When I finally had my first “real book” published in 2010 (the others were puzzle books) I was elated. I had worked for years on the project and was pleased, as well as, relieved the project was done. I created the social networks to get the project “out there,” had a countdown to Advent on face book, sent out little cards in my Christmas cards that year and planned book signings. Then there was the release date. I watched online, as the sites that carried the book, posted availability and was delighted it was doing well.
I had one friend however, who kept asking a question I couldn’t answer and wasn’t sure I wanted to! “How’s it doing?” he would ask. “How many have you sold? What are your royalties?” And many other questions along the same vein. I was absolutely interested, don’t misunderstand, but that isn’t why I wrote the book!
Another author shares his story about his efforts to write a book over a year period, had it published and then nothing happened. His mentor didn’t even seem particularly excited. In fact his reaction was simply, “Get started on your next one, tomorrow!”
I like his perspective. When we are so focused on the revenue, fame, and great reviews, we are focusing on ourselves rather than the purpose of the book. We lose sight of what is important; why we write! Every project on which we work must have value, but it’s the next one that drives us on. This isn’t just true for writers, however; it’s true for any kind or line of work. It doesn’t matter if you are a bricklayer, Minister or Congressman. The drive to accomplish something positive is the fundamental motivation to keep us to the task.
When we lose the interest or passion for what we are doing, we lose productivity. It takes this ultimate mindset to move forward. Sometimes this has to do with losing sight of our goals; life events changing over which we have no control; being asked to compromise our ethics; growing older and retirement or any variety of circumstances that drag us away from what we once thought important.
As our lives change, sometimes our perspective must also change. We have to remember the reason we took the path we chose and then decide if it’s still the right path. If it isn’t and we find ourselves dreading the challenge of the day before us as a chore, then maybe it’s time to take stock. Maybe it’s time to “get started on the next one, even if it is something different!”
Nothing stays the same in our world. Changes occur in our lives sometimes so fast we miss them. I suggest taking a breath and asking yourself some very serious questions. Are you where you want to be? Are your goals still attainable, have you reached them and need to make new ones, or are you needing something completely different?
Once you decide what road you are taking, where you want to be, whether it is right where you are or with something new, approach it with excitement, with interest and a passion which fulfills your day. This attitude will aid in making the work you do worthwhile and gives you a reason to continue being productive. Go ahead! Get started on the next one, whether it’s another manuscript, another day at the office, applying mortar to a brick or anything in between!