Last week, I participated in an author discussion group called “So You Finished Your WIP…Now What?” for the #WritingCommunityAuthorsPanel on Twitter. I had a really good time and bought a few books from my fellow panelists that I can’t wait to read. The discussion was full of great questions, answers, advice, friendly discourse…it really felt like an amazing amalgam of writers coming together to discuss ideas. I’m so grateful that I got invited to be part of such an amazing event like WCAP.
I mention this because during the group discussion, I said (without really thinking about what I was saying):
A day after “saying” that, I really started to think about what I meant when I said it.
When I thought about it, and discussed it with my best friend, I realized that I was talking about far more than just marketing books. It is true that marketing is an ever-evolving creature when it comes to the life of a book…but I think I was speaking more about what it is like to be a writer and part of the community.
All creatives (people in general, really) have a different path. We all have our individual goals. It is rare when two of us are super similar to each other. Because of this, we will all end up doing things slightly differently from each other. Sometimes the differences will be really big.
If and when you step outside of what is seen as the “norm” for an indie-pub or self-pub writer you might experience pushback – to put it mildly. There are times people may be outwardly aggressive in questioning your actions. You might get some snarkiness from people.
That’s something I wanted to write about.
When it comes to your art, you have one person to worry about – yourself. You know what your goals are, why those are your goals, the reason you create, what your expectations are, and what you are comfortable doing. Maybe you are the type of creative who wants to follow a “traditional” path in finding success–however you define that. That’s okay. Maybe you are the type of person who wants to think outside of the box and try new, even crazy, methods. That’s okay, too.
One thing I want to convey to anyone who decides to take a shot at writing a book is this:
As long as you are not hurting anyone (including yourself), you can do whatever you want to do. And you do not need to make excuses, apologies, or provide explanations to anyone.
Maybe you will find out that your ideas aren’t that great and just don’t work. Maybe they were exciting and fun but they didn’t help you achieve whatever it was you were trying to achieve. That’s okay. Do a U-Turn and try again. You didn’t fail, you just slowed your course. At least you were able to find out if your ideas had any merit. That, in itself, is pretty cool.
Maybe you’ll find out that you’ve discovered a new way of doing things that is just as good or even better than the way everyone else is doing it. That would be amazing, too.
Maybe you do things the way you do them because that is what you are comfortable with. That’s perfectly fine as well. A lot of creatives are introverted or shy and prefer to create but not be the center of the attention. Or maybe they have day jobs and are trying to keep their two lives separate.
There are a million and one reasons why a person chooses to do things the way they do them. Unless someone shares their reasons with others, no one knows what those reasons are but the person they belong to. And that’s okay.
I love when people in a community want to help others – please please please make it known if you want to help people just starting out. Even reach out and offer help to people if you feel they need or want it. Let them know you are there to mentor them if they ever decide they want that type of relationship with you. That’s an amazingly kind thing to do.
But, none of us need to try and make others feel bad for doing things their own way if it is not hurting anyone in any way. Let people create, try things, fail, succeed, and everything in between. One of the greatest parts of being a creative is the freedom to try things that might never have been tried before. It’s part of the fun and excitement of the lifestyle.
There’s nothing more beautiful than someone who zigs when everyone else zags.
It’s one of the most creative things a person can do.
Tremendous Love & Thanks,