Wednesday, April 6

Caribbean Lessons Learned

I love a good vacation. Time to read and relax, to play around without the guilt of I-Should-Be-Writing-Editing-Plotting, to eat whatever sounds good at the moment, even if it's the third ice cream cone of the day...it's all good. RadioMan, bebe and I are just back from the Caribbean - Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Labadee made our list of visits this time, and for the first time in a too-long time, we totally disconnected.

Usually we sign up for the Wi-Fi plan, but this time, we didn't. On purpose, even, because we didn't want phones at dinner or email notifications while we were swimming or Facebook messages while taking part in a family scavenger hunt. I wasn't at all sure about the no-wi-fi thing. Not sure at all...surprisingly, it was painless. Once I turned off my phone, I didn't crave the contact of social media, I didn't wonder why I hadn't gotten any emails and not once was I tempted to click over to email/social media/blogs 'just to check'.

So what did I do?

I didn't worryobsess about..anything. Our waiter at breakfast was a sweet man named Herbert. He was from Jamaica, and starting the first morning on the ship, he would sing to us. Bob Marley was his favorite, but he threw in some Bobby McFerrin, too. His smile was beautiful, his singing a bit off-key, and his view of life contagious. I like that life view which isn't so much about not worrying as it is about not obsessing. Every day at home it's easy to check my stats on Amazon, reviews of my books, my hits on social media and on and on and worry about how to get 10 more sales or fifteen more likes or why that reader didn't like my book. And not a single one of those things are within my control. So why do I worry about them?

I lived in the moment. And there were amazing moments from that second when a stingray brushed by my ankle to seeing bebe in her pirate parade and all three of us sliding off a giant inflatable iceberg at the Labadee aquapark.

I read some great books. I caught up with Maisey Yates' Copper Ridge books and Roxanne St. Clair's Barefoot Bay series, I read an amazing book by Sarah M. Anderson (His Forever Family, get it, you won't regret it).

I made notes. About the next books I'm writing. I didn't write chapters or even scenes, but I made notes about character arcs and possible experiences, and theme ideas...and I can't wait to start implementing them.

I refocused on the important things. This isn't the part where I tell you RadioMan and bebe are the most important people in my life (although they are), or that I'm giving up on publishing (because I'm soooo NOT), or that I'll only self-publish (I won't) or I'll only trad-publish (nope, I love being a hybrid)...This is the part where I tell you if I'm going to worry about anything of a professional nature, it's going to be the story, and not social media stats or reviewers reactions. Because I can't control how a book sells, I can only tell readers about it. I can't control readers' reactions to my books, I can only write the best books I can write...and try to get better with each and every book. So that's my professional focus - writing the very best Kristina books that I can write. And living in the moment while I write them.

What about you? Have you learned any life lessons recently?

7 comments:

  1. I love this lesson. It sounds as though you had a great time--I'm so glad. Also connected to wi-fi in a Chicago hotel... Hmm...

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    1. We had a ball, and we're already ready to go back! Have fun in Chicago!!!

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  2. You really vacationed, baby, and that's wonderful! And focusing on the writing is the only way to stay sane, I think.

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    1. Agree, Nan! And it was a fab vacation - we're already planning the next one. :D

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  3. Sounds like a great vacation. Lucky girl! And I love that you guys put your fun, relaxation, and family ahead of being plugged in.

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    1. Thanks, Margie, we're definitely going to vacation like this again!

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