The following back-and-forth emails between my ePublisher and I have been a pivotal moment in my life’s journey, and in a positive direction. I share this in hopes that it’ll be uplifting and maybe even give people what they need to keep moving forward. Sorry it’s long. It’s worth the read, especially if you’re feeling lost in life.
I need help with adjusting my attitude. I keep driving myself into the ground every day, mentally and emotionally. I’m in a state of hopelessness where I already feel like I’m just never going to be one of the lucky ones. My attitude’s so bad to the point where I fear I’m going to manifest my expectations. People just stay to stay positive and hopeful. I can’t seem to drive myself in any direction but down 😦 What did you do to not let yourself get like this?
It is ridiculously hard to remain positive. I mean, it could even take years before you reach your goal, but know that as long as you don’t give up, you will reach it.
Very true. Did you ever get signs that you were on the right track?
Well…I’m very reluctant to talk about this aspect of my journey because I don’t want to seem like a fanatic, but…I do find some strength in my relationship with God. I’m a very critically-minded person yet I believe in God. lol. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Anyways, what happened was that I was working so hard it was ridiculous but I wasn’t seeing much progress. In the month of October, I was reaching my limits and I got frustrated with myself and even God because I was like, I’ve tried to be an upstanding person and I’ve worked to my limits and I saw no change. I was angry. Especially since failing would go against everything I believe in. I’ve always believed that if I worked hard enough, I would succeed. If I failed, I feel like I would just go through life like a ghost…just haunting….
Anyways, towards the end of October, I prayed to God saying I was going to put it in his hands. I had to test if he had my back. So I said, “you know what? I’m going to trust you.” I said that I wasn’t going to write a single thing for the whole month of November, and if I didn’t get at least 1500 in sales, the bare minimum to make a living off my writing, I was going to abandon my writing and go job hunting. I said I wanted to be a full-time author no matter what.
The month of November hit, and I didn’t check sales. I didn’t write a word. I played Halo, had fun, went to the movies and tried my best not to think about it. By the end of November, I got 1800, 300 more than I asked for. I was in awe, but I knew it couldn’t be a fluke either, and it hasn’t been. Since November, it’s increased a lot, with only a drop in February and March. For April, we’re on track to have our best month yet with the release of the third Sage book.
From my perspective, it was God…and I’ll say that my relationship and view towards him has been incredibly different than earlier in my life. I’m not going to go high in the clouds and say it couldn’t have been just coincidence or luck. But for me, the way it happened…I’m going with hard work, and a little help from the big guy. I know how you feel towards God and especially religion. I can tell you right now that I myself hate religion, especially the organized kind. But…I don’t know. Food for thought, I guess…regardless, I’m here for you.
I broke down and cried after reading all that. What got me was 1) so many people in the past year alone urged me to trust in a higher power, and 2) I already feel like that ghost. I feel invisible to the rest of the world.
You don’t come off as fanatical; just honest and down to earth, if that makes any sense.
I know for certain there’s something out there nudging us around and giving a hand now and then. I want help from said power. I don’t know how to ask for it. How do you simply relinquish control, let go of a need to control things? I’m living proof that we mere mortals can’t get anywhere alone. I’m rapidly reaching my breaking point of no return. But the thing is I, too, want to be a full-time author no matter what. I’ve been in this nightmare of a limbo for two years now. I’m so tired of being stuck. I want my faith back in my mantra “hard work pays off.” I was so much happier when I believed in it. How do you trust in a higher power when you feel like you’ve been forgotten and cast aside for so long? (yeah, victim card loud and clear)
I know this is exactly what I need to get unstuck and move forward. I’m not sure how to explain it. My lack is faith is what’s making me feel lost, lonely, hopeless, and stagnant. The thing is, if I try to copy what you did, I fear it won’t work. Say the end of June comes and after surrendering control and embracing faith, I fear the results won’t change anyway. What have I done to deserve anything good to happen to me? I honest to goodness don’t know how to do as you did last November. But the thing is, I want to. I need to. I don’t expect magic results.
Thank you for being here for me. I obviously need it right now 😦
I think it would be hard to figure out what to do next because I think it is different for everyone. I guess the only thing I can do is give you advice based on what I’ve figured out. The first thing would probably be to forget everything you and everyone else thinks they know about religion and how God works. I’m not going to pretend like I know and I would think that if he really is God, no one’s going to figure it all out. There’s so many religions out there, but honestly, I’m finding that having that personal relationship is a lot simpler than people say it is.
I think the main thing is to just start praying, talking, meditating, whatever you want to call it towards God. No relationship is one-sided so if you want one, you have to voice yourself, your fears, your concerns and your needs. Have a genuine conversation. Acknowledge that you want to believe in this but you need guidance. I can’t say you’ll get full blown lightning strikes or anything like that, but definitely “nudges” as you put it. I tend to think of God as my boss in some ways, like I’ll ask about what I should write next, or I’ll ask for ideas or guidance on something. Sometimes “aha” moments occur. Sometimes they don’t. But I think as long as I’m putting forth the effort, that’s what counts. It’s a journey, not a destination, so don’t worry about not being worthy, or being afraid or anything like that. Just start it off, and it gets easier as you go, especially throughout the day.
And if you’re serious, definitely pray that prayer, asking to make you into a full-time author no matter what. I won’t lie. I had to learn some things, and I don’t know where your journey will take you, but as long as you keep going on it, you’ll reach where you want to be. It’s a long, dark, and often lonely desert with little reprieve, but looking back, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Just remember that we limit ourselves when it comes to reaching our goals. Don’t be afraid, and say what you need to say. Back then I realized, I definitely had nothing to lose…
And I’ll try to answer any questions or thoughts I can if you want any help. It’s very hard doing it alone.
I think my next step is relearning how to believe all over again and just take that proverbial leap of faith.
I am confused by the whole personal relationship and conversation thing. I’m picturing myself sitting up in bed and talking to an invisible entity. I get the whole aha moments and expressing myself honestly, and being patient and learning some things. This past year alone has been quite the crash course. I’ve had to learn to become survivor, instead of victim, and let go of so much bitterness. Heck, even becoming jobless was necessary. Now I just need to get away from the anxious energy coming at me that desperately wants me to hunt for jobs I never want.
In the meantime, I’ll start with what I think you mean by “conversation” and see what happens.
I have a lot to sort out in my head but I already feel a little better 🙂 Thank you again!
I guess what I mean about relationship is that it’s not like asking a genie for wishes. It’s kind of like just talking, like you would a friend. People tend to think of God as just some distant force that cannot be reached, but I don’t really believe that personally. Anyways, what I try to think about is that God’s not just going to be in my life or help me if i don’t even ask, so I ask. If I’m distraught about something, I voice my concerns to him. I would try to look it as: if you were trying to contact some higher being, how would you go about doing it? Just waiting for this being to reveal himself wont work. I think that without actively seeking help from a higher power, we’re just left alone. Part of the whole free will thing I think.
End of convo.
It’s things like this that make me believe that this is what “spreading the Word” really means. I still have to ease my fears away every day, but it’s quicker, and I feel lighter and happier overall. What a relief!