As I am refining my STEPS to SUCCESS thirty-day challenge system, I have had to take a moment and smile at the evolution which has occurred with my writing and designing. As with all skills, the more you practice the better you become. In an era where it is too easy to get caught in the, 'I want it fast and I want it now' trap, writing is no exception. Many individuals get caught up on the premise, 'If I write it, they will come.'
While there are those who have written and immediately were snatched up by a publisher and promoted to a best seller, most writers work a full time job to pay for the cost of writing and self-publishing their books. They write, for the love of writing. It is like breathing to them.
My evolution of writing has matured to no longer get caught up in these mindset traps, and instead enjoy the journey. Part of this maturity is how I now present my writing and on what platforms. While, social media has played an integral part in my writing's evolution, it has also been an interesting evolution in and of itself. I can say, I have probably learned the most about this world I entered, after leaving the cult, than I ever anticipated. Social media brings out the best and worst. To save my sanity, I finally had to look at things as research material for fiction writing, as you can not find a better resource for character development than on social media.
The benefit of my social media experience has been watching my writing evolve, due to having a strict thirty-day schedule. For the past several years, I have consistently written, designed, and released a thirty-day motivational challenge. It has caused me to have to write everyday in order for this to occur. There are month's when I am scrambling at the end of the month, to get everything ready for the next month. There have been months when I am scrambling every day, to get the post ready for the next day... or even that day.
After months of grinding, my efforts have paid off. I now have 24 motivational challenges. Some I will continue to refine their design and writing, but overall they are ready to be plugged into social media release. Having this much writing is like having a rainy day fund. It takes the pressure off of writing, which frees up creativity.
With this much writing in my que, my thoughts are now returning into release planning. Over the last several weeks I have been working on updating several books in The Ember Within Series. I will be releasing these updates in the next few weeks. Due to this effort, I am now feeling more confident about releasing the rest of the series. My goal is to have the remaining books in this series released this year. Why am I releasing so many?
Because I feel the messages that are within them are important and each challenge has its own specific topic for self-improvement. By having the series released in full, it allows individuals to browse the series and determine which one aligns with what they want to work on for the month.
Like all writers, thoughts of 'what if...' begin to creep in. Sales are no guarantee. Yet, sales are not my motivation, which may seem odd as an author. For me though, my focus has to remain on my writing, in order for me to maintain the flow of what I share. Of course, I am grateful for every individual who picks up one of my books. I'm grateful for every review. Each is beneficial to help me improve and grow as an author.
Every writing session begins with a visualization session. I close my eyes and think of someone holding my book and reading it. I watch as they scan the page, pause, and reflect on what has been read. My visualizations take form in various settings. I let the individual and reading situation evolve within my mind. Individuals have ranged in all ethnic, gender, and age groups. It is through this visualization, it is as if I am reaching out and connecting with what they are looking for in their life.
At the conclusion of my visualization session, I reflect on the commonalities we share, and what I have done to overcome a particular similar situation. I then ask myself as I am writing, 'Would this help guide them within, to find the answer they seek?'
Some of my visualization are about me reading my own writing. It is the present me, reaching out to the future me and being guided to what I need to share. Time transcends into one moment in time, where past, present, and future merge into one. I visualize what my former self has guided my present self, so I can guide my future self.
These visualization practices have help me to define an align my writing. I am always amazed when a random stranger, will reach out and share insight about my writing, give me advice, and encouragement.
One wise gentleman said to me when I first began to write, 'Write. You have the rest of your life to figure out marketing and sales, but if you haven't written, you'll have nothing to market and sale.'
To every individual who is out there holding back from writing, to you I encourage you to write. Self-publishing is very rewarding. There is no better feeling than when you look on your own bookshelf and see your books in print form. To pick them up, carry them to your favorite reading spot, and read them through a readers eyes.
Forget about sales for a moment. If others ask how many sales you have, just smile. After all, how many books have they written?
Keep writing my friends.