I got up out of my chair (and other acts of bravery)

I have to give credit where it is due. My title today refers to my favorite book title ever: She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Moreland Indiana by Haven Kimmel. Not only is the title hysterical but it also reminds me that what might look like an everyday act to others might be a huge act of bravery for someone else.

I did one of those acts this weekend. I went to an author convention. That in itself is an act of bravery because you have to announce to the world that you consider yourself an author. Then I got really crazy–like way out of my comfort zone, felt-like-I-might-puke-while-I-did-it crazy. I got up out of my chair and passed out my homemade business cards to the other authors. It was one of those acts that looks like nothing to everyone else, but it was so much more.

I gave them to people who had made the NY Times and USA Today best seller lists. I gave them to writers who have been working in the industry for over twenty years and those who have published multiple books. I announced that I considered myself one of them. It was unnerving, but it was huge. I almost fell over in shock when one writer said she had read my books and liked them. Mind blown. 

It was at this convention that I finally wrapped my head around the idea that I have started my own business and that the product I’m selling is me. I realized its time for me to come out of my introvert cave, woman up, and truly jump into the arena. I’ll never grow as a writer or business owner if I keep trying to skirt the edges and only dip my toe in the shallow end.

I’m not exactly sure what this new, braver me is going to do with all my new-found marketing knowledge yet. I’m still sorting through the mountain of gems I gathered. But I’m excited. And I feel so much less alone! I made some wonderful connections–writers from my hometown, writers in my genre, writers in the same place I am in the publishing timeline, just writers in general who get the ups and downs of creating something then throwing out to the world to be loved and/or judged.

I’m flying home tomorrow and I’m already itching to get started on…something. I want to write and connect with readers and stay connected with other writers. I want to figure out my goals so I can reach them. I want to share this excitement and knowledge.

The name of the retreat was “Pay It Forward” and that is one of my goals. I’m so blessed to be part of an industry where we truly don’t compete with each other. A book sale for me does not equal one less for someone else. In fact it’s the opposite. It’s an industry that grows by referrals to each other.

I got up off my chair only a few hours ago but I already feel different. It was such a small act but it changed me. Once I crossed that line I couldn’t go back (and that’s a good thing.) I’m not the wallflower with a purse full of unused business cards anymore.

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