Friday, February 2, 2018

Letting the Numbers Go

They say the way you do anything is the way you do everything, and I believe this to be true. Recently, I've combined to seemingly unrelated areas of my life and applied one mantra to both let the numbers go.

The truth is, I've never been a numbers girl. I love stories, and because I love stories a school subject that involved stories came easily for me: English, History, Social Studies, even, sometimes, Science. But if I had to regurgitate numbers and formulas--especially if they had no context--I was lost. So, finally, at the mid-point of my life, I'm letting the numbers go.

What does this mean? Well, with food, for example, I'm done with counting calories, points, or grams or numbers on my scale. The truth is, I know what food is nutritionally sound and good for my body and what is not. I also have a pretty good idea of how much my body needs and when. (I'm going to edit this to add that if you don't understand nutrition and what your body needs, then this is something you need to learn. Read up on it, visit a nutritionist, etc.) By letting go of these numbers and focusing on my health, I can enjoy my food and my life. I don't eat food that isn't going to provide strength and nourishment, not because I shouldn't, but because I don't want it. When I feel more in control of my food, I'm in more control of my life.

Exercise is a partner to this. I exercise not because I want to eat unhealthy food, but because I enjoy the way it makes me feel. Also, I usually do it with friends and I love my time with my friends, so exercise isn't just physical, it's also social.

Another area of my life where I'm letting the numbers go is my writing. (Not completely, as I'll explain in a minute.) I don't want my writing life to be about sales--although sales are important. I want it to be about the feeling of writing a really great scene. (You can read more about that here.) Yesterday, I finished the second, yet to be named book in my Canterbury series. I cried. Not because it was over or because I loved it so much, but because how it all fit together when I wasn't sure it would. It was like magic. A magic that I can't explain even though it came from my head and fingers. The story took me to a place I wasn't expecting and hadn't even planned (even though it must have been there, hiding.) But even though sometimes I feel like my writing is just about me, it's not. It's also about my readers and the letters the send, love those, and reviews like this:

What beautiful, strange tale. It was so easy to read, to wish for more at the end. A wonderful 
world and full bodied characters, both human and not, make for a story that will make your 
heart ache. And the emotions portrayed, love, hate, compassion and greed, all are real to read. 
Do yourself a favour and read this book. It won’t let you down!
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting!
ByKindle Customeron February 1, 2018
What a fabulous paranormal story! It is even a clean romance. Lizbet can talk to
animals, but who would believe her? Her boyfriend Declan certainly wouldn't, he 
doesn't believe in anything he can't see and touch, anything nonscientific. But now 
Declan's wealthy grandfather has been horribly murdered, and Declan may be next!

By the way, this is Melange's latest review and Melange is free today, but not 
Sadly, I can't completely ignore the numbers because I need them. The more books I 
sell, the more advertising I can play with, and the more advertising I can play with, the 
more books I sell.

But just like I can't compulsively step on the scale and let the numbers dictate my 
happiness, I can't continually watch my sales reports or author ranking and let those 
numbers determine my worth as a writer. It's just like the grade on the report card 
doesn't truly measure the knowledge we gained, but it does have a correlate to our 
getting into a good grad school which will enable us to learn even more.

So, my advice to myself (and to those who have read this far) let the numbers go. 
Use them as a tool as needed, but not as a happiness measuring stick.

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