My novels, Passing Love and Searching for Tina Turner, officially hit bookstores in 2012 and 2010. On the release date for both books, I headed directly to my favorite bookstore to see my books, my books, on the shelf next to famous authors. Those release days, and every day afterwards, I knew I could say, “I did it!”
In our society, most gauge success by money. This journey of writing has taught me that success is measured, often with “green,” but also in the joy of small moments where big and little dreams come true.
How many times do we ignore little successes and victories? A lot. Often we celebrate for others, but most of us forget to celebrate our successes. I’m not talking birthdays and anniversaries. I’m talking moments.
When my son was 8, he played T-ball. He couldn’t hit the ball, or if he did it dribbled off the T and onto the ground. Every time he came to bat, my stomach knotted. I crossed my fingers. I prayed. I see him now, in my mind’s eye, dressed in his uniform, the bulky helmet on his head, the resigned look on his face as he walked up to the plate. He struck out every time. But I remember, too, the look on his face the day his bat connected to ball. He was so startled that he had to be told to run to first base! That hit was success for him. A dream come true.
We experience success every day of our lives: snagging a parking space right in front of the place we’re headed, getting to the bank just as it closes only to have the security guard let you in, paying monthly bills and having money left over in the bank. Yep! That’s success.
The process, the whole journey of publishing has taught me that success exists in each step along the way: pulling myself together to follow my passion, writing the novel, finding a supportive writing group, pushing through even when it hurt, finishing the novel, submitting the novel, getting an agent, getting a publisher, my editor’s stamp of approval, finishing my edits in time, my ninety-year-old mother reading my book. Each one of those minutes is a success.
The day I saw MY books on a bookstore shelf—ahhh, that was a personal success beyond words.
The Universe has already decided the fate of my novels. I’m hoping she points me toward success, all kinds of $uccess. Like my son stepping up to the plate, I’m a bit hesitant, but very resigned. Looking back, I believe that I misinterpreted his actions when he made his first hit. I thought he was frozen at home plate because he didn't know what to do. Now, I believe he was taking the time to revel and enjoy his success, and I’m going to follow the example he gave me all those years ago.
I did it!
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