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Happy Changes, Happy Results

Today, The Happy Writer welcomes author Liz Fichera, who decided not to wait around for life to give her what she wanted.  She went after it!

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You’ve heard the saying, “When you do the same thing over and over, you tend to get the same result?”  That’s how I felt in 2009.  I was pretty miserable, writing-career-wise, so I decided that I needed a new personal mantra.  It went something like this:

When you can’t enter through the front door, kick in a window!

Seriously.  I even plastered it on my blog as a daily reminder.  Like a snowball effect, that small attitude change sparked others in my writing career and personal life, for that matter.  It sparked a change in how I looked at things.  Suddenly anything was possible again.  Somewhere along the way, I had lost that spark.

The changes started out small.  For example, I made new friends.  I joined a new book club and read books that I wouldn’t have otherwise read.  I pushed myself physically (I like to run every day).  I began writing reviews for local theatre productions.  Most of all, I ratcheted-up my writing career since same old, same old wasn’t working.

So I began to write short stories and novels in completely new genres.  I changed my writing routine from mornings to afternoons.  I began teaching a writing class.  I made new online writing contacts.  I joined Twitter.  I started a web site.

You see, I’d spent 2008 and part of 2009 watching my young adult novel get kicked in the shins, abused, and generally rejected over and over by probably every editor in New York City.  I was merely a spectator with no control.

So during 2009, in order to maintain my dwindling sanity, I decided to tackle something new.  I wrote a historical romance novel, my first.  But it had to have all of the things I loved: Native American characters, epic themes, suspense, a strong heroine and, of course, a love story.  Writing the book literally saved me.

Then in November of 2009, I began to see tweets and news articles for a brand-new publisher.  Who knew Twitter could be so useful?

And because I was so focused on change, I was determined to shake up everything about my writing career, including where to submit.  So sometime after New Year’s, I submitted to this brand-new shiny publisher.

By mid-March, I got “The Call.”  Since then, I’ve sold a second novel and a third one is currently in acquisitions with another publisher.

That change has led to other positive changes in my writing career.  And all it took was taking that first step, making that first small change.  Since adopting my new motto, I discovered two important things: (1) One simple change can lead to others, even ones that you hadn’t expected and (2) Life’s too short to spend even one minute being miserable.  When you want something bad enough, you figure out a way.  Period.

Liz is a full-time writer from Phoenix, Arizona, by way of Chicago.  You can find her on her web site, blog, Twitter, and Goodreads where she loves to talk about books, writing, TWILIGHT ZONE reruns and the best brands of chocolate.

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