Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When You Look in the Mirror - What Do You See?

I've been thinking about "the call" a lot lately. In part, because some amazing writer friends have recently gotten their much-deserved calls, and in part because I'm feeling "ready." I know this sounds silly. I mean, who's not ready to hear a rock star agent loves their work and wants to represent them, or that their agent has sold their work in a triple-book deal to a big house? No one, of course. Yet, I think you need to feel ready deep down in your bones - like you've done the work, you're prepared and excited to do more, you're looking forward to continually "upping" your game, and that you, well, deserve it.

I thought I felt that way from the first time I put pen to paper in a "serious" manner nearly 15 years ago. But, I wasn't ready. Not by a long shot. I was merely dipping my toes in the novel-writing sea. It took me years to learn how to float, i.e., find my "voice," and years more to swim, i.e., figure out how to powerfully and passionately craft that voice into a meaningful story others would want to read. The fact that people are now enjoying my work and telling others about it is a wonder. It feels good, like my hard work is paying off - like I'm finally doing my job.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Where are you at in your writing game? Are you ready for The Call, or are you working towards the day you will be? The way I see it, as long as you're working hard to improve your craft, you are already successful. I often need to remind myself of this, but I do believe it's true.

As an enlightened friend from India wrote on his blog: "What you focus on expands." If you focus on your art, your goals, your dreams, your relationships, they will - in time - unfold and expand. On the same token, if you think negative thoughts or focus on what's not working (watering the weeds), that's what will show up in your life. The good news is we each have the innate ability to manifest our realities. So, choose your thoughts and actions wisely!

IN OTHER NEWS...
I'd like to thank the charming Stephanie Damore for honoring me with the following You Don't Say? Super Comments Award. Isn't it the cutest thing? Please stop over at her place and thank her for honoring me this way.

Now comes the hard part - passing along this auspicious award to five of my blogging buds who write kickass comments. Choosing only five is nearly impossible, since everyone who comments on my blog leaves funny, poignant, insightful comments. Nonetheless, I'll give it a go:

To my favorite southern belle, Angie at Gumbo Writer. Your comments always put a smile on my face. If only you'd realize how much better cats are than dogs...

To the sweet and savvy Karen at karen...following the whispers. She went back and completed her BA later in life - what's not to admire? Her comments are always thoughtful and kind.

To the lovely and talented Ray Veen at Big Plain V. He's always got some smart(ass) comment to add, plus he plays guitar and sings. (And, shhh, don't tell him, but he's one of my absolute faves...)

The also lovely and talented Paul Michael Murphy at Murph Blog. I was informed last time I gave out awards, that the male species was blatantly absent from my list. I'm making up for it here with another one of my favorite guys. Murph's a teacher. Need I say more?

And, lastly, the beautiful Anita Laydon Miller who was one of the first people in the blogosphere to compliment my writing on Jessica Faust's Holiday Contests. Her book reviews are riveting. I hope to meet her on one of my frequent trips to Colorado.

Believe me when I tell you, even if I didn't mention you here specifically, please feel free to take this award and place it proudly on your blog. Each and every one of you deserve it! I am constantly in awe of and forever grateful for the amazing peeps who follow my blog.

You guys ROCK!!!!!!!!

46 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

I thought this was a very inspirational post. A journal I read, has a 'Woe is me Monday', a prelude to 'whiny Wednesday' for a entry. When I read your title for today, I scrolled down to it, because I didn't need to be bothered with someone who is in the midst of their own personal sorrow.

Not only was it inspirational, this entry is encouraging, and I hope to find my voice soon enough. I also identify with getting the call and being 'ready'. When I boxed, I used to think of what it would be like when someone wants me for a big fight or called me to fill in. At amateur tournaments, I would try to fit in at least two days of good running, because I wanted to be ready not only for now, which I alread was, but for the fight 'down the line'. It wasn't a big run, but enough to keep my focus on the long range goal.

If you are feeling it in your bones, you better watch out. Opportunity is preparing to lift you up somewhere, to a height that you haven't yet reached. A line that I have lifted from a former Northwestern University football coach, Gary Barnett, seems to apply here:

Expect victory!

Lazy Writer said...

I thought I was ready a while back, but the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I'm in the process of getting ready again. I'm enjoying every step of the way!

DebraLSchubert said...

Mark, Your words are beyond inspiring. I'm so glad you found mine inspiring as well. "Expect Victory!" I love it!!!

Little Ms Blogger said...

What an amazing post. This could apply to any career or passion.

I admit, I'm watering the weeds more than swimming these days.

I continue to push forward and each day I water the weeds less and less.

DebraLSchubert said...

Susan, That's so true - the more you know, the more there is to know. And, enjoying every step is the absolute definition of success. When you're not "waiting for" something to happen, you can be in the moment. When you're in the moment, you're victorious! (Borrowing Mark's words!)

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Whoo-hoo!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

I see potential and curiosity when I look in the mirror lately. I'm a LONG way away from where you are but that's okay. Because I didn't even realize how much I want to be do this type of work (writing) until this year. Well, I take that back. It's been hidden beneath me for a long time but I finally recognized it and decided to take some steps toward my goals this year. Honestly, I'm hoping that I can go back to school soon. My husband may have an offer on the table that will send my family packing and allow me a chance to focus on my dream (fingers crossed....) I want to at least enroll in some writing workshops and courses that I believe will help me. We'll see. As I move further along and gain confidence, I know I can do good things.

Congrats on your comment award. You do leave great thoughts (witty, funny, etc!) :-) I hope your bones will be aching from jumping up and down like a Spartan cheerleader soon enough when you get your "call." Best wishes! I'm thinking of you!

DebraLSchubert said...

LMB, Pretty soon you'll be tending the blossoms of your hard work.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Paul, I'll say this only once - you deserve it! (There, I said it.)

DebraLSchubert said...

Mandy, "I hope your bones will be aching from jumping up and down like a Spartan cheerleader soon enough when you get your 'call.'" You're too funny, gf. And, from your lips, to God's ears!!

I hope things work out for your honey and you! Workshops and classes and writer's conferences are all good.;-)

Big Plain V said...

Wow. Thanks, Debra, I feel very honored.

I loved your, well, I guess you'd call it a 'definition', of "being ready". I took this same journey myself, and now, I've got to say -- I am so totally ready for the next call.

DebraLSchubert said...

Ray, Yeah, I bet. I wonder which call is harder to wait for? Either way, you're a rock star. No one can take that away from you.;-)

Kelly said...

That is a great idea for an award. I go enjoy reading everyone's comments as much as blog posts sometimes!
As for the call, I was very naive when I first started writing and thought I was ready. I was not. I am now for my picture books, and hopefully will be there soon for my chapter book.
Good luck!

Karen Walker said...

Debra,
Thanks so much for this lovely honor. I think commenting on blogs is just as important as writing our own. It shows we are paying attention. And yours is so worth paying attention to. I didn't listen to the call to write for so long. Then for 10 years I worked on the memoir. Now that it's published, I'm finding it hard to heed the call of the other projects. But I know when the time is right, it will come. I need to be gentle with myself. Thanks again for the award.
blessings,
karen

DebraLSchubert said...

Kelly, Then, please help yourself to the award - I INSIST!! Your beautiful smile lights up the comment section every time.

And, I wish you nothing but the best of luck with your picture and chapter books.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Karen, You're so very welcome. And, I agree. Commenting and reading other people's comments is a big part of the fun. So glad we found each other. You are so deserving of this award.;-)

Jenna said...

I like to daydream that I'm ready for the Call, but in reality I know I'm not. I've got a way to go yet. But it's a journey I look forward to--I LOVE learning and I LOVE writing, and learning about writing is probably my favorite thing ever. :D

Amazing post! Congrats on the blog award. :)

DebraLSchubert said...

Jenna, If only I'd known I wanted to be a writer when I was your age! Keep at it. You'll be there before you know it.;-)

Beth said...

I'm a firm believer in the "think positive" camp. Not in some dopey "The Secret" kind of way...just because you wish it into existence doesn't make it so. But if you have a positive outlook, that feeds itself (or as your blog friend write, it "expands"); if you work hard and try to improve, that will feed off of itself; conversely, if you always believe that the worst will happen, or that the universe is conspiring against you, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Great, positive post! Hugs, Beth

Suzanne said...

You are READY!!!! Congrats on the award and thanks for the best blog links.

DebraLSchubert said...

Beth, "The Secret" is the Law of Attraction, which is the idea that thoughts and actions have a cause and effect in the world. It's more powerful than simply 'positive thinking.' It involves action and focus as well. It's the premise that we each have the ability to create / generate our lives. Hugs back atcha, D.

DebraLSchubert said...

Suzy, I hope you're right. I'm feeling ready. We'll see if the Universe agrees...!

Kelly H-Y said...

Fabulous post ... and, I love the quote about 'what your focus on expands..'. Congrats on your award!!

Stephanie Faris said...

I read The Secret and while I don't necessarily believe just thinking something will make it happen, I do believe perception is reality and our thoughts have definite power. But the longer it takes to get published, the more prepared you'll be once it does happen. That's what I keep telling myself anyway!

Steph Damore said...

Hey Stephanie, I agree with your The Secret comments, which ties in with Debra's "watering the weeds" comment. I always try to be positive and visualize the future. I get super excited when I think about the possibilities - not just with my writing - but with life in general.

Steph Damore said...

BTW, thanks for the link Debra!

DebraLSchubert said...

Kelly, I'm glad you liked the post. And, awards are nice - especially from fellow-bloggers.;-)

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Great post, Debbie! George Clooney once said something to the effect that you don't want people to see you until you're ready.

Fingers crossed for you, sister! You have a fantastic approach, your writing is rock-solid, and you're READY!!!

XOXO

DebraLSchubert said...

Steph, Thanks so much for the wonderful award. I love your blog and I'm glad we get to "hang out" together here in the blogosphere. And, you're welcome for the link!

DebraLSchubert said...

Linda, Stop it - you're going to make me cry (seriously). It's support from people like you that makes everything more exciting and worthwhile. Planning to be back in the Philly area any time soon???

Cindy said...

Your post really echoes a lot of thoughts I've been having recently. I am contracted to be published with a small press but I don't have an agent yet. I'm very excited about seeing my book in print but I still feel like there's this new level to achieve. One that I feel I'm ready for. One I definitely wasn't ready for when I went for it ten years ago--then three years ago again.

It's a wonderful feeling to not only feel proud of what I've written, but know I've made progress. Know I'm writing from passion, experience, and knowledge, rather than just passion alone.

Thanks for the encouraging post--and a wonderful way to put words to the thoughts I've been having as well.

DebraLSchubert said...

Cindy, Good for you! I hope all goes well with the publisher. Did you ever query Rachelle Gardner? She's in CO and reps Christian writers. Also, I used to live in Littleton and one of my best friends from HS shares your name (went to Cherry Creek - my kids would have gone to Arapahoe if stayed in Littleton!!). Small world.;-)

Angie Ledbetter said...

THANK YOU so much, Schube! I can't say I've been very deserving of such an award the last couple of weeks. I plead the runaway-treadmill-of-life defense, as I'm barely keeping head above water with three kids getting back in school, a Boy Scout Eagle banquet to arrange, and about a gazillion other things sprouting simultaneously. :)

I love your comments too, and your tweets, and your posts...everything...exceptthose disgusting furballs you insist on wasting your love and care upon. hehe.

Huggage!

DebraLSchubert said...

Angie, Hee hee - You know you love my cats. But, too bad, you can't have them! You're welcome for the award - you deserve it even if you've been uber-busy lately. Now, run along and get all that stuff done. The clock's a ticking, you know! ;-)

nsiyer said...

Thanks Debrah. Iliked the reflection on the mirror. It says it all. Nice post and thanks a million for linking my blog and making me visible. A person of your stature, I am humbled.

DebraLSchubert said...

nsiyer, Believe me, you're the one with the stature! Your posts are uplifting and enlightening. I feel privileged and humbled to "know" you. ;-)

Anita said...

Very nice post! And the award was icing on the cake. Thank you!

DebraLSchubert said...

Anita, You deserve it! Love your posts and comments.;-)

Jemi Fraser said...

Great site, and beautiful post, Debra! Congrats as well.

My mirror is a little fuzzy right now. I've always written, but only for myself. About a year ago, I started checking into the whole process, and I have learned so much! I'm still climbing that learning curve, but I'm hoping to be ready when the call comes. :)

Lilly said...

Oh what a wonderful post this is. And I love that quote - 'what you focus on expands'. I think you are more than ready. In fact ever since I have read your blog you have been ready. The best part is you love what you do and how cool is that? Anything that happens now is icing on the cake. To me you have already made it. Thanks for giving me some inspiration. As always.

DebraLSchubert said...

Jemi, There is always more to learn and craft to improve. I'm glad we found each other - I look forward to sharing more on this writing journey.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Lilly, I only pray I'll get to visit Australia one of these days and meet you in person. I have a feeling we're soul sisters. Thanks, as always, for your kind words.;-)

Cindy said...

Debra, wow, it is a small world. I went to Chatfield in Littleton but knew a few people who went to Cherry Creek.

I am putting together a query right now (and scaring myself over proposals :D). I am definitely going to submit to Rachelle Gardner but I'm trying to research other agents that I think would be a good fit as well.

DebraLSchubert said...

Cindy, Small world for sure! Good luck w/the queries. Keep me posted on your progress.;-)

Pen Pen said...

I really hope u get the call- I SO want to go to B&N, get ur book, and walk around saying, "I know her! I know her!!" :)
Then- I can also trick u into giving me signed copies that I can sell on E-Bay for profit :)

DebraLSchubert said...

Penny, You crack me up, gf! I'll give you as many books as you want cuz you're my soul sista!!! Hugs back atcha.;-)

Like Button

There was an error in this gadget