• John Lim

MF 307 : Tuesday this week was definitely a Monday

Updated: Jun 26

Tuesday this week felt like a Monday, complete with a few mishaps. I also talk about an interesting way to pitch literary agents, and keeping your perspective in check. More at www.bemovingforward.com.


Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.


Are you sure it was Tuesday because it sure felt like a Monday

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. Wow, just saying those words reminds me how much time has gone by despite feeling like we’re all in a snow globe these past few months.


When I was a kid Labor Day weekend always made me feel a little melancholy. It marked the end of summer and the start of school and the fall season.


By some imprint, I still get that feeling this time of year along with a slight malaise.

Tuesday felt like Monday and not just because it was the end of a three-day weekend. As you can see from the blog photo, I had a tire blowout while on the highway. Thankfully, there wasn’t a lot of traffic and I was able to pull over to the shoulder of the highway safely.


I’ve had this happen three other times over the past five years, all on the highway. Why blowouts never happen in front of my house (or at the garage when I take my car in) is a cosmic mystery to me but go figure. I have a history of blown tires and I-95.


Today, though was different than the two other times. Those other times, we weren’t in a pandemic. The last time this happened, I waited three hours for a tow truck and I put it on my to-do list to learn how to change a flat but lo, I put it off and never got around to it.


Fortunately, I have roadside assistance with my car insurance. I called them up but this time was very different. There wasn’t a person on the other end but an automated menu, which has become the norm for any customer service call these days.


The menu walked me through some options and I dreaded sitting there for three hours.

However, that day was very different. The automated menu led to a text message with a link. The link walked me through some quick questions related to my road mishap, including which tire and whether I had a spare in the trunk.


Before I knew it, my button mashing led to a roadside service contractor that got there within 20 minutes.


The guy was super helpful and changed my flat within five minutes and next thing I knew, I was back on the road. I drove an additional 40 minutes to my car’s dealership garage, which is where I usually service it.


The service rep took my car even though I didn’t have an appointment and I was on my way to a new tire.


But since Tuesday was Monday that wasn’t the end of the story. It turns out that all of my tires were in a state of “inner rot” and she advised me to get all of them replaced lest I repeat this three more times.


It was a big bullet to bite but I got all four tires replaced and I have to admit, despite it not happening under the best of circumstances, it could have been a lot worse.


Lessons

When it comes to things like car maintenance, it’s to your benefit to expect the unexpected. Mishaps happen. While I should (and will) take the time to learn basic car maintenance, having roadside assistance is a worthwhile add-on.


It also pays to have some “rainy day” funds set aside for those unexpected repairs that can arise.

Using social media to pitch literary agents

Last week, one of my friends posted that she has written a fantasy novel and was in the process of pitching it to literary agents. From her IG post, I learned about something called #pitmad, an event that occurs four times a year on Twitter where prospective writers pitch their novels, manuscripts or proposals on Twitter and literary agents tag the ones they’re interested in by “liking” the tweet.


I decided to participate and while I didn’t get any nibbles, it was great to support my friend and make some new connections.


As I covered last week, I’m in the process of pitching my next book and attempting to go the traditional publishing route. This involves a lot of query letters, searching literary agents that work within your genre, and proposal pitches.


It’s a lot like job searching or auditioning if you’re an actor and comes with a lot of crickets and rejection. I try to keep a healthy perspective, treating it like a numbers game. I pitch between 1-4 agents a week, depending on my time and then let it go.

Regardless, I know I’ll eventually get my book out there whether through traditional or self-publishing.


Keeping perspective

Finally, one positive thing that has come out of this “new normal” is that I’m taking better care of my health. As I talked about in episode 288, I manage my blood pressure much more consistently and for the past six months or so, I’ve fully integrated daily meditation into my life, making it a morning routine to start my day. This is something I struggled with for years but has been a well worth habit to develop.


If you’re struggling with meditation, I recommend the Calm app, which has a few free sessions and a full catalog with its premium subscription. I tend to stick with the “Pure Possibility” session within “The Confidence Series.” It’s my favorite within that series and available in the free version.


What I’m reading / read

  1. If I Understood You, Would I have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda (***)

Books by John

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  2. Get a free trial to Audible and I Am a Professional Metalhead.

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