rambling and self-absorbed sort of post. Not quite sure if I’m brave enough to
They say the way you do anything is the way you do everything. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking of how similar my book business is to my weight-loss goals. (I know…hear me out.)
I started self-publishing about the time menopause hit, meaning that since I first published Stealing Mercy, I gained thirty pounds. I’ve since lost about ten (it was 17, but I gained some back over Christmas and a really long trip.)
So, here’s one very obvious parallel. Because of my recent weight-loss success, I KNOW if I keep a daily accounting of my diet, I’ll be more successful with my weight-loss goals. This is also true for my book business. If I can be more disciplined and keep a daily accounting of my marketing, I’m sure I would be more successful. What does and doesn’t work will become increasingly obvious. With small wins, I’ll feel more motivated. I believe if I were to spend an hour a day on marketing (like a successful author I really admire does) it might even become fun. (MAYBE) I could see it as a game to win.
BUT, right now, with my weight-loss and my marketing, I pretty much hate them both, and I think it’s because I’m not very nice to myself when I think about either of them. I’m angry at myself (and menopause) for allowing myself to gain so much weight. It doesn’t matter that it happens to most women my age, I somehow thought I’d be exempt, especially since I workout 7 days a week. And likewise, my thoughts are way too harsh and negative when I think about marketing my books. It doesn’t matter that I’m probably doing better than most indie authors. That’s not the point. With 30+ books out, I should be doing better than most because I have more books.
So, what if I threw some money at both problems?
What if I joined Jenny Craig and became a life-time member? I would probably be successful initially, but would it last? And a better question, would I enjoy the process? (For it to last, I believe I have to enjoy the process.) And maybe an even better question, would I enjoy the person I may become? And I’m not talking about being a size 6. How will I feel if I spend thousands of dollars, and I end up exactly where I am now a year or so later?
Same thing with my book business. What if I threw some money at it? Hire a marketing coach. Create a bunch of audio books. Maybe I’d be successful initially, but if I didn’t keep up with it every day, how long would it last? And would it be a lifestyle I could comfortably embrace? How will I feel if I spend thousands of dollars, and I end up exactly where I am now a year or so later?
Do you see the correlation?
Someone I love and admire told me I have to work from a loving perspective. If she approaches her career from a place of love, she’s more patient with her coworkers and clients. The money isn’t a measuring stick. The pleasure comes in the service and satisfaction of a job well done.
If I translated this to my books, if I truly loved my books, I’d be passionate about the stories and I would naturally want to share them.
If I translated this theory to my body, I would want to nourish and care for it. I wouldn’t want to poison it with unhealthy foods or gimmicky diets. And I’d embrace the signs of aging.
This isn’t to say that Jenny Craig (or any other healthy diet) isn’t a great strategy. Same with hiring a marketing coach. But in both cases, if I don’t create a sustainable lifestyle that I enjoy and can embrace, something that I pay attention to everyday, I might as well quit before I begin.
So, here’s the question. Do I begin? Or is there another answer I haven’t considered?