I wasn't going to blog today.
I woke up twice in the middle of the night thanks to an upset stomach and I still feel a little off. Plus, it's gloomy and rainy outside which always makes me feel gloomy and rainy on the inside.
But there's this nagging realization that won't let me from its grip, and it helps to process through the written word. Maybe you'll be able to relate, who knows?
I've realized recently that I have this tendency to downplay everything I do. I started to see it in myself when I read Kelly Rae's e-book, which I mostly read to learn about marketing my own books. As I read what she did to promote her book, Taking Flight (which I loved, by the way,) I started to see all the missed opportunities. All the ways I'd failed to promote these projects I'd worked so hard on. All the ways I'd convinced myself that my books were "no big deal."
And I knew it was too late to go back and re-market. I'd simply missed my chance.
So, I started to ask myself why. Why hadn't I blogged about these books? I'd killed myself working on them. I loved them. I poured myself into both of them. So, why was I afraid to share that with the world--virtual or otherwise?
Why am I the author who, at book signings, is a nervous wreck? Why, at the mention of doing more book signings do I want to dive ostrich-style into a pile of sand?
What I've boiled it down to is this...I was taught to be humble. I know people who are not humble. Their lack of humility grates my very last nerve. Because telling me you're great at something, first of all, doesn't make it so and second of all, just makes you sound haughty.
I don't want to sound haughty or proud or arrogant...so I choose to say nothing. Everything I've read about marketing tells me this is not the way to sell a book. But how do I glorify God with my work if all I'm doing is touting my own self?
Then there's that little notion inside that there will be people who belittle the work I'm doing. The "real" authors would look at my books and turn up their noses. Won't they? The "real" artists will think nothing of my papercrafting work. Right?
A couple of weeks ago, though, as I was processing this, it dawned on me, that these aren't "little books." These are "huge opportunities." God-given opportunities...and I have a duty to make the very most of that.
I can't control what other people think or say about me. Oftentimes, I think the negative ones end up sounding bitter and critical anyway, so why do I spend time worrying about those faceless people and not focus on the gift I've been given...a contract...a chance to tell these stories...a chance to share my art...a chance to live out a dream...
I am proud of the books I'm writing, of the work I'm doing...I'm excited to see a show that Adam and I wrote produced for the very first time...I'm over the moon that God's opened a door and given me a chance to write a new papercrafting book that's unlike the other two in every way.
And I know I need to share that...because there are so, so many good people who encourage and inspire and motivate me. People who want to see me succeed... but I don't let them in the car on this crazy roller coaster ride. I leave them standing on the ground because, in the past, I've let the wrong person come along with me.
The truth is, I left the spotlight a long time ago in favor of a behind the scenes position. I did that on purpose, because in the spotlight is a difficult place to stand. Your flaws are illuminated and all eyes are on you. I've done my best to stay behind the scenes, and I think I've done myself a terrible disservice back here, in the wings.
I don't have this one figured out yet, but it's something I'm working on. Finding the balance between marketing and bragging. Being comfortable talking about my work, without worrying that the person I'm talking to will walk away thinking I'm full of myself.
How do you accomplish that?