So, if you're anywhere on the interwebs, you see the constant barrage of motivational quotes. Nothing great ever happened inside your comfort zone.
Here's the thing; I'm all for pushing yourself and growing and doing new things. That's a lie. Sometimes I'm for eating pizza and watching Netflix, but you get it. But the problem with this mentality of just push yourself more, is that it doesn't take into account the million moving parts of achieving a dream.
I'm a big believer in the "gray area," which is why quotes like this aren't so motivating for me. Yes, it's important to push yourself and be prepared... but there's also the matter of timing, practice, and sometimes just luck. Sometimes, the universe sends you the right people at the right time, and (because you were prepared) you can make it happen. But there's also no formula- just do _________, and you'll achieve your wildest dreams. No. And anyone who is selling that is a liar.
I know you're asking, "Okay, Nicole, but what do you do instead? Just stop believing?" In the epic words of Journey, absolutely Don't Stop Believing. But instead of pushing myself to a breaking point (Exhibit A: I published three books in 2015, and I didn't start writing until April of that year. Don't do that) I make sure I actually like what I'm doing. Because if I start doing something just because I want to sell books, then what was the point of all of that growth and the STEEP learning curve I went through at the beginning of this whole journey? (I know... I took the Journey thing too far)
I spent an embarrassing amount of time taking pictures of books for Instagram. I discovered that I don't particularly like taking pictures of books. So I stopped doing that. That's not my jam, and now I just appreciate other people's photos. I do like to write short stories and poems and novels and talk to people about them endlessly. So I do that. And my sales are better now than they were with hours of book photography. And even if they weren't? I don't know that I'd care.
As much as I wish (and hope and desire and... you get the point) that I could write full time, be a NYT best seller, and have a Netflix contract... I'll also take just being happy writing what I'm writing and enjoying the whole #EnglishTeacherLife (that's not really a thing... but at the end of the school year, we teachers tend to get a little delusional).
So I guess what I'm saying is, I disagree with the rad graffitti art up there... I don't want to sleep until I'm famous. I actually want to enjoy the ride, even when I am certain that all 8,000 words of my new manuscript are crap, when I can't nail a story timeline, when my website feels as chaotic as my brain. I still know that I (insanely) chose this. It's mine (And my publishers. There's a whole contract), and I don't do it for anyone else.