this for so long. I’ve seen the “one hit wonders” pop up and I know secretly that they have worked their butts off and we’re just now hearing about them – they’re making $20k+ a month, or whatever – which is awesome.
But before, I used to focus on what they were making and how I wasn’t measuring up. Now, I compare myself to myself. Where I am now compared to last year and the year before and the year before and the year before – because I’ve been doing this a LONG TIME – and the year before is gradually getting better and better.
That is true success. To me. My continued learning. My continued development. My SELF GROWTH. My level of gratitude.
You know what? I think my favorite part of this entire job is the people. I meet so many great people. I get to talk with my newsletter recipients (my Survivors) and we have some great discussions.
I get to meet so many people on FB. I’m working toward including Twitter in my relationship building, but I’m focusing mostly on Newsletter and FB because I understand them, the ideal and theory behind them. I can’t wait to start the conferences and meeting people that way.
But to everyone who has a part in this crazy ride of mine, I want you to know you ARE APPRECIATED.
I’m grateful. So grateful.
Thank you. Such simple words which don’t even grasp or convey the depth of my feelings. My emotions that well inside me until I tear up. I’m so grateful.
I’m grateful for you.
Thank you. And I hope you feel a little bit better wherever you are in the journey you’re on, in whatever industry or path you’re following.
Because you’re doing awesome. You’re amazing. And we can’t run someone else’s race. We can only run our own. Alongside each other.
What do you define as success and have you shared your gratitude today?
I have had the privilege of getting to know my Survivor Newsletter members. This last week I asked them to send me pictures of their pets because in Book #2, Forbidden Trails of the Montana Trails series, Jareth and Cyan have some integral moments between them concerning pets.
Here are the pictures I received – there are a LOT of great pictures in there. At the end of the posts, is the winner for the signed copy of the Forbidden Trails paperback.
All pictures were sent with permission to post. All photos rights retained by owners of pictures. The intents and purposes of this post with pictures to share the friends of Survivor Team and a contest.
To be continued in the next post! I’m at my photo limit…
The only woman I deserved was in prison. Gone.
I was alone and trying to make something of myself.
The worst part about Chelsea being in jail was that I should’ve been in there too. Guilt ate at me.
Fifty pushups weren’t going to be enough today.
Chelsea was convicted of arson, vandalism, theft, and intent to do bodily harm. All the things I’d helped her do, and I ran hard and fast to get away – from Chelsea, the memories, the trap of being around familiar things
Every day I ran, even leg day. Even on rest day. I lifted six days out of the week and rested my muscles one day, but I used running for my punishment. The pain and exhaustion helped me sleep.
Because I needed to sleep. Chelsea ruled my nightmares with an iron fist. Even with hundreds of miles between us, I couldn’t escape the monsters in my mind.
In my heart.
I loved her. So hard. How could this be possible? How could I abandon her like that? How could she hurt me the ways that she did?
Twenty-five pull-ups would help burn her from my flesh.
For a little while anyway.
Grunting, I pushed harder with my chest dumbbell flies. Sweat rolled off my skin like butter melting in a pan. Too bad memories and thoughts of Chelsea didn’t burn away. I could handle that loss.
Drugs weren’t an option because I did those with Chelsea. I couldn’t face family or friends drugged up or depressed. They were all so happy I was away from Chelsea.
So I moved. Thank goodness for Mom and Dad backing me financially and helping me buy a business.
I found solace in working out. Lifting weights and pushing myself past the breaking point.
The weights were the craziest, yet most masculine thing I could come up with after Chelsea relegated me to less than a man, less than masculine. She took away my sense of self.
Bench pressing more than my weight, my muscles straining, my soul aching, was a sure-fire way to eradicate her from my life.
Chelsea had torn me, ripped apart my strengths and left me bare, vulnerable. I needed my control back over something, anything. Lifting weights and running were things I could control.
Maybe someday, I’d learn to love myself again.
The sweat off my skin wasn’t because of anger or fear, but simply because I worked my muscles to the breaking point.
That wasn’t all. The sweat was part fear. Fear that Chelsea would find me.
If I could push myself hard enough, she disappeared from my mind. Working out burned her away for a few minutes.
And I sought those moments every day.
Every. Damn. Day.
“Are you going to use the bar?” The girl’s soft red hair had highlights of blonde strewn throughout. Her friendly smile didn’t threaten me or offer anything as she framed the question with absolute politeness. She’d been there before, in fact, she’d become a regular a few weeks back. I’d noticed her, but had kept my distance.
No reason to spread my pain around like chalk dust in the air.
I wiped at my forehead with the small towel I’d packed in my gym bag. My wraps covered my scars more than protected me from calluses and weak wrists. Huffing shallowly after my strenuous squatting set, I shook my head. “No, I’m done. Need help removing the plates?” My lifts weren’t light. I pushed until I could barely move afterward. Plus, I really encouraged customer service in the gym, which was easier to teach, if I set the example.
She shook her head, the length of her ponytail brushing across the collar of her workout tank. “No, I’m good, thanks.” She flashed that smile again, sweet with a hint of sass.
But it’d only been six months since my escape from life with Chelsea. I wasn’t interested. Couldn’t be bothered with the extra pain another relationship promised.
Yet… I wouldn’t lie, something about her promised to be fresh.
Chelsea had never been fresh. She’d always been bitchy. And so damn beautiful with her green eyes and dark as sin hair.
Looking away from the blue eyes of the girl in front of me, I didn’t carry the conversation further, just turned my attention back to my bag.
I’d been at the weights all morning. I’d have to go to my apartment sooner or later.
Work wouldn’t do itself. Unfortunately.
The Chelsea-free moment had been brief, hard to hold onto.
Ripping the half-gloves off my hands, I thrust their damp black material into the side pocket of my dark blue bag.
The strawberry-blonde may or may not have said something as I walked away.
But I didn’t care.
Chelsea’s eyes haunted me.
I couldn’t get away.
Why? Well, I can write my blurbs – sure. No problem. Seriously, it’s not hard.
Okay, the why’s are getting annoying. Just kidding. A lot of authors feel this way. We’re too close to the story. We just put hours, days, weeks, months, years into writing down this story in 20,000 to 150,000 words (or MORE!). How the heck are we supposed to sum all that up in 300 or less?
Should be simple – pick the most important parts and that’s what you focus on. Right?
Wrong. All the words are important to me! All the plot points and characters are important to me!
Authors with particular skill sets have been offering their services to other authors. A friend of mine opened up a company offering blurb help.
I’m always leery of hiring people, even my friends. I have no idea why. I think it stems from coming from a family that is more about DIY than most people I know. I think I can save myself money because I can do that, or learn to do that.
But I’ll tell you what. I know blurbs are my kryptonite. I’m not stupid. And when I need help with something, I acknowledge it. I don’t have time not to.
So my friend opened up The Blurb Queen and I asked her to redo a blurb to see how she would do.
Here is the blurb I had for Broken Trails, Book #1 of the Montana Trails series, Clearwater County Collection.
Well, here is The Blurb Queen‘s redo:
Um, yeah. I don’t think I need to say anymore than to add – I sent her over the Lonely Lace series blurbs which she redid amazingly and next will be the Worth of Souls series and then the Redemption series.
Yeah. I can’t afford NOT to use her.
She has great prices, too.
Here’s her contact info!
But when they say to me, “Mom, I can’t do this or that or I just can’t.”
When you say you can’t do something, guess what?
But if you say, I’ll try? Or I can learn? Anything that opens up your ladder to reaching your potential?
I explained to them yesterday that the best way to meet their potential is to
Because my babies are amazing.
We have so much potential.
You have so much potential.
Because you’re more amazing than even you know.