Friday, December 27, 2013

Ch-ch-changes and getting inoculated against Comparison-itis?

Ch-ch-Changes (turn and face the strain).  I suspect David Bowie is a bit old for some readers of this blog, but I still think his chorus is apropos. At the end of the year, I always take time to review how the past year went and to plan for the new year.  Windtree Press has done this as well. We've looked at how each of the authors is doing, what we can do differently to be more successful, and what we are willing to let go. Consequently, Windtree Press is making changes that we believe will be good for the authors and for our readers.

You will see a new website in late January that we hope will be easier to navigate, and will definitely provide a much easier way to purchase books from us. We will also be increasing the number of authors at the press which means more books for our readers.

This blog will undergo a change as well. We will be feeding each of our member blogs to the Windtree Press blog. We hope this will give you a one stop means to access all of our author blogs, while still keeping you informed of Windtree Press major developments.

Finally, we will be initiating a quarterly newsletter that will go out to our mailing list of readers. This newsletter will contain news from each of our members, any giveaways and prizes, upcoming events, and new releases. We hope this will keep you in the loop for all the best books that Windtree Press authors have to offer.

Inoculation for Comparison-itis Disease

In my personal review of the past year, I always have to be careful not to contract that dreaded disease known as "comparison-itis." (Thanks to Joanna Penn for coining this term).  That is the virus that causes you to compare anything in your life to someone else and then come up short for the past year. It tends to lead to depression and another disease, especially virulent for writers, known as quitting.

For example, I could easily compare 2013 to 2012 and feel bad because in 2012 I had a job other than writing full time that made significantly more money than I do now.  I could easily envy those who hung on to their jobs and their economic security.

I could also easily compare my book sales to some other author who did better and be upset because "my books are certainly as good or better than that author's books." I haven't made a bestseller list yet like some friends who have. I haven't hit the regular 1,000 books per month sales figures like another author friend. If I let the comparison-itis virus take over, I would end up quitting writing. It is a dangerous virus, not just for authors but for anyone who allows comparisons to stop them from moving forward in life.

If you don't stop comparison-itis in its tracks, the virus will eventually take over every part of your life. How can you recognize the early symptoms? It's when this little voice in your head starts saying things like:  I'm not pretty enough, young enough, skinny enough, fat enough, successful enough, rich enough, fast enough, selling get the picture. Over the years, I've created a three-step health regimen that I engage in throughout the year. Then for that last week of the year, I always reinforce my regimen with an inoculation against the comparison-itis virus. Just like the flu is most virulent in January/February, I find that comparison-itis is must virulent at the end of December. My regular health regimen has three parts.
  1. Reframe my experience.  Yes, I'm not making as much money as I did in 2012, but I worked on  that career for 30+ years full time to get to that state. I've only been working at writing for 8 years part-time and 1 year full time. I'm doing better than many other writers.
  2. Remember, it's not a zero sum game. I don't believe that when someone does well, it means someone else must do poorly. I've known people in many professions that carry the belief you must squash your competitors in order to get ahead. I don't believe that when someone makes the NYT bestseller list it means that my work is worse or hers is better. I believe that when my friend made the USA Today bestseller list, she earned it and I can too. I believe that when I win, I can bring others along with me. We can all be bestsellers in our time.
  3. The Golden Rule, Karma, Hard Work.  I still believe that what will get me ahead is working hard, writing more and writing better each day. I still believe that treating others as I wish to be treated will make my daily walk easier. I will feel better about my progress and that I made it without crawling over any corpses. 

And here is the end-of-year inoculation. It's an age old mantra credited to Thomas Jefferson. I say it every day during the last week of the year, and sometimes several times a day if the virus has made any kind of foothold. The quote is: "Comparison is the thief of joy." I follow that with my own: "And I won't let anyone steal my joy."

I hope my health regimen and inoculation helps you to enter 2014 without the dreaded comparison-itis virus. Let us all skate into 2014 together with the innocence of children, the hard work of adults, and the belief that we can make our own success by moving forward together. 

Yes, you think I'm done but...I have one more disease where I need your help

I'm looking for help to get moving so I stop suffering from the horrific "butt-itis"--that is the spread of the bottom and hips area of the anatomy because I spend so much time with butt glued to chair in front of the computer. Sometime during this past summer, I used superglue to attach my butt to the chair and I think I used too much. It is REALLY strong. Anyone have a solvent? If so, please send it my way.

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