The Power of the Eternal Optimist (or Why Brighton is So Annoying)

I had a really hard time trying to figure out what to write about for my best and worst days as a writer. I mean, picking my best day out of the dozens of amazing days I’ve had? Impossible. (I know, I know…poor me.)

But for you, kind folks, I will do it. It wasn’t the day I got my first call. It wasn’t when I got my first agent offer or even when I spoke to my agent for the first time. It wasn’t when she called me with an offer for my debut novel, or when I saw that book on bookshelves… It’s undeniable that I’ve had a lot of exhilarating days when I squeed and jumped and flailed, but there’s been only one day that I cried because I was so overwhelmingly freakin’ happy. That was the day my editor at St. Martin’s Press told me Captive had been picked up by Target. (Ironically, one of my worst days as a writer was finding out Caged in Winter had not been picked up by Target, but I digress…) This was a bucket list item, people. In fact, I can link to a post I wrote right here on the Bad Girlz site where I mentioned it as one of four items I wanted to achieve. It’s amazing to me now to look back on that post and see how far I’ve come, especially when I’m having a down in the dumps day.

Now, my worst day as a writer was even harder for me to figure out. Those down in the dumps days I just mentioned? I have those. We all do. Where I compare myself to everyone else, wonder why X isn’t happening or why Y happened for Suzie Smutsalot but not me, but those are just the daily woes of being a writer. Having a soul-crushing day that destroys my will to write? I haven’t had one. I think part of it is because I have this annoying ability to turn even negatives into positives, so what may seem like a catastrophe to someone else, I figure out a way to spin it to work in my favor and move on. I am an eternal optimist, and that has come in very handy in this business that has a tendency to beat you down.

One thing I can’t do that eternal optimism with? Every deadline day. Every. Single. One. That week leading up to that big red date on my calendar looms, and I get crabbier and I snap easier. I lose sleep and I forget to eat. I don’t shower, and I’m generally not a nice person to be around. The day of the deadline? Forget it. You just shouldn’t be around me, shouldn’t talk to me, shouldn’t even look at me. On that day, I’m convinced no one has ever had as bad of a deadline day as me, with all my words to write and edits to do and shower that still hasn’t been had and…well, you get my point. (I’m a writer…I’m prone to the dramz.)

But then the day after deadline comes, in all its glittered, shiny, glorious perfectness, and I forget how awful the day before was. Writing is a lot like childbirth in that way. The event is this horrible, painful thing we never want to think about again, but when it’s all said and done, we have this beautiful (book) baby for our efforts. It’s why some people have fourteen kids, and while other brave (crazy) souls go on to write one hundred books.

Here’s hoping I can be one of those brave (crazy) souls someday…

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