There are two distinct parts to my career as an author. Part one, when I saw myself as more of a lone wolf and part two, when I finally started admitting I don’t know everything.
The second half where humility has played a lot bigger part has been more rewarding in every way, particularly financially and spiritually.
Funny little thing I’m learning about life is that when I stop trying to force my will and realize I may not get what I want but I can still be of service, more of what I wanted all along shows up. However, to head down that path the first few times took a lot of courage and hope because I didn’t have any personal proof. Fortunately, I had worn myself out trying things my way. I became willing.
To be an author, whether it’s as an independent or through the traditional venues takes more people and therefore a lot more willingness. The independent route sounds like it would be easier to stick to your own common sense and that would be more than enough, except for the occasional question. But publishing a book is a process that requires a lot of hands.
Besides, I was more arrogant than that anyway, running down the traditional path and still telling everyone how I saw things.
However, when I stopped listening for just the small kernel I wanted and expected to hear, dropped any agenda and not only took in the information but gave it time to sink in, things really began to move in a better direction. That opened things up even more.
What if I even followed through on some of the suggestions to see if other people who are actually the professionals in their slice of the publishing game were right? Perhaps my part in the entire process is to be a team player, be open to all of the information that’s coming in and just do what’s been suggested.
Some wrong turns are to be expected and even that’s okay because the last tool I keep close by is the one that makes all of it okay.
I am powerless over the outcome but there is One who has His hand on everything, loves all of us beyond our ability to understand and has a plan that includes everyone. This is the most important part to me and makes it possible to relax and go back to the day I’m in when I’m worried about how book sales will go or if a book will get published at all.
The answer is, maybe it will, maybe it won’t.
In the past I couldn’t live with that answer so I tried harder to fix things. That just didn’t work and I wore out others as well as myself. Doors closed.
Now, I ask myself if I’ve done my part? Do I trust the professionals I’m working with on this book? What’s in front of me to do? How can I go be of service?
I know, all of that sounded really contrary to becoming published to me too, at first. But I had tried the lone wolf gig and only gotten mediocre results, at best.
I became willing to try a new tack. God is everything or God is nothing and I wanted, maybe even needed God to be everything so I started listening with a new ear. I asked for help and admitted when I didn’t know something. I grew more patient and less ‘helpful’ with suggestions. I did what was asked of me, on time and nothing more, allowing others to do their job without my interference. I became willing to change structure or style and see what happened.
And on the days when my anxiety still sits on my chest like an angry gorilla, I go pray, turn it all over to God and ask for peace of mind and heart. Then I get back to my day, do what’s right in front of me and keep going. As a result, more of my publishing life has fallen into place and my relationships in that area are a lot stronger.