Anyone else hate trying to sell their work? It can be frustrating and soul-sucking but unless you’re already established it’s something we all have to do. I’ve listened to a few podcasts with established writers who say they don’t understand the need for a ‘platform’ saying that time spent writing is far more important than time spent building a website following or Instagram account.
I have to admit I agree with the idea that the thing you need more than anything in the world is good writing!
Reading that sentence now I wonder what we have become. Of course, good writing is crucial for a career as a writer! As independants (and this goes for visual artists etc) we have to juggle all kinds of jobs from marketing to editing (or outsource them and this takes $$$) if we want to make it as an indie publisher.
It can be so distracting too! We can easily fool ourselves into thinking we are ‘working on our book’ even though we’re cruising Pinterest for an image of our hunky love interest to post on Instagram!
The ‘creating phase’ is the fun part and most of us just wish we could hole up in our studio, office, or writing shack if you’re one of the lucky ones, and make beautiful things all day long. I see this reflected in so many comments on writer’s group forums. And sure, why not? If you are happy to do things that way, there’s nothing stopping you. Steven Pressfield wrote for 17 years before getting a paycheck for it but I’d love to ask him if he would approach his career this way if he was trying to get ahead now with access to brilliant self-publishing technology.
Hell, even JK Rowling is self-publishing her e-books now. And why wouldn’t she? The money stays in her bank account!
I used to say that nobody enjoys going out and selling their work but more and more authors are self-publishing and relishing the opportunity to be in complete control of the process. (Even publishing with a traditional publisher requires the writer to do the lion’s share of the marketing but with far lower financial rewards.)
I think that’s why I stayed in a job that was killing my soul for so long. I simply couldn’t face the idea of schlepping work to galleries or markets or trying to flog my artwork via a website. But over the last year, I have shifted my attitude and I am embracing being my own promoter. Someone has to do it!
Something else I have been thinking about…
What is your expectation of the next thing that will happen?
Weird question? I think as kids we have patterns layered on us and one of my patterns is expecting the worst to happen. I don’t have to look far to work out why. I can remember distinctly, my mother telling me about the war in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge and the purging of the educated classes. Considering I was 8 when the Vietnamese took control of the country I probably didn’t need to know about it. My mum was so fearful and maybe she thought if she told us about this we might eschew university and be ‘safe’. The sad thing was, that this communicated to me that the world is fundamentally unsafe. Add to that the nightly news blaring stories about religious cults (The Family! look it up… unfortunately it tainted my mother’s opinion of yoga forever) and abductions and I was terrified of everything.
It is a huge challenge for me to be optimistic but something I work on daily. It’s worth it and it helps that I am married to the most (maddeningly) positive man in the universe.
Right now, I am using Neville Goddard’s technique of imagining a positive outcome and we can do it for other people too. I’ve been intending for my beautiful sister and her family as they prepare to visit family overseas. I’ve also been intending for my buddy Emma, that she will have her own home.
Mitch Horowitz has written a wonderful book called the Miracle Club. I have pre-ordered it. I love his writing. He outlines this very simple, beautiful practice as below.
- Think of something you want desperately. You need to really want this thing.
- Get quiet, relax, lie down.
- Bring to mind a visual impression or vignette that will make you feel as though the desire is already yours. Do this over and over. Fall asleep. I do this process every night after doing my gratitude journal. (I sound like such a geek but I don’t care! This is me unapologetically.)
I don’t believe that the Law of Attraction is just to get us more ‘stuff’ but to help us live the highest version of our lives. So I’ve been imagining my sister arriving home, energised and happy after a wonderful trip. And for me, I’m imagining lots of books selling, the little orange lines popping up on my Amazon account! <3
Love you, sis.