As so many things do, the title of this post came to me one day as I awoke. It was right there in the forefront of my brain, or on my eyes, or someplace where those things we know or need to know show up. That morning I felt fully ready for the next phase of this book writing, publishing and disseminating journey. I wrote Eva, my editor, an email that morning declaring “I guess I’m ready to believe I have it in me.” I was referring to the kind of self-selling it takes to see if a self-published book is of any interest to a world outside the writer’s small circle. Eva says it involves being a kind of motivational speaker, reaching out to the various audiences that may be interested in the details and the over-all message of my journey.
The idea pushes a few of my buttons – one being the notion that I believe I have something to say. Isn’t that sort of conceit? This is a lesser theme in the book – this notion that one can and must embrace one’s strengths (and weaknesses) and share them openly, accepting praise and gratitude from those who respond without diminishing those responses. I realize that in writing a book and, more so in telling others I wrote it, I’m opening myself to all sorts of responses from others. And so, I will for certain have to prepare myself to be the gracious recipient of whatever comes my way while this next year unfolds – whether it be praise, gratitude, questioning, dislike, or even silence.
And silence – the silence of others who I know have bought the book but have not mentioned anything about it to me – is difficult. I’m mostly confident that I’m open to any and all comments, reactions, questions – flattering and unflattering – and want to hear all of those. The catch comes when I’m with known book owners who are saying nothing while I want to hear something, anything. What do I do? Do I ask if they’ve read the book? If they have read it, they know so much more about me than I know about them – and what are they thinking? If they haven’t – will they? Did they just buy it to be nice to me? There’s this space surrounding me and those who have bought the book that’s palpable to me. It’s an energy that connects us and is totally mysterious – a delight in one way and frustrating in another. I’m doing my best to live in the place of delight today.
Back to the 2018 journey – I’m both ready, as in committed, and not so ready, as in squeamish about self-promotion and the prospect that nothing will come of the effort. Because I know that nothing comes without commitment and effort, I will do all I can to make Joy Ride: My One-legged Journey to Self-Acceptance available to any and all people who might be interested. I will write a query letter for the media and independent reviewers; I will join local book reading events; I will create a FaceBook page; I will continue writing blogs and updating my website; I will enter any writing contests Eva suggests; I will submit excerpted sections to publications that may be interested; and, after the holidays, I will send an email out to all those who have supported and encouraged me by buying the book asking them to write an Amazon review. And most importantly– I will do my best to let go of all attachment to a particular outcome and open myself to the wondrous possibilities.
Goethe says it best in this quote – and I so know this is true from a place deep within. Wishing you dreams, love and peace in 2018.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe