I had just finished setting up my table for a book event yesterday, when a women walked up and asked me what my book is about. She looked really tired and I could see she had been crying. I answered her question and we got to talking, and she’s going through some serious life challenges. She ended up purchasing a few things from me, and as she started to walk away, she shared with me that she hadn’t intended to come to the market and didn’t really know why she was there or what she was looking for – but after our talk, she felt like maybe she had come just to meet me and talk with me.
This was a high compliment, and the primary reason I embarked on the crazy task of being a self-published author as full-time as I possibly can: I want to share through my writing.
The experience stuck with me. I thought about her on and off all day.
This week I want to talk about being inspired by our own progress and journey. Basically, to be inspired by YOU or ME or US.
As I write this, I find I’m uncomfortable…what if I lose the small number of followers I have?
What if someone takes what I say the wrong way?
What if people think I’m just tooting my own horn and I’m not really talented enough to do that?
You know what? If I want to be a successful author, I can’t listen to that kind of talk.
And I want to share a secret I’ve learned: it’s hard to be a writer.
It’s hard to be a self-published author trying to make a living with your books – for different reasons than I thought in the beginning. The writing itself isn’t actually hard. It takes effort and some days I’ll fight for every word, but I still usually produce something.
The absolute hardest part for me has been quieting the voice that tells me I can’t do it.
The voice that feeds my questions and doubts.
The voice that feeds the fear that invades when I think about whether anyone wants to read what I have to say.
The voice that creates Imposter Syndrome.
The voice that causes me to compare myself to others.
But you know what?
I’m doing it anyway.
I’m selling books at art markets and book events.
I’m sending emails to my followers.
I’m writing every day even if I think it’s garbage.
I’ve got two new children’s book in the works and I just released an educational resource for my first book.
I’m not an award-winning bestselling author, but I’m still shining my own light and sharing what I can through writing.
It isn’t ego to tell people about your work because you think it can be a contribution to them.
The ego is the voice that says we can’t do that.
And I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of trying to use the negative thoughts as motivation. It doesn’t really work. It certainly doesn’t create unlimited possibility.
I want to be inspired by my own journey. To be self-motivated not out of greed or a need to have the spotlight, but a true desire to share what I can with those who are looking for what I have to say.
Maybe there will be people who don’t like it.
But that’s not who I’m writing for…
This week, let’s focus on following through no matter what.
Don’t worry about the size of the progress or positive feedback from others.
Do it because you have the idea and a desire to do it.
There’s no one in the world exactly like you, and if you have the idea it means it’s yours to create. And no one will do it or say it exactly like you…so, go shine your own special light.
Be inspired by YOU.