Pay It Forward

Last week was crazy. Crazy good, mostly, but undeniably crazy! My books were on sale, and I also happened to be jumping back into the promotional side of publishing with a vengeance. All sorts of complicated life things kept me out of the self-promotion arena for about six months. In other words, I had published books which were just sitting there, not being sold. I also had completed manuscripts, gathering dust, with no thought being given to their possible publication. And then, I was back…

It was a good week of promotional blitz, and from it I took new connections, a fair number of book sales, and my first experience as a genre #1 on Amazon. Heading into the week, I would have told you that all of that was what I was seeking. All of that was what I wanted to take from the week. But I ended up taking so much more. And all because some people gave.

I made new friends. I witnessed the kindness and generosity of others. I was brought to tears by friends who cheered so loudly from the sidelines. I discovered new authors whose work I am already in love with. I was amazed by the time and energy people gave in order to help me along, though there was really nothing in it for them.

And I also discovered a great deal about myself. New things. And I don’t just mean new things as in I didn’t know about them before. I think they’re actually new. I hit #1, and I loved it, and I kept working, but my self-esteem did not deflate when I slipped to #2. I didn’t obsess over all of the people who weren’t helping me, instead I just so appreciated those who did. 

I realized this week that I’m finally ready for this whole author thing. Everything that has kept me away has really just been preparing me. I’ve always struggled with the emotional side of self-promotion because I hate the way it makes me feel to make it all about me, and because of that, I was convinced I wasn’t cut out for this. I just couldn’t do it. But now I know that’s not true. I’m going to do it, but I’m going to do it my way. The way I know is right. And what that means is not making it all about me at all. 

This week, I will not promote myself. Self-promotion is important for an author, so no…I won’t be taking this approach permanently. But this week, it’s not about me. At all. It’s about a few of the other authors who offer amazing support.

What about you? What would your week look like if you paid it forward all week long? What would your week look like if you took the spotlight off of yourself and put it on someone else instead? And then, when the week is over, what if none of us pull the spotlight back? What if we share it?

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