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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Maybe You Should Sweat the Small Stuff

Yes, it is often the small decisions that can change our lives. The ones we agonize over but finally plunge ahead and do whatever it was that we were fearful of doing. Much later, we look back and say What if I hadn't....?

Several months ago, I saw a marketing newsletter that listed a religious magazine that was known to me and that paid well. It had a circulation of something like 2 1/2 million. I had a story that I thought might work for them but I hesitated. It was that circulation number that held me back.

I worried that maybe they only took work from freelance professionals, not a hobbyist writer like me. I wondered if my work was of the caliber they sought. So, I didn't do anything for a day or two. But I kept thinking about it and I had a few arguments with myself. You know the kind--you are on both sides of the argument, so you're gonna come out OK in the end. I told myself that the story had won a contest so it must be worth something. Then, I reminded myself that the worst that could happen if I sent it is that a rejection would come flying back. What did I have to lose? Nothing! If they accepted the story, I came out a winner.

I sent the story after a final edit and then forgot about it. Imagine how happy I was the day the offer to purchase the story arrived? If I'd backed off and not sent the story, I wouldn't have been published in a widely-read magazine, missed out on a nice check, and still felt timid about subbing to the big time magazines.

I've recently sent them another story and am waiting to hear whether it will be dumped or bought. I didn't hesitate when I sent this one. My former experience told me I was good enough to be published with the big kids. That said, it doesn't mean that they will accept every sub I send. Even so, getting my foot in the door of this highly regarded publication did wonders for my self-confidence.

We have a lot of big decisions to make throughout our lives but there are also a good many small ones.. They matter, too. They can direct your life in another direction just as well as those major decisions. Pay attention to the little things along with the major ones.

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