Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How authors can stay positive through the publishing process

Richard O'Connor, author of Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy (St. Martin's) wrote the Soapbox feature for the 10/27/2008 issue of Publishers Weekly. It is a nice piece on the search for happiness.

"Humans are wired to be able to feel good when good things happen," he writes, "but the feeling never lasts."

Here are some tips from O'Connor:

Focus on what you can control. Write well, and be proud of that, no matter what.

Chances are your book won't sell as much as you want it to, but don't let that ruin your life.

Behavioral economists have shown that when we get what we want, we'll just want something else. . . You need to find more substantial goals, like getting to work on the next book.

Here's my favorite tip: When you go to bed at night, think of three good things that happened during the day. Little things, like a good grilled cheese sandwich, or bigger things, like how you love someone. Maybe you wrote a great paragraph or learned an interesting fact. Research shows that if you do this, not only will you be in a better mood the next day, but the more often you do this, the happier you'll be.

I really need to get better at doing this--taking stock of the good things every day. Here are my three good things from today:
  • The autumn colors and mist rising off the river in the sun this morning.
  • Overhearing my daughter tell my wife that she loves her, completely out of the blue.
  • Flipping through a photography book called Old Dogs.

What good things happened during your day today? Share them here. Maybe what you share will be someone else's good thing.

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