Friday, January 13, 2012

I Need to Get Working But I'm in my PJs

First off, no, this is NOT a picture of me. I'm not sure I even look this good right now, so I'll spare you the visual. But you have an idea.

It's 10:30 in the morning and my day off from work. I've got a ton to do for my church calling, volunteer assignment with the high school band boosters (we got new uniforms and I'm in charge of organizing, unpacking, hanging up, assigning, moving out old ones, the list goes on and on, but my muscles scream STOP), running, and oh yeah, housework. Yet here I am online.

It's because when I ate breakfast this morning, I started reading a book on my Kindle. An indie published book by someone who has had an amazing rise to popularity. In not quite ten days she went from obscurity to the top of Kindle's literary fiction list, right up there with The Help and Like Water for Elephants. Now if you're wondering which book I'm talking about, I'm reserving that little fact for a later date...maybe I'll blog about her book when I finish. Besides, although I am supremely, genuinely ecstatic for her, that's not the point.

Instead, I'm musing about luck and skill and playing the game right. I'm thinking about hard work and the definition of success. I'm remembering what my goals were and why I published in the first place (and it wasn't for fame or riches, though I'd turn neither down). I'm pondering the role of mentors and trail blazers, cheerleaders and support groups. I'm reveling in making my dream come true.

A couple of weeks ago I had one of my top ten life experiences. I had the opportunity to have a book signing...MY book signing...in a real bookstore, surrounded by supportive family, friends who drove hours to be with me, and complete strangers who bought my book. I was on top of the world. My high school best friend mentioned how happy she was for me in fulfilling my dream and it made me stop and think about it a lot over the past few weeks. I had put hours, years, into my book--editing, rewriting, over and over and then I took a chance and laid it out there for anyone to read. And it was a dream come true.

I'm glad I did it. I'm happy that I've had the experience of having readers tell me how my book has touched them. And I'm excited that I still take time to sit in my pajamas and do something I love every day. That's got to be the secret definition of success.

What is your definition of success?