Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thumbs Poised for Milestone Monday

It’s been three months since we’ve done a Milestone Monday, so I’m calling one here and now. HERE. NOW. If you’re newish on the block, Milestone Monday is a day devoted to celebrating your minor/major/noteworthy creative successes. We really want to hear from you. Yeah, you, shrinking down in your seat right now. :-)

Finish a gnarly chapter? Maybe you recently got an honest-to-goodness original signature on your latest rejection letter! Or, you might have finally rustled up the courage to talk to someone about your work. Did you sell an article, or a book? Maybe you got inspired by Robin’s last post about conferences and made the decision to go to one!

Whatever it is, we want to give you a big thumbs up! No fuss, no muss, and you can sit quietly at your screen and blush all you want.

As introverts, we have a tendency to downplay the power of community. I know I like to delude myself that I am a self-reinforcing model. (Kind of like a self-cleaning oven, but without the impenetrable locking feature.) Which is why I was NOT looking forward to participating in “Integrity Day” yesterday which I was required to attend on account of this Energize your Life coaching group I belong to. Starting at 9:00 a.m. yesterday, I had to dial in to a conference call for ten minutes at the top of every hour for five hours.

Hold on, it gets worse. Not only did I have to call in, I had to report my progress on a life de-cluttering project to a bunch of people I've never met. And, listen to their reports on how they were doing. Did I mention this was Saturday morning, a sacred time I like to reserve for the exclusive company of a brick-sized scone and a skinny latte? If Option B to the call-ins would have been five consecutive mammograms-- truly, I would have been torn. Hmm, mammogram or conference call with required sharing? The dilemma!

So, you might imagine my bolt from the blue when I discovered how mobilizing it was having a cheering section behind me all morning. Moi? Yeah, I know! In five hours, I accomplished more on my project than I ever could have left to my own devices. Better still, even after the calls were over, I worked four more hours non-stop.

So I’m just saying. Sharing can be good. And catalystic. We’d love to hear from you. And, for god's sake, it’s free publicity to boot. There’s that, too.

Engerized and uncluttered,

Mary Hershey

P.S. Speaking of milestones, our Shrinking Violets visit meter turned over to 25,000 visits this past weekend. Wow. And, those are visits by introverts, which are the data equivalent of 4.77 extravert visits, according to some super scientific research I conducted. Or made up. It's one of those, but I forget which one.


Anonymous said...

I was invited to a "bloginar" held by a local TV station. I almost didn't go because of the required "networking" part of the evening. But I did go, and while it's still not a sure thing, made some really good contacts at the TV station that might help promote my book. Cross your fingers!

Anonymous said...

It's terrific to have the reinforcement that comes from reading your blog, Shrinking Violets! I, too, experience panic at sharing my work and my innermost low-confidence demons (on the outside I believe I come across as someone who totally has it together). I have met with some publishing success but it wasn't until I found a group of women, (some of whom are much better authors than I am), that I began to receive interest from agents I dreamed of working with on a novel. My last e-mail from my agent was very encouraging and included the words "mass market appeal". I'm sure I squealed delight. Thanks for encouraging us to talk about our sucess.

AnneB said...

I added 1500 words to the WIP. I wanted to be a lot farther along but I'm breaking new ground and you know what? Writing is hard!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the support! This reminds me that I need to bug my local SCBWI leader about local critique groups again. I keep putting it off and then conveniently deciding to try again when I don't have her contact information with me. So now I'm going to go DO THAT RIGHT NOW, thank you very much!

Mary Hershey said...

Hi, Amy! Congrats on the "bloginar"-- now there's a new one on me! And good on you for doing this! You never know where it might lead.

Marce, you're getting closssssse! I can feel it. Keep us posted. :-)

Anne-- 1500 words-- yesssss! No small feat. And, yeah, hard work, but the best kind. The pay-off is astronomically good.

RockinLibrarian, "... one small step..." powerful stuff. Strong work.

Great stuff, Violets! Keep 'em coming!

Four thumbs up!
Mary Hershey

tanita✿davis said...

Wow, YAY. Some great stuff here. My milestone is that I worked on the weekend -- with my editor -- and my second novel (MARE'S WAR, Knopf, 2009) went into copy editing this morning. My editor is going on maternity in August, so this was a job I thought would be rushed -- no -- it was just steady, nose-to-grindstone for both of us, and we actually did it EARLY. I'm amazed.

I've never participated in one of these, and feel like I'm blowing my own horn, but thanks for the opportunity!

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Keep blooming, Violets!

Anonymous said...

Sent off a sample chapter for a hopeful nonfiction project. Now I'm typing with fingers crossed, which is always tricky!

Thanks for the milestone post. :)

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog a few weeks ago and have been browsing your archives. How wonderful you are and what a wonderful resource you've been for me. Thank you.

Okay, so I took a deep breath and actually walked into 3 Barnes & Nobles, 2 Borders, and The Tattered Cover downtown. I spoke with the merchandising managers at all the stores save two and all except one agreed to carry anywhere between 3 and 6 copies of my book. I know it's small potatoes, but my little introverted heart just about burst with joy.

Thank you for your super encouraging blog.

Mary Hershey said...

Tadmack! Good on ya! That must feel heavenly to have that off your desk for a while. ;-)

LiquidAmbar, thanks for joining the Thumb Squad with us today!

Becky, I'm chanting-- sell, sell, sell, sell! Keep up posted.

Rebeccaaaa, small potatoes indeed! That's some strong work for one day! Geez. I'd need to be on an IV drip after an outing like that. Glad you came by to let us know.

I went and introduced myself to our new-ish local children's librarian today. I was inspired by Kathleen Dunn's advice to us . . . I took two books to donate, and she was so happy that she said she would order a bunch more for all the branches.

Great news, everyone and impressive strides forward!

Mary Hershey

Anonymous said...

It seems like I went straight from signing my first book contract a couple of weeks ago to panic and procrastination (skipping joy and celebration).

So...yay! I got my first book contract! And already I'm editing one 6000 word chapter and halfway through another.

Thanks everyone else for sharing! It's encouraging to read about people further down the path.


Mary Hershey said...

Dear Kelly,

Many happy congrats to you on your FIRST book contract!! Wow-- that's so thrilling! :-)

But, yes, let's put you in reverse. . . back-up a bit and allow yourself to sit with the sheer joy of that all.

So you signed your contract and they already are having you doing your edits? That's fast. But, do be gentle with yourself. And trusting. It will all get done.

But you only get one first contract. Be in that space.

And, don't forget to breathe, Kelly!

In celebration,
Mary Hershey