"Winners never quit and quitters never win," says Vince Lombardi via my calendar quote for February 15th. While I sometimes scoff at such motivational platitudes, the timing of these words is impeccable.
For those of you who don't know, in December I submitted my book proposal to a well-known publishing house in the personal growth genre. At 60 pages long, the process was thorough and at times the necessary degree of scrupulousness taxing and toiling. i joined this publishing company's writing community in June 2022. Since then, I have attended every class possible, participated in all writing activities, invested in an editor, traveled to SCOTLAND for a workshop, and spent hours and hours tapping away at my keyboard and pacing my room asking the Universe for the next right words to find me.
I know in my bones I gave it my absolute best. Submitting the completed proposal was the true victory. Once I uploaded it to the abyss on December 14th, I let go and left it up to the Universe and said a prayer from my idol Gabby, "May it be this or something better." I did not rest on my laurels while waiting two months for the results. I did not slow down. I kept writing and creating and building.
Today, they announced the winners and after my initial thought of There must be some mistake if I am not on this list, reality set in and I sighed in relief. Much to my surprise, I am not the least bit upset. I am genuinely happy for the winners and their success and the beginning of this new writing adventure on which they embark. I have a deep trust and faith that my time will come. It has to. Because I am not giving up. I met with a book coach last summer when my concepts and themes were still scrambled in my head and I couldn't put them into a cohesive summary. She looked at me and said, "It isn't quite clear to me what you are writing about, but I can tell you one thing that I see and that is you are not going to give up." Damn straight, Cindy, I wanted to say.
I am not bummed out by the contest results. It is good information. I now have the data points I need to understand the next steps to take in this process. PROCESS being the operative word. I remained clear about not attaching myself to the outcome (in which I do not have any control) and to enjoy the process of preparing this proposal. I love writing. I love every little bit of it. I love looking at each paragraph and making sure I am conveying the most that I can in as few words as possible, I love tediously editing and then re-editing and the re-editing until every period is in its proper place, every paragraph smoothly flowing to the next like gentle cascades. I don't get to feel that depth of joy if I am too focused on controlling and forcing a certain outcome.
So, I printed the email explaining why they chose the candidates they did and I will study it inside and out to fine-tune my formula for the next contest. I am back smack dab in the middle of process mode for this particular project, which is a beautiful place to be!
Why am I sharing this? You might be thinking, Lindsey, You didn't win. Get over yourself.
Well, I used to be very private about risks I would take—school/work contests, college applications, even dating someone new—because I didn't want to spread the news until I knew the outcome would be successful. It would have been too embarrassing, too much to bear, to publicly report my loss. While my ego thoroughly enjoyed announcing my victories after the fact, the recipients couldn't fully appreciate the news because they weren't on the journey with me through thick and thin.
It was a very lonely life, keeping things to myself to avoid people finding out I'm not perfect. I have been writing a book for years, but never shared that until recently (and didn't plan to until it was a bestseller on the shelf at Barnes and Noble...)
I now employ a different methodology. In December, I shared with family members and close friends that I was applying to a book publishing contest, the first writing-related competition I have ever participated in by the way (Go big or go home, am I right?) I had my posse counting down the days with me, asking if I had heard anything, just as excited for the news as I was. When I got the results today, I had people to tell and share my feelings with. What a gift.
And guess what? Nothing happened. No one pointed their fingers and called me failure. They didn't abandon me. They encouraged me when I told them I want to figure out what I can do to make it better. Look, I want my book to be the best it can be for the people who need to read it. That is my main goal. So, why would I be upset if my creation is not yet ready to be birthed into the world? Helping others is WAY more important than my ego, I mean obviously, if I am sending mass emails about not winning a contest...
I share these experiences as I walk through them because I'm human. Anything less than this level of transparency would be inauthentic, and authenticity is kind of my whole brand. (I do not recommend making your brand authenticity unless you plan to stay REALLY REAL for the rest of your life. I made this connection recently. Quite the quandary I am in. There is no backing out now. J/k, i wouldn't have it any other way. Truly.)
What is one thing going on in your life that you can surrender.
Are you open to letting the Universe help you out?
Try this mantra: "I surrender my plans to the Universe."
Surrendering our plans is not giving up on our dreams, it is getting clear on our intentions, knowing that we are doing everything in our power to meet those goals and then letting it go. Letting it go means not fixating on the finish line, trusting that the outcome will serve the highest good for all. Letting go means releasing our timeline, our agenda, our stipulations. So essentially, after we do the work, we just need to get the F out of the way to make room for the miracles.
Random funny writing thing: