I’m afraid of becoming an egotistical asshole if I sell too many books. Even though I very much want to sell my books. I also don’t want to feel like I have something to prove financially. I would be proud to be independent. To be a writer making enough to pay the bills. I just don’t want that to hinder my view of others. I don’t want to forget my struggle or my humanity. And lastly, I don’t want to lose appreciation for other writers. I want to be understanding and gentle and loving. I don’t want to snub someone because I’m a well paid writer and they aren’t.
There’s a thin line between discipline and chaos, between empathy and narcissism. The line is so thin in fact, that we can cross it without realizing it until we step away from a situation. Or until someone calls us out on our behavior. Yes, we all make mistakes. We all hurt the people we love most. And what’s important is to be accountable and honest when we mess up.
I don’t think this fear holds me back. And Freud would probably suggest the only thing holding me back is my childhood drowning. Either way, I’m getting closer and closer to selling my book and the shadow is growing. But I’m not going to let it stop me. I’m gong to sell my book whether I’m scared shitless or not.
What helps me when I afraid is to list the reasons why stepping through a particular fear is beneficial. So I thought I’d share some reasons why you should sell your book.
The World needs to have the opportunity to hear your story.
Sometimes I can get so wrapped up in my own fears that I forget that others are in some way living my same story. They can learn from how I published in spite of my fear. Do it to inspire other great writers to get their work published.
Sell your book to inspire others.
Make sure you’re selling your book because you’re giving them something they desire. Sell your books to lift others up, to expand their minds, to change yourself and those around you. We are all looking for a moment of realization or a moment away from it all. Sell your book knowing that you have something to offer.
You invested a lot of time and energy into it
Your time is valuable. The research you did to help define your characters and your plot and whatever else you sacrificed was to develop yourself as a writer. You put in the hours, now it’s time to respect your own time and your own efforts. It took me some time to learn to value my own time and space. I would over book because I didn’t want to say no. I would allow people into my alone time even though I really needed to recharge. This made me grumpy and tired and just generally unhappy. Now that I understand how valuable my time and space are, I live a more peaceful and satisfying life.
Answer the call
This is new and exciting. There’s uncertainty. A chance of failure. Or in other words, this is an adventure. Cross the threshold. Take the dive. Leap. This is where we find Alice, Dorthy, The Fraggles. Those friends we weren’t expecting to meet along way that seem to stay in our lives forever. We learn things we didn’t know we needed to learn. And we face challenges that forever alter the way our brain views things. Don’t sit out on an adventure, there’s too much to lose.
So, these are things I needed to hear. I hope they also inspired you to to sell your books. It’s ok to be scared, it’s not ok to let it control you. I’m sure I will be referring back to this post in couple months when it’s time to set a price and send my first novel out into the world.
Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.
— Judy Blume