Authors are forever engaged in failure analysis–why didn’t my Bookbub discount result in more sales for subsequent books in the series? What’s wrong with my book cover?
We also do a lot of what we think is success analysis: The readers raved about my cover because the color red ALWAYS gets more attention. (Readers were complimentary because I asked them what they thought of the cover, and my readers are generally positive, articulate people.)
One kind of analysis we don’t see much of anywhere is the near miss analysis and yet, I find this kind of pondering to be productive. First comes the realization that I’ve HAD a near miss, then comes figuring why I was spared the worst outcome, and what I need to change going forward. A near miss is a free lesson in disaster avoidance, and that is wonderful information to acquire.
Last night I had a near miss. I heat only one area of my house–the kitchen/bathroom area (washer and dryer are in the bathroom). The house was designed this way on purpose, with the intention that if more heat is needed, that big old honkin’ wood stove in the living room will do the trick (boy, will it ever). To accommodate my cats, I leave the cat door open in the living room during the day.
I close the cat door when I go to bed, because raccoons, possums, and skunks get airs FAR above their stations. When that happens, a domestic disaster can result. Last night, I forgot to close the cat door, (don’t worry, they have the hay mow, the summer kitchen, and the crawl space to hang out in), but no unwanted visitors came calling.
A near miss! My relief was inordinate. The damage a raccoon can do when inspired by a twenty pound bag of dry cat food is ridiculous (also expensive). A skunk in a bad mood… let’s not go there.
But I dodged disaster this time. I will think about why I was distracted last night, and try to re-organize accordingly. I will be more vigilant going forward about locking that cat door, but I was also reminded that life is not all lost elections, daunting case statistics, and planetary disaster.
There is good luck, there is being in the right place at the right time, there is rainfall when needed and sunshine for the solar panels. Serendipity is not dead. Last night’s near miss helped me re-set my anxiety and gratitude dials, and gave me a little dose of optimism. I won that round of Raccoon Roulette despite betting on the wrong number.
Have you had near misses? Do they make you stop and think? Or are you more one to ponder success and failure? Three commenters will go on the Lady Violet ARC list. A sample of the cover art (courtesy of Cracked Light Studio) appears at right, and I am getting SO excited over the launch of this series! C’mon, December 14!