So last night, my husband & I decided to celebrate The Immortals hitting their 52nd consecutive week on the New York Times Best Sellers list by dining at the same restaurant Ever dined at with Sabine on page 38 in Evermore.
The one Riley called, "ChiChi."
(For those of you who don't have your book handy, that restaurant is HERE.)
And after enjoying an awesomely "ChiChi" meal with probably just a bit too much wine & champagne, served by our awesome waiter with the world's coolest name (shout out to Metro!)--it suddenly hit me:
Six years ago --to the day!-- I was in Las Vegas with my husband (a business conference for him), it was our last night on the town and I gave myself a stern talking to I'll never forget.
You see, my then agent had been shopping my debut novel, FAKING 19, and all we seemed to be getting for our efforts was a nice big stack of rejections. Months had passed, and not one publisher was biting, and I was starting to doubt that they ever would.
It was making me sad, depressed, filled with self-doubt, and probably not all that fun to live with. So, that night, I made a vow to myself to release it. To stop focusing on it, obsessing over it, and worrying about an outcome I had absolutely no control over whatsoever.
I decided to just let it be and turn my focus to something else.
I wasn't necessarily giving up on the book, and I definitely wasn't giving up on my dream of being published, but I was giving up on all of that energy I'd spent freaking out over its unsold state.
Moments after I'd made that commitment, I felt better. Lighter. Less burdened. And I decided that as soon as I returned home the next day, I would pick up where I left off on that "other" book idea I'd kinda started (aka-ART GEEKS & PROM QUEENS).
So, cut to the very next day, February 4, 2004, I've pushed Faking 19 totally out of my mind, and am thinking up new plot ideas for my other book, while returning the rental car to the airport, when my agent calls to tell me that St. Martin's Press just offered me a deal for FAKING 19 and "whatever else I was working on."
Yep, less than 24 hours after releasing my obsession, it all just sort of happened on its own.
Last year on this date, when I first hit the NYT list, I couldn't help but notice the coincidence in the dates, and I'm sure I blogged about it then too.
This year, after being on the list for a year straight (something I never even dreamed of!), and with the milestone hitting on the same date, well, sorry for the redundancy, but I couldn't help but blog about it again.
I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that if you really, really want something you cannot give up on the dream itself--though you can (and should) give up on the negative emotions that tend to crop up when that dream is temporarily thwarted.
Don't give in to the self-doubt and that little voice in your head that just loves the words like "Can't" and "No" and "Sorry, not for you!"
Just keep learning, doing, improving, and moving forward--and don't forget to take time to enjoy the journey, because even though it's not always pleasant while you're down in the muck of it--looking back on all the rough bits you survived sure makes it feel sweeter once you've arrived!
Have a good day everyone!