As we approach the end of the second decade of this millennium, I thought I would share a few lessons that I’ve learned this year. For me, 2019 has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I’ve had a few highs and acquired some deep bruises. The good news is that I’m going to learn from these lessons.
#5- You might want it but you don’t need it. I inherited our home from my grandparents who were packrats. They survived the Great Depression and thought everything should be kept, because “someday” they might be able to use it again. The house is big and has allowed us to collect things—too many things. Things that we have never used, those items that we have for those “in case” moments.
So 2020 is going to be the year of culling.
#4- Don’t let fear stop you from trying something new. I’m fifty-six so I’m not talking about an extreme sport—hospital stays are very expensive. In the last year, I’ve discovered that I really enjoy writing short stories. Listen, I love to tell a long tale of how a couple falls in love and get their happy ever after but sometimes, it is fun to simply share a little bit. As a writer, it makes me stretch different muscles. To give the reader a hint and then trust them to fill in the rest of the scene. Romance readers know the signs and I trust that with a few words, they will grasp that if I say the man is a “total alpha” that my reader will know that he is a take-charge type and bossy. Writing a short story is like having a conversation with a close friend. I don’t have to fill in the entire back-story, I only have to hit on the high points.
It’s fun and so fulfilling to learn something new. In fact I released two compilations of short stories set in my Novus Pack world, Impressions and Moments.
#3- Giving another a compliment will make you feel better. My Leo tendencies will now make an appearance. Last year I was in a rut. Most of my interactions with others were through the internet and I felt a part of myself withering. I took a part-time job at a local hair salon. At Luminosity, my role is to be the hostess. I chat with clients, fetch drinks, hang coats, and compliment. I listen and look at photos of their ideas for a new look. I hear stories about a special night out or a visit from an old friend. After the stylist is done with the transformation or simple trim, I pour on the praise.
I am amazed at how even the grumpiest customer will smile and stand straighter, and I feel so good after. I use my love of words to describe their new look. They usually giggle and wish me a great day. My goal is that everybody leaves feeling a little better than when they arrived.
Giving a compliment costs me nothing but it gives me so much in return.
#2- Friendships can become toxic. I would describe myself as complex, I have many layers. I also know that not everybody is going to find me delightful. In the last year, I have decided that there are several people that don’t add goodness to my life. There are a myriad of reasons. This isn’t entirely their fault or mine; we have stopped being good for one another.
The tough part is breaking the cycle of acceptance and forgiveness. I have made up so many excuses for hurtful behavior and overlooked some actions and now it is time to stop. I hold no ill will toward these people. I wish them happiness on their journey, but I no longer will be by their side.
#1—Every win is because of hard work. Every good thing that has happened in my writing career can be attributed to hard word and hustle. I have amassed a good team of people with different skills and experience. I ask them for advice often and more importantly when I take their advice, I let them know. If I choose not to follow their recommendations—I thank them for their time. When I sell a book, get a positive e-mail, it is because of the work we put in on my product.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to meet with a baby author, and she was clearly looking for the “golden ticket” to success. I told her that I didn’t know it, and let’s be honest if I did, I wouldn’t give it away for free. Success comes from hard work, making mistakes and learning from them, and luck.
So for 2020—I will keep working, listening, and thanking those around me.
If you enjoy reading romance with a healthy dose of learning life’s lessons, check out my Cameron Farms Trilogy. You Only, Your Always, You Forever. They are available from Amazon and are currently in KU.
You Only is a second chance love story.
You Always is the rare glimpse into the perfect marriage that isn’t so perfect.
You Forever is about the aftermath when the little window shows a plus sign and all of your plans are in disarray.
For the Boxed Set— https://amzn.to/33pui4O
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