Right Place, Right Time, Right Decision

The older I get the less I believe in correct and incorrect decisions.

I’m not saying I don’t look back at my “regular life” and my “writing life” and go – WHAT THE VERY HELL WAS I THINKING??? But I will say that most often, I remember WHY I made a given decision at a given time. (like the tattoo on my leg that I wish was something different, lol)

Despite many authors’ warnings about CFI, when I got my FIRST ACCEPTANCE FOR PUBLICATION I jumped on it. Of COURSE I did!! lol. Someone said they believed in my story enough to want to put it in print. WOW.

Now that I’m four years after that moment, there are a lot of things I would have done differently, but I learned SO SO SO MUCH. And all the things I learned from that experience, are things that helped me later on.

I can say this same thing about my first agent. I remembered why I chose who I did. And now that I can stand here, three years away from the decision to walk away from that situation, I think – yep, in a strange sort of way, that helped me.

A few friends of mine have had setbacks this week, and it brought this same thought to me again. Yes, but these people did the right thing for them at that time, and who knows what would have been different, or what different challenges would have been faced if they chose differently AT THAT TIME.

There’s an old saying or an old story or proverb or whatever you want to call it that goes something like this:

Villagers in the small town continued to go to their leaders complaining about aspects of their lives. Wrongs that had been laid against them, burdens they carried. So the town decided to get together and put all their problems and offenses and burdens in a pot, and they could trade one with another. As they reached in to trade, each person chose the burden they had put in the pot over the trials of their friends.

There’s a lot to be learned from this, I think. We’re more equipped to handle what’s thrown at us than we realize. Our hardships are our hardships. We learn. We grow. And with luck (and using the people we surround ourselves with) we come out better than we went in.

I know almost no one who has had a smooth road to publication (even when it seems that way from the outside). But still we press on, a little smarter than before, a little more experienced than before, and a little more ready to face what’s coming.

Now I feel like I should end with something cheesy like – FLY LIKE AN EAGLE!!! THE WORLD IS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS!!

But instead, I will just say – If you’re writing in hopes of starting a career, think of the long-game. So many of our challenges (but not all) can be lessened with a little perspective.

Also. I love you guys 😉

~ Jo

P.S. Here’s your awesome Friend/Pitch Perfect moment made possible by the lovely (and wildly sexy) Cassie Mae. And also remember to not only surround yourself with awesome people, but lean on them 😉 (Now that song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the evening… Lean on me…When you’re not strong….And I’ll be your friend…) Also. We did not plan these t-shirts. At all.

 

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13 thoughts on “Right Place, Right Time, Right Decision

  1. I love these thoughts and wholeheartedly agree. We’ve had some big serious decisions to make the past couple of weeks and have felt very keenly that no matter the choice we make, it’s gonna be okay. WE are gonna be okay, because if we own the choice, and try to be smart, even if it’s not the choice someone else might make, we’ll probably get there in the end anyway. It’s my new motto. Focus on the end result, and don’t stress so much about the in between.

  2. Awesome post, Jo. I’ve been thinking so much about that lately. I feel like truly understanding what your talking about removes all of the guilt in people’s lives and replaces it with experience–growth–betterment. Many years ago, I got a huge speeding ticket and was kicking myself for weeks. Finally, I sat back and said, “You know what? I’m going to have to pay $270 no matter what. I want to get something out of that money–I want to get at LEAST $270 of worth from that money. I can’t tell you how many times BECAUSE I remembered that ticket, that I was more careful driving and avoided something serious. It was an investment. 9 years later, and I’ve never driven that crazy again. I think we all can look at stuff in our lives the same way. Something bad happens. Make it an asset–not a deficit.

  3. I love all of this, and I totally agree. It’s amazing how helpful bad experiences can be, as long as we know when to make a change–and change with them.

  4. I used to have the sheet music for Lean on Me for the piano. I used to be pretty cool, you know. Back in the day. 🙂

    1. Don’t you love how your write such a profound post and some people comment with something that has nothing to do with your wisdom. (Or maybe it’s just me that likes that–and does that. ) 🙂

  5. I seriously love you, Jo. Love. This post made me cry. Like, real tears! I definitely have been feeling regret recently, and I’m starting to set my expectations lower… I don’t know what the right path is for me. I want to make all the right decisions, but it seems like the decisions I’ve made in the past haven’t been right, but like you said, they *felt* like the right decision at the time.

    And I am glad that I’m continuing to learn, and I’m trying to look at the positive instead of the negative–because I suppose in the long run, what matters is that we’re progressing forward. But at the same time, it’s difficult to know *how* to move forward. Because each of our journeys are so different–it’s so hard to know which decision is right. But I guess all I can do is keep trying and keep learning and hope that one day something will stick and I’ll be able to figure it out. Eventually. LOL.

    Hahaha! How’s this for a mess? Just know that I get what you’re saying and I think this is a beautiful post. ❤

    1. I ADORE YOU MORGAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not settle. DO NOT. There are so many things I wish I could do differently, and every one of them has to do w/ settling. Instead of dwelling on that, I’m always TRYING to say – yes, but lookie what I learned!! And then hopefully moving forward from that. You are so wicked talented. You will get right where you dreamed you’d be. Promise.

      On Sat, Jun 14, 2014 at 1:58 PM, YA author Jolene Perry wrote:

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