My plan (a lifehack!) while striving for a publishing contract
An important component of my plan is a vital lifehack. If you master this, you'll be a happier person. Keep reading for that second part of the plan.
If you've read my blog or other social media, you know I'm trying to secure another publishing contract. And, if you know me, you know I have a plan.
The first part of my plan is to engage in publishing as much as possible. I meet with other writers, participate in a critique group, read books on craft (lots and lots), I'm always reading fiction, and I listen to fiction while I walk on my treadmill several times a week. I keep in touch with my literary agent and take her advice. And of course, the most important part of the plan: writing!
The second part of the plan, a lifehack I've used for decades, is to keep cheering on my friends as they pursue their goals.
It's not difficult. Someone else's success does not diminish my chances. I'm fortunate that I've always been able to experience joy for other folk's accomplishments. (God just made me that way.)
How does rooting for your friends make you happier? I think by taking yourself out of competition with others, you become more focused on your own goals. There's that saying, don't compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter ten. It's not a race where everyone starts at the same place, the same time.
Also, we're supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). It's excellent advice. In all the years I've been a writer, it's been a blast to celebrate friends' new books.
Celebrating someone else's success acknowledges that such success is possible for you. Hey, if she did it, why can't I? Anyway, worrying that other peoples' accomplishments somehow make you less than is a time and energy suck.
Truthfully, the ability able to experience joy at someone else's good fortune can confound some people. Years ago, a friend had been house hunting for months. When she finally found her home, I told her I was thrilled for her. I was, I'd seen the frustration she experienced week after week. She told a mutual friend, "Megan actually seemed sincere when she congratulated me, and everyone knows she can't even afford to buy a new car." I was sincere. And for the record, since then I've bought five homes, three of them brand new.
Years ago, after I'd gotten my first publishing contract, a friend who was trying to publish said that by getting my books published, I ruined her chances. Honestly. I told her God doesn't have a big bowl of blessing that He doles out, and when it's empty, everyone else is out of luck. God's blessings for you have nothing to do with His blessings for me.
So, that's my plan. Work hard, cheer on friends, and celebrate every step along the way to success—both mine and my friends'.
Write on, friends!