A friend of mine, a fellow author, and I were having an email exchange about the nature of people. As the two of us are both authors, one with a publisher (my friend) and one going it alone on the independent author lane (me), we were discussing the way people sometimes behave when you decide to put something out there–when you decide to be brave and publish your work. Some people are genuinely ecstatic for you–they jump for joy and are over-the-moon (we love you.) Some people support you quietly (we love you, too). Some people pay attention to what you are doing but say nothing (we also love you, but wish you were more interactive). Some people ignore you altogether (it’s your prerogative). And some people, well, these are the tricky folks—they kind of wish your work would die a slow death, you would succumb to failure, and then you would fall off the face of the planet (we don’t get you). So, in an effort to attempt to cheer my friend up, I decided to offer in writing my thoughts and lessons I’ve learned as I’ve been on this rollercoaster.
As I have just published my fifth book (four fictional books, one academic textbook), I’ve seen all kinds of reactions at this point. And here’s what I’ve learned from my creative endeavors:
- It’s made me more cognizant of my own behavior and reactions to good works, and made me even more ready to offer sincere and heartfelt congratulations to others, especially my friends.
- It’s made me not want to be one of those people who is cranky and unhappy for others.
- It’s made me want to high-five people and cheer people on even more when they do something they should be proud of (especially my students who GO FOR IT).
- It’s helped me realize there is plenty of room for all of us to feel some success or contentment with our projects.
- It’s heightened my belief that we must do what we must do, regardless of the reaction, or how difficult the climb.
And finally, it’s also made me recognize THIS!
What I mean by sharing this particular proverb is that you just have to keep on doing what you are doing and ignore all the noise surrounding your work. Don’t let others affect your approach to your work; you are in the driver’s seat where that is concerned. So many successful writers have talked about this, from Elizabeth Gilbert to Ernest Hemingway.
Carry on. Do your thing. Create your creations. Go for your goals.
Creative people, it’s imperative that you LISTEN TO ME NOW! Be innovative and rise above all the BS you hear. The only noise you should ever pay attention to is the noise in your own head saying these words:
I must continue to create, to do what makes me happy.
There, I’ve said it.
I feel better now.
And so should you.
And so should my friend. My dear friend who deserves all the success and happiness in the world.
Now I can share with you ad #2 in the campaign for The Postcard and Other Short Stories and Poetry.