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    The “X” Factor

    Sara Rosett Icon

    I had my first airport book signing last week, which may not sound very exciting to you but, to me, it was one of the events I was really looking forward to this spring.

    I once heard someone say that they thought when they’d achieved a certain thing, let’s just call it “X,” then they’d have arrived. This person achieved “X”, then discovered that there were more goals—perhaps “Y” and “Z”—to reach. The playing field had expanded with new goals.

    As I’ve transitioned in the last few years from being a writer hoping for an agent and publishing contract to a published author, I’ve discovered that the goal posts do indeed keep moving.

    My “X” was to write a book and get it published. That dream has come true for me. Actually, my reality turned out to be bigger than my dream. I got a three-book deal with my first book, then two years later the publisher offered me a second three book deal.

    Great, right?

    Yes, awesome! But as I’m moving down this author road I’ve realized I have new goals. Some of them are small things, like signing at an airport bookstore. (Yeah! Check mark beside that one!) Others are bigger, like becoming the author that readers wonder about when they arrive in the bookstore or library and ask, “Is her new one out yet?”

    Another thing I’m discovering is that have to balance my goals with thankfulness for what has happened. I don’t want to get so wrapped up in thinking about what I want and my new goals that I forget to be thankful that I’m published.

    I’m curious: have you achieved your “X,” which could be writing-related or not, then found “Y” and “Z” staring you in the face? What do you think is the best way to balance striving for new goals with contentment and appreciation of what you’ve already achieved?

    4 Responses to “The “X” Factor”

    1. Wow Sara, talk about timing. I had a talk with my publicist (that’s my dear niece who has experience in the area.)

      She asked me about my goals, both from a publicity point of view and an author’s.

      While my wife and I simultaneously shouted Oprah and laughed, I quickly named a few local morning shows. I told her that originally I said I’d be thrilled to get published and make $10. Now that I have a contract, the $10 seems like a lofty goal.

      Really though, my goals have stretched to find an agent and a big press.

      I actually saw an author doing a signing at Lambert Airport at the bookstore near the security area. Unfortunatly for her, the lines were horrendous and although there was a lot of foot traffic, they were all heading directly to security for fear of missing their flights.

      I stopped and chatted very briefly with her. Nice lady. I think an airport signing would be cool. Good luck, Sara.

      by Will Bereswill on April 16th, 2008 at 7:15 am

    2. My goal is still the same: get my series published. Yes, I’m writing another series, and that’s getting published, and I’m getting paid, but with the pseudonym thing, and this not being the same series I wanted to write originally, it feels different. Beyond that, I hope that the series I am writing will sell well enough that the publisher will want to sign another three books, and pay me more this time. :D

      by JennieB on April 16th, 2008 at 7:53 am

    3. Will, I’m sure your book will do great. It’s funny how our hopes can vary wildly. Sometimes it’s getting a bigger publisher; other times it’s just getting through a signing!

      I discovered that being at an airport is very much like signing at a bookstore. There are lots of people, which is a bonus, but not all of those people are looking for books. Whether it’s getting through security or getting through the line to get their coffee in the bookstore, it’s pretty much the same. The secret is finding the people who *are* interested in books, whether it’s at the airport or the bookstore. It did go pretty well and I hope I get to do it again someday.

      by Sara on April 16th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    4. “…sign another three books, and pay me more this time. ”

      I hear you, JennieB! I hope it works out for you, especially on the raise!

      by Sara on April 16th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

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