The Journey is the Reward. How can five words change someone’s mindset?
I’ve been waiting for writing success and recognition to slap me upside the head, but I’m here to testify it creeps up on you. I’ve realized I entered a world where promotions and PR rules preside. There are a lucky few who break out of the gate like thoroughbreds at the Derby. Me, not so much.
I feel inept at social marketing myself; I can’t master the savvy of which way the book business is moving. For years, I followed hospital procedures and policies. There are no “do this or you’re fired rules” as a self publisher. While in Houston visiting family, we went for a walk and suddenly there we were looking at an ancient proverb written on an arch. Behind the arch, the walk promised serenity, beauty, and sense of adventure. I think the arch was placed there to showcase the proverb, but to my amazement it gave me an answer to my continual fumbling and bumbling as a green self-published author. I’m not a business person, I know nothing about public relations, or sadly, social networks. I spent years helping make sick people feel better and along the way, I know for dead certain, I saved several lives. As a writer, I feel handicapped, like I haven’t paid my dues. But I have!
As a nurse, I’d slow from my break-neck work speed to show a little tenderness to someone hurting, once I joined in a Greek style celebration and danced with a family in the room, and God help me, I sang a few lines of Melissa Etheridge’s song, “I’m the only one who’d walk across fire for you” to prove to a confused patient that I wasn’t the singer. For those who’ve heard me sing, you’d know what a sacrifice that was. So, why am I suddenly choked by a strange paranoia from my teen years because I can’t seem to find the magic success formula for selling my books?
I was a savvy nurse, but the learning curve of becoming a successful self-published writer is fraught with “sinkhole” stumbling blocks. As a nurse, I managed hemodynamic lines in brains, hearts, and arteries without batting an eye. If I made the wrong decision, alarms buzzed. At home in my writing nook, nothing happens. In the hospital, other nurses gave me a helping hand. The Page Pounders give me help and support, but I’m the one taking the first steps to self publishing. I’m not afraid, but I am hesitating. As a writer, I’m not going to catch HIV or Hep C, I’m not going to maim/damage someone’s health if I make a mistake, my lack of tenderness or compassion isn’t going to hurt my keyboard. What the heck ails me?
I’ve thought long and hard for the answer. I missed being in groups. I miss my “medical posse” even the snarky ones. We worked side by side every shift. We shared good news, bad news, and sad news.
Writing is solitude, it’s going off in your own mind until time slips out of your head. It’s imaging worlds and happenings you’ve never seen. Writing is sharing your intimate thoughts or ideas with people you’ve never met. Writing is strumming words to make them vibrate to evoke an emotion in a reader. Writing is believing in wishes, in dreams, and in the child you once were.For me writing is jumping off the cliff, through a cloud, to a place I can’t see. I trust my instincts to show me the arch to land me in the writing steam of thought. I take the portal to leave my normal world to craft the story and then I return and make dinner.
I took a picture of the Houston Arch. The family with me had no idea how much it helped me. I see the way now. I walk underneath an arch because my imagination is the gateway to compiling the words that will some day connect with the readers. Seeing the Houston Arch liberated me. I’ll keeping writing knowing the connection will come and when it does I hope my angst is gone. I’ll be there to welcome and share my writing world with my readers. THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD. No truer words have ever been written.
When I changed the self talk, the doubter’s voice in my head, some nice people who didn’t know me well offered to put up a notice on their website or tweet about Swarmers. Ben at Page Pounders helped me with formatting issues. What I’ve found is that helping hands are out there. You’ve just got to ask. Maybe that’s what was so wrong, I felt like I’d be imposing, and it turns out writers help one another. So, now I’m going to ask readers, try my dark fantasy thriller and let me know what you think. It’s free on Amazon Select at the end of the month. Thanks to the writers who give the lost a helping hand at the right moment and thanks to the readers in the future.
I you want to follow me on Twitter or Google+ see the main page in the upper right hand corner. To contact me, see the form below the post. To join my subscription group to be notified for new book releases, click here. To see what I like to read, check me out on Goodreads. Swarmers, my dark fantasy thriller, will go free on Amazon Select May 30, 31, and June 1st. See you under the arch!