Monday, November 30, 2009

Finish Strong


The end of the year is approaching. I have something I would like to throw out into the blog world before it gets here. Because if you're like me, the new year is a reminder of everything you didn't accomplish. For instance, when January 1st 2009 rolled around, I was like: Yay. Crap! Still holding onto those five extra pounds. And yeah, wrote another book. Ouch... wrote another book and, double ouch, still no agent. Sheesh--not only no agent, but no one even wants to read my manuscript once they read my query. Hmmm. Did I write the wrong book? Or does my writing just plain suck? Or both? Now, this sounds like the most depressing post ever, I know. But read on.

New Years comes and goes... I mean, it only lasts for that fleeting wisp of time between 11:59.59 p.m. and 12:00.00 a.m.

So on to the not-so-depressing part. When I scraped myself up off the floor at 12:00.01 a.m., January first, I gave myself a swift, metaphorical kick in the A-double-S. And then I sat down at the computer. And wrote. And queried. And wrote. And wrote. And queried. And then, lo-and-behold, after a lot of years of doing this, everything sort of just slipped into place, like dropping a one-thousand piece jigsaw puzzle and all the pieces magically interlock to form a picture. Maybe not the exact picture on the front of the puzzle box, but a picture just as spectacular. My point is... for things to fall into place, you have to work hard. REALLY hard. And sometimes for a long time. And you have to finish strong. BUT! To finish strong, you have to start. Sometimes more than once. Sometimes more than twice. How many times did I start??? SEVEN. And I finished strong. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and start, or finish, depending on where you are. And be sure to finish strong.

This post is dedicated to some of the people who have helped Suzette and me achieve our goals and finish stronger than we ever imagined we could. Thanks...

Elana Johnson
Jaime Wiggins
and of course, thank you Suzette! Couldn't have made it to where I am without you, sis!

28 comments:

Carolyn V. said...

Woo Hoo! Love this post! I've started so many times, but hopefully I will finish strong. Thanks for the uplift! =)

Pamela said...

Yay for uplifting! Gives me hope for my sister and me. =)

dorkvader said...

wow
just, wow
thank you
that came literally seconds after i was cursing my stupid idea of writing novels, none the less getting published.
thanks for the lift. i feel encouraged, like it isn't impossible. :')
you rock. if nothing else, this just helped me out a lot.

Angie said...

Ah, thanks for including me on that awesome list. You two are both great and deserve every success!

Suzette Saxton said...

Thanks, sis, but you forgot one very important person for the list: YOU!

I hereby add Bethany Wiggins.

Erica said...

Very motivating post! Thanks for the follow :o)

Secretia said...

Excellent encouragement, we need to finish strong for the next 30 days, not wait until next year to do good things. Thanks for your reminder.

Katie Ganshert said...

Great post! Inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

Tabitha Bird said...

I agree. You gotta start start and start again!

Jackee said...

Here's to starting! Here's to strong finishes!

It's good to remember what we can and can't control. We can't control if we'll get an agent this year or not. But we can finish that book, like you said.

Thanks for finding my lonely little blog. I've always loved lurking here on you and your sister's. I'll try and speak up more to let you know I'm here. LOL!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great post, Beth! Very inspiring! I'm planning to start the query dance in the New Year. The book's ready now, as is the query, but this is a sucky time of the year to start querying. That's and I'm not mentally prepared yet. This post is a nice swift kick in the you-know-where to get me back in the game. Hmmm. Maybe I better to check the Query Tracker Blog archives for some extra advice. ;-)

DL Hammons said...

Excellent advice . . . that can not be imparted enough. I continue to play with my own puzzle pieces, finally recognizing that this is not a race, but rather a meandering. If its meant to happen, it will happen, but like you stated so eloquently, it won't if you never start or give up on it.

Congrats on the success you've seen so far, and yet to come.

Lisa and Laura said...

Love this post!! Congratulations! What a great year 2009 turned into. Can't wait to see what 2010 brings!

Nisa said...

You are so positive and awesome! Way to go!

Kristi said...

What an inspiring post - thank you! I plan to start the query process in the New Year and hope I have a positive story to tell this time next year too. :)

Liza said...

Take a deep breath, get back on that treadmill and go, go, go! Thanks for the reminder that nothing gets done by thinking about it.

enchantedoak said...

Hi, Bethany,
Just popped in to say thank you for becoming a follower on my blog and find out more about you. Lo and behold, you're a motivational wiz! Congratulations on the novel and the dedication. It does take commitment to your art to get anywhere in the public world. I've taken my poetry into public venues for about a year now, and I'm stunned to find the doors opening when I knock. Here's to sticking with it.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Hurray for this post! It sounds like we ALL needed to hear this about now. Thanks for the motivation! :)
www.shannonkodonnell.blogspot.com

Feywriter said...

A great reminder to focus less on one day/event, and more on a lifestyle.

ElanaJ said...

This is so true! No matter if it's the twenty-fifth time, you gotta finish strong! Woot for you guys!

Tere Kirkland said...

You're so right that to finish strong you first have to start. I think that can be the biggest hurdle for some people. Hope 2010 treats you kindly!

Mandy said...

*sniff* I'm tearing up here! What you've done for me is JUST as important. I'm only a tiny puzzle piece, but proud to be one. 2010 is your year! No more looking back with chagrin. I'll carry the torch...

Diana Paz said...

Bethany, such an encouraging and beautiful post. Thank you.

WindyA said...

Great post filled with positivity and encouragement!

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, lots and lots of hard work. We wouldn't appreciate it if it was easy, now would we?

Girl with One Eye said...

I think you write some "Honest Scrap" and I've given you an award on my blog: A Squirrel Amongst Lions.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Love it! So inspirational! Thanks for posting this.

Natalie said...

So nice to meet you!

It sounds like 2009 was an excellent year for both of you! I'm finishing the year on a good note too. Here's to 2010!