As writers, we dream of our creative projects being received far and wide and to great acclaim.
Before we publish, before we add the title of Author though, we have a sense of what would feel fulfilling with our work.
We dream of the first book purchased and read by another. Perhaps a great review. Maybe an author reading: story time at the local library.
How quickly, once we send our creative baby into the world, our ego begins to raise the bar.
It’s kind of like the stock market.
When I first began to invest in the market, someone told me to plan my sell price when I buy the stock. If the stock is $1 a share, then $2 a share would have me over the moon. So I set that sell price in my mind.
Now the stock hits $2 but the rumour has it going to $3. And my ego is fully onboard. I’m no longer satisfied with $2. I have forgotten my initial agreement and level of satisfaction. I check its progress every day while the market takes me on a wild ride.
Publishing is like that.
You need to know why your work chose you. What your creative project is meant to be.
When I wrote Nourish: Ayurveda-inspired 21-day Detox, it was to put all the information I had in my head and on my various web pages and teaching emails into one place, easily accessible for my clients. It was a way I could continue to offer the program I love without spending my hours facilitating it via email.
My original intent was to share my beautiful program while freeing me up to pursue other projects.
I find myself right now in the middle of an Amazon sponsored ad campaign for the book.
Because the 15-year personal trainer in me knows that January is the best month for health/wellness/diet and fitness books and programs. And my ego does not want to miss out.
Now, I justify it as a smart marketing move, but honestly it doesn’t feel right. It’s an attention drain and it’s eating up my writing time. The lure of the $3 share price has me now stalking this stock.
It doesn’t feel right because it’s not what the book came into being to do.
Nourish is an accompaniment to my retreat and workshop offerings. And that is when and where it sells the best. That is the place it makes me the happiest. Where it is indeed best received and most useful. Where I find ease and flow with the work.
Likewise, the Anna series of children’s books is a doorway to engaging kids in the classroom: discussing storytelling and writing, environmental stewardship and human impact, self-publishing and the creation of cover art. The series promotes sustainability and an opportunity to inspire young writers and those who feel doubtful of their ability to tell a story on paper. It’s a creative and joyful way to leave a legacy through growing a forest with each print copy sold and each tree planted.
I encourage you, dear writer, dream your great dreams of your book. Cast your net far and wide. Why limit yourself and the potential of your creative work?
AND write yourself a letter or note before you publish, clearly understanding and stating how your creative work wishes to live in this world.
When the Amazon charts start to preoccupy your time and your mind, you can check yourself.
It’s not to limit the reach or success of your creative work. It’s to help you recall the joyfulness, the excitement, the contentment and the creative ecstasy of the process. To keep your mind off the hamster wheel and focused on gratitude and fulfillment
and your next project.
So, leave yourself a reminder.
“What’s the soul of my work?”
Let that be enough.