Monday, March 14, 2016

What is Success? by Janice L. Dick

It’s taken me all week to accomplish nothing. Know what I mean? All those hours on the internet with zip to show for it, except a low-grade headache and a less than amiable mood.

First of all, I’m working on covers for a three-book series. It’s going great and I love what the designer is doing, but it takes time to do it well. I could use more patience. Now!

Secondly, I’m trying to learn a couple new programs to effectively communicate with what I hope will eventually be a growing tribe of followers. I think I’m making this harder than it has to be, and I’ve thought of a couple people who already possess the expertise I need. Sometimes I just need to ask for a bit of help.

Thirdly, I’ve been studying up on marketing and promotion for my soon-to-be-released books. These days, Search Engine Optimization is big. Strategic categorization of books and ebooks is essential.

I agree with the “what” and the “why.”

As an indie author, I know the “who” refers to me.

I understand the importance of the “when.” Mostly. I think.

But the “how” continues to evade me.

The online courses are encouraging with their anyone-can-do-it attitude. They almost make me believe I can. But the actual practice of coming to decisions, choosing those all-important words and phrases, is becoming increasingly overwhelming.

I think it’s partly the age-old problem that not all writers are born to be business people. I’d rather write than categorize. I’d rather write than build a following.

But maybe this is all part of the process. Why do I expect my journey to be smooth? Maybe this floundering isn’t for nothing, but will allow me to understand others, and help them when I’m able. It takes time to learn what works and what doesn’t, and what I’m actually capable of.

It’s all part of the writing life in this fast-paced, technologically saturated world. This is the world for which we are called to write, and to minister. But it’s not necessarily our accomplishments for which we will be remembered. Our responses to the challenges and hurdles we meet may be as important.

I need to continually pray for patience, for knowledge and understanding. I can ask others for help. But I also need to let go of the idea that success is only in accomplishment, in those measurable tasks along the way. Maybe my unproductive week looks different in God’s books than it does in mine.
Photo from www.morguefile.com



9 comments:

  1. Hi Janice, thanks for sharing so honestly. I'm pretty certain you can do the "business" side but because it's all new you're lacking in confidence. I wonder if a suggestion moving forward is to get yourself a mentor who has been there, done that, and have them help guide you along to build some momentum and your confidence.

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    1. Your mentor idea is a good one, Ian. I do have a few friends who are ahead of me on the road, and I ask for help from time to time, but I don't like to monopolize their time since we're all busy. But I've noticed how willing other writers are to help where they can.

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  2. Hi Janice, I agree, indie publishing isn't easy. An indie author is responsible for all the work that is done by a publishing team at a larger publishing house. Hang in there, and there are helpful Christian Indie Author groups on Facebook that you can join to gain more publishing expertise.

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    1. Thanks, Narelle. I belong to one of these Christian Indie Author groups and it is amazing. I don't necessarily read everything, but jump in now and then. It's very helpful and encouraging.

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  3. So true, Janice, we have to do our best and then Trust! It certainly beats those low grade headaches.

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    1. You're right, Donna. Too often I forget who my Boss really and that He is with me all the way.

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  4. Even commercially published authors have to do so much self-promotion these days. How I wish we could just write!

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    1. That goes for both of us, LeAnne, and I think many more writers as well. However, as I've been working on indie publishing my latest book, I've really enjoyed learning and experimenting with formatting, SEO, etc. It's quite an adventure.

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