You know how it is when you buy a new car and suddenly notice every other car on the road is the same make, model, and color as yours?
I have no idea why I used that analogy, since the last time I bought a new car was almost 14 years ago. It was just a few weeks after I got married.
Which is probably exactly why I used that analogy. Being a new author going through divorce makes me keenly aware of how many other authors are in my shoes. There was an article several months ago in Romance Writers Report magazine offering one author's tips on keeping the muse alive through divorce. At RWA Nationals last spring, several authors gave a panel discussion on the same topic.
But it was this recent blog post by author Jessica Corra that really touched me.
Not in the way I most enjoy being touched, but pretty close.
She does a beautiful job capturing the numb feeling of holding your first advance check and realizing how different your life was when the whole crazy ride began.
I posted a link to the blog on Twitter, and my amazing agent read it, retweeted it, and followed up with this:
It's one of the things I love best about my agent – the fact that she cares so deeply about her authors beyond how fast we can crank out manuscripts.
The morning my ex informed me he wanted a divorce, the first person I contacted wasn't my best friend or my mother.
It was my agent.
So you know I'm serious when I tell you she's been more than just a business partner through this ordeal. I'm not sure I could have endured some of the darkest days of the divorce process without her unwavering support and levelheaded "here's what we're going to do now" approach.
Still, our perception has been fascinatingly different. More than once, she's tried to comfort me for having my debut year tainted by such an awful life event.
While I appreciate the sympathy, that's not how I see things at all. By my way of thinking, the marriage was destined to crumble at some point. What a tremendous, amazing gift to have this three-book deal happen at a time I urgently needed all the joy, excitement, and reader support to buoy me through the worst of it.
Blame it on my perpetual glass-is-half-full attitude, but that's the way I see it. Never once have I lamented that my debut year was ruined by my ex's decision. Never once have I fumed that I'd be enjoying my book deal more if things had gone differently with the marriage.
For me, it's all about focusing on the positive aspects of life's changes. I can choose to be perpetually angry that the presence of my two twenty-something housemates means I can no longer stroll naked through my own living room.
Or I can choose to be grateful their presence keeps me laughing and keeps the mortgage paid.
I can choose to be hurt someone didn't want to be with me foreverandever, or I can choose to be grateful I was set free to find someone else who does.
It's always a choice.
In the end, that's what everything comes down to.
I know what I choose. How about you?