In my last blog I posted about finding the new me. I told the story of a bit of magical serendipity which had just been presented to me. I was excited. As well I should be. My novel, The Storyteller, which had been two plus years in the making, had just been published, a few sales had transpired and some folks were finding their way to my website and blog. And now I had chanced upon the Aboriginal Village in Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park a few steps from my home. Imagine finding there were ‘real’ Aboriginal storytellers in my back yard! The feeling of bliss lasted through a few more days. I visited the Aboriginal Village several times. I would sit enraptured on the third log back, right in the center where I determined was the best view of the hollowed out and carved tree where the Storyteller stood as he or she wove their magic. Their costumes were colorful and highly decorated with beads, silver and gems, and feathers. Some were barefoot, others wore moccasins, still others boots. Very young and very old, they transported me to worlds I had imagined many times.
I had been pondering what my post-publication new life looked like, and at that moment it looked like freedom.
All writing 101 courses hammer into you that your work does not stop at ‘The End’. In fact, they are quick to point out (with some glee and not a little malice the author sometimes feels), it is just the beginning. For whether you sign with the biggest big dog in their fancy office in New York, a small print or anywhere in between, you must learn to market your book - and yourself.
When after a few days of promising sales the numbers began to dwindle, so did the bliss. I had been dreading the marketing process and had convinced myself the few things I was doing were going to do the trick. After all we are in this brave new world of Internet marketing and it’s easy peasy. I put on my bravest face and reminded myself that I could do anything I put my mind to. I know that to be true. A long time friend told me a while ago I was the most fearless person she’d ever met. Seems I can fool folks that way. When I begged to differ she asked me to name something I was afraid of. Well, of course I couldn’t come up with anything at the time, because mostly nothing much scares me.
Transformation? That doesn’t scare me. In fact just the opposite. What an opportunity transformation presents! One can be/do/love anything one wants. That feels joyful!
The transition to transformation, though. That can scare the daylights out of anyone. I am free to do anything I like. I could quit right here and see where The Storyteller goes. Or I can face my fear. And yes I do have fears. Another friend says I am afraid of being famous. That’s not quite it. I don’t particularly want to be - I value my freedom too much. But I’m not afraid of that. What I recognize I am afraid of is the responsibility invested in me when I agreed to write the book, to make it a success. To write it well and then to make sure it is read. I have written it as best I can – and believe you me I know it is not high literature. Now I must enter the scary world of interviews and flogging and whatever else is required. And I don’t want to do it. But I will. I read something the other day about book marketing being a drip drip drip process. That encouraged me.
I am in transition to becoming a marketer. I am feeling my way one drip at a time.
When the bucket is full, I will be transformed. And that is freedom!
Causes Sharon Tillotson Supports
Leukemia Research Foundation of Canada
Kidney Foundation of Canada