Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Just Never Learn :)

So I learned a little something this weekend. Well, I shouldn't say I learned it, as this is something I already knew. In fact, it's something I've written about on here, frequently. But, apparently, sometimes I need a little reminder. There are a few versions of this little lesson:

You never know what will happen if you don't try.
The only true failure is not trying at all.
Just go for it.

I've written about, and followed, various forms of this many times. Most notably when I had a little idea for a non-fiction book and sent it out with zero expectations of anything ever happening with it. And here I am now, with a copy of it sitting right next to me :) I should have learned this lesson once and for all back then. But nope :D

On Wednesday last week, my neighbor told me he'd seen an ad on Craigslist for something I've wanted my whole life. And the lady who had the item just wanted to trade for it. Anything useful. Now, this item is very expensive. Something I probably would never be able to afford. Even in the old and kind of beat up state that hers was in, the deal was just too good to be true.

So I dismissed it, thinking someone else was going to get there first or offer something better. It took me four days before I finally said "oh what do I have to lose" and emailed her with the best offer I could come up with.

I had zero expectations. It had been too long. I knew it was gone or that someone else had snatched it up already. Good thing I decided to put that lesson I'd thought I'd learned into practice :D Let me introduce you to my new "baby" :

To get it I traded.... a $200 TV - BEST. DEAL. EVER. :)

Now, of course, a piano isn't writing related. But the lesson involved is.

I've seen so many people dragging their feet over edits, or querying, because they fear that someone else out there has already beat them to the punch. Someone else might have offered the agent something better. Someone else may have already snapped up that last spot in an agent contest. What if the editor has already gotten a better offer?

Well...you'll never know till you try. And in not trying, you might just lose out on the deal of a lifetime. :)

Has anyone else ever had this happen? Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something because you "knew" someone else was going to get what you wanted...only to give in and win in the end?


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the piano--it's beautiful!

I'm putting off querying because I don't wanna fall on my face again like last time. The difference is, I've become a waaaay better writer. BUT, if I "fail" again, as a better writer, what does that mean?!? *flails*

Stephanie McGee said...


For me, I'm used to being passed over for everything. When I sent out resumes a few months ago looking for a job in food publishing, it was an epic struggle just to do that. (Granted, I was actually physically walking those resumes into the offices.) When I finally did that, it was an even more epic struggle to make the calls to follow-up.

i ended up with an internship I didn't know existed when I took my resume in. I didn't have the application materials that the editor had requested. By the time I actually got offered the internship, I'd written it off, assuming I'd been passed over again.

Lesson still not learned. Must follow-up on resumes sent out last week.

Marianne said...

This is a lesson I need to learn. I am to the hard part of editing and I find everything to do except that!

Shallee said...

Wow-- that really is an amazing deal. I once got a job that I was sure I was too late for, and it was the best job I've ever had. Like you said, if you don't try, you'll never know!

Rebecca Knight said...

It's like this post was specifically for me, Michelle :). What wonderful advice.

"The only true failure is not trying at all." This needs to be tattooed backwards on every writer's forehead so we see it every morning in the mirror!

I hope you don't mind if I link to this post on my blog :). Thank you!

Shari said...

Congratulations! There's nothing like a baby grand. Enjoy!

Emsky said...

Ah, yes. You never know!! About a year ago, a friend asked me to illustrate a children's book for her and I thought… a book? A WHOLE book? How fun!! How hard!! I put it off but couldn't stop thinking about it.

In a major effort to stall on my ms, I started working on it in earnest. Guess what? It's done and being published!!! I couldn't be more thrilled to be involved with such a wonderful book! WOOT!

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Ooh, it's so pretty!! Yay for you! That's a very good lesson. I need to remember this when I send out 20 or so queries and let all my leads go stale because I just don't want to put myself out there anymore. Maybe I'll be bolder with this new book. Would be nice to get a baby grand/agent.