I have officially hit the “overwhelmed” wall today, but before launching into the craziness, allow me to set the stage.
Saturday, I finally attended a writer’s group meeting and was extremely pleased with the speaker, Sally Carpenter, who writes cozy mysteries. She was incredibly informative, sharing experiences she’d had with publishing her books, both good and bad, giving us some very sound advice about how to get our own balls rolling.
Among the things she told us was that we needed a marketing plan. “A what???” My already overfilled mind squawked. “I thought my job was to write it, not sell it!”
But it seems that publishers expect you to have figured out how you’re going to reach the masses with your amazing addition to the literary world, not have them do it for you!
Fortunately, one of the key people on my personal ass kicking team has her own marketing company. Who better to take me by the hand and lead me through the terrifying halls of self-marketing? Let me just say that after exchanging emails with her, I had no freakin’ clue!!!
Needless to say, I have started yet another To Do list that looks something like this:
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To Do List-Book one of the Transition Series
Come up with a title
Get information on Web Design
View other web sites for likes/dislikes
Start a newsletter
Get business cards
Get ISBN number
Work with Candy on Marketing Plan
Develop a budget
Now, this is hardly an exhaustive list, nor do I hold the mistaken belief that it won’t, ultimately require several pages of things to be checked off…some once, and some repeatedly, at least I have an idea of some of the tasks before me. Yet, I keep finding myself thinking: “But all I really wanted to do was write books and have them published. Maybe people would even buy them at some point, and decide they actually liked my scribbles! Now, I seem to be a salesman, business manager, team leader and who knows what else?”
Needless to say, this information didn’t do a lot for my sleep pattern last night. I kept waking up for stupid stuff (besides the usual trek to the bathroom!). First, my feet were itching like crazy, which prompted me to pull out the Aveno and slather it liberally all over my feet, causing me to leave slimy footprints on the bathroom floor.
Then, I woke in the wee hours with another of my “Oh my, the weather seems to be changing!” headaches. Thus followed a few hours of moving between my bed and the couch, trying to find the least painful position to sleep.
But I was not to enjoy full relief, as the grumble of the trash trucks outside my front door reminded me that I’d put off emptying the sandboxes and taking out the trash until this morning, when my plan was to get up early and get it done. Thankfully, I was still in time! But in my hurry to get the full trash can to the curb, I left a nail in one of the sandboxes, dropped a newly refilled box on the bathroom floor, spilling sand and requiring a pause to sweep up what I’d filled, and tripped over several pitifully mewing cats who couldn’t understand why their morning wet food was being delayed. My repeated admonitions to eat the dry if they were that hungry fell on deaf ears. (I should know by now that cats are single minded creatures. They want what they want, when they want it, and as their staff, we are to obey without question!)
Yet, I find that starting my book publishing To Do List and taking the time to write this blog post (not to mention consumption of my first cup of coffee), have already had a calming effect on me. Add a quick shower, insertion of contacts and starting my first load of laundry, and I feel like I have a pretty decent start to a very productive day!
Sure, I have a set of books to complete today, homework for my class on Sunday to actually start (I’ve watched the videos, but still have the reading and writing to do), a practice session with my classmate to fit in sometime this week, and a couple of financial issues to complete, but, all in all, I’m feeling pretty good about it all.
The reality is, we can only do so much in any 24 hour period, and allowing ourselves to focus on what we have NOT done, rather than what we HAVE done only really has one result. We get less done under more stress. So instead, I’m feeling good about the things I already checked off of my To Do List today, looking forward to clean clothes later on, a healthy breakfast, completion of the set of books, and whatever else I manage to complete today will be a bonus!
The funny thing is, I wasn’t much of a list maker in my past life. I’d be rather hit or miss about making them, unless I had some kind of project going. I seem to have fallen into a pattern where I’m constantly in project mode, and thus, need those lists to both keep me focused and to let me see how much I’m getting done!
This is just another way of showing my love and appreciation for the most important person in my life, and the one who is often most neglected when it comes to handing out love and appreciation. I told my daughter the other day that sometimes, you just have to give yourself a hug. I really meant that! Each and every day is an opportunity for self-love. Will you take the time?
My gratitudes today are:
1. I’m grateful for the network of people I have (if I just open my eyes and look) who have the expertise to get me where I want to go.
2. I am grateful for frequent opportunities to show my love to myself.
3. I am grateful for To Do lists which keep me both focused and appreciative of my productiveness..
4. I am grateful for my alone time.
5. I am grateful for the things which keep me from being a hermit, although there truly are times and places for me to go into my cave.
Love and Light