The writer of this article, Julie Isaac, is a friend of LB’s. (Hey Facebook Friends count as friends, right?) Awhile ago, in a meeting, he described reading Ms. Isaac’s work as “transformative.” We didn’t understand then.
Now, after reading this, we do:
Kiss Shy Goodbye
by Julie Isaac
As authors, we want our books to be read. For that to happen, our audience needs to be able to find us. But don’t kid yourself, that’s our job, not theirs. We need to connect with potential readers, and to get them interested in what we have to say. For those of us who would rather write than promote, that can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be.
I remember, years ago, being nervous before doing my first live group coaching call, but I knew the nervousness would pass, and I’d be okay. Not only did I live through it, I thought it was fun.
I wasn’t always that confident. There was a time I was extremely shy.
That’s why I could identify with the people who came on the call, but were too shy to ask a question or share their accomplishments and goals.
Been there. Done that.
And, happily, have left it far behind me.
Being a writer, I had to. Writers are required to balance the inward creative journey with outward promotional responsibilities. Before your book is even written you have to start promoting yourself and building your author’s platform. Then, once your book is published, promoting your book in 1001 different ways begins. And keeps going… and going… and going…
If shyness is what prompted you to look within and become a writer, then it’s been a great gift in your life. But if it’s now getting in the way of your fulfilling your writing dreams because it’s preventing you from stepping into the limelight of self-promotion and book marketing fully and joyfully, then it’s become a problem that you have to face, and deal with.
In my long journey from shy writer to (nearly) fearless promoter, I’ve learned some useful things about the emotional terrain in-between these two energetic opposites, and the mindset you need to have to make the journey.
Here are what I consider to be the four main attitude adjustments needed to turn shy writers into fearless promoters.
Attitude Adjustment #1
Don’t force yourself to do something, when choosing to do it is more empowering
Many shy writers tell me that they have to force themselves to do promotional tasks. The only reason you would ever have to force yourself to do something is that you don’t really want to do it. Unfortunately, forcing yourself to do that thing, anyway, automatically creates resistance, which makes whatever you’re doing—in this case, promoting yourself and your book—that much harder.
If you focus, instead, on the benefits of promotion—on what you want to achieve through it, and why—you’re more likely to feel that you’re choosing to promote yourself, rather than being forced to do it, even if you’re the only one doing the forcing. Feeling forced to do something disempowers you, while making a choice to do it empowers you. The difference between these two—between feeling disempowered and empowered—becomes especially important when the results of your actions affect your livelihood.
All this may feel like nitpicking to you, but mindset matters. Depending upon your mindset, on what you believe and how you feel about whatever you’re doing, the task at hand can be easy or hard. Your mind can be open or closed. Your creativity can be flowing or stuck. And this has an impact on whether your efforts result in failure or success….