Confessions of a Competitive Gal

Theodore Roosevelt was a smart guy. How do I know this? Because he’s the one who said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Image courtesy of flickr

Yup. And I should know. I may not appear like someone who keeps score (or maybe I do, haha), but I’m about as competitive as a quiet, non-threatening Asian girl can be. 😉

As you can imagine, this trait does not bode well for someone who works in sales. Yes, I spend a lot of time writing books, but the other part of my job is selling them. And boy, is that part hard.

Ever since hubby and I published the book we wrote together, he’s been asking me every day how many copies we’ve sold. When I showed him the latest results, all he could say was, “Wow, it’s not easy to sell books.” Haha. Amen to that!

There are so many methods that authors use to sell their books. Some spend hundreds of dollars on ads every month. Others release a new book every 4-6 weeks!  You can imagine how competitive this industry is.

For many authors, we write because we dislike numbers, but selling books is all about the numbers. The number of words you can crank out in a day, how many sales you make during any given week, your author ranking in your particular genre. It’s so, so easy to get caught up in the numbers.

I found myself getting caught up in this trap recently. I heard of some bestselling authors writing one to two thousand words a day, and wondered why I couldn’t do the same? Assuming I could keep it up, I’d be able to crank out a book every other month—at a minimum. Sure, it would mean some late nights, but I’m a night owl already, so why not?

Well, after attempting this kind of lifestyle for a few weeks, I realized why not. 😛 I realized the very reason that I had started writing—for the pure joy of it!—had all but disappeared from my heart. I had become a writing machine—cold and robotic. I no longer looked forward to creating characters and storylines. I had lost my passion for words. And it was sad!

After reevaluating my priorities, I took a step back—way back!—and decided to stop. To stop writing for the sake of selling. To stop staying up so late. To stop comparing myself to other authors who are able to write more and sell more than me.

And do you know what happened? I found joy in writing again. 🙂

The thing is, we are all on our own journey in life. No two people are the same. That’s the beauty and wonder of God’s handiwork, that we are unique beings created with our own set of abilities and passions and strengths. There’s no need to compare ourselves to another because how can you compare two completely different things? We are each meant to do what we’re good at and what we are able to handle. It’s as simple as that. (Kind of.) 😉

So, here’s to doing your own thing, wherever your passions lie, and to doing them for the pure joy of it.

What do you do for the pure joy of it?

Cover Reveal for Hubby’s 1st Book: The Time Rift

There were many things I looked forward to when I married my hubby nearly 17 years ago. I had hoped we’d have lots of fun together (check!), travel to warm destinations together (check!), start a family together (check!), and grow up through all of life’s ups and downs together (double check!). What I never expected us to do though was write a book—together. Yep, that’s a lot of togetherness in case you couldn’t tell. But that’s what marriage is all about, right? (Haha, gulp!)

So, the story goes (our story, not his story, which we’ll get to soon), hubby enjoys sci-fi movies, and about five years ago, he came up with his own idea for one. And since he doesn’t like to read or write (did I tell you we’re opposites?), he asked me to write it. Now, this is where I double checked the vows I made on our wedding day. Even though I hadn’t promised “to have and to hold and to write a book together”, I agreed to do so because I love my hubby.

Oh, how I must love him … because I had NO idea what I’d gotten myself into. LOL.

Writing this book together took five years to complete—that’s almost a third of our marriage. A lot of things happened during that time, including a big job change for him, a dozen books published for me, and the challenges both of us faced in raising our two munchkins. Whenever we could though, hubby would write a chapter here and there and I would edit (AKA rewrite) it. Thanks to the wonder of Google docs, lots of coffee shop visits (for hubby), some hair pulling (for me!), one title change, and some storyline revisions (thanks to the help of our awesome beta readers), we ended up with a grand total of 73,861 words.

Whoa baby. (Did I mention hubby tends to be on the wordy side? LOL.)

We are so relieved to be finished with this book. Now comes the exciting (and scary) part of putting it out into the world for all to see.

So, without further ado, here’s the cover reveal for The Time Rift!

Renowned physicist Lance Everett has two great passions: donuts and time travel. The only thing that rivals them is Juliet Bradley, the redheaded beauty who captured his heart at a college football game. After reconnecting with her a decade later, Lance can’t imagine his life being more complete. Even without a time machine, he foresees a happy marriage and a breakthrough in his scientific pursuits.

 

Until the unthinkable happens.

 

Now Lance is left searching for answers and questioning what he values the most. A chance encounter with a mysterious man offers him some unexpected solace, as well as the opportunity of a lifetime. But the stakes are higher than he ever imagined. Will he risk it all to gain back what he lost, even if the consequences can never be reversed?

You can pre-order The Time Rift now for only 99 cents*! If you enjoy sci-fi, especially time travel stories, we hope you’ll check it out!

*Release day will be March 21st, and the print version will be ready a week later.