Have you ever had a day, due to your own expectations, which put you into a pity party, made you doubt if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing with your life at this place and time? I had one of these days on Saturday.
I had a book signing…after my last two which went well I had expectations this one would also. I had friends who assured me they’d be at this one. My venue offered me so many unexpected pluses. I touched base prior and the person who I’d made arrangements said all was according to plan. I got there and a different person was in charge that day and nothing that was previously discussed was done. And after the fact I found my Facebook post was on custom (not public) and went to one friend. The odds were not in my favor after all.
As you know I am not good at selling myself in the first place. I refuse to push my books on anyone. I have faith the people who are meant to read it will find it. During the two hour span the store only had about ten customers. They walked in the door and would immediately turn the other way…you know …avoid eye contact…don’t- look- that –woman- in- the -face -or -you -will -be –obligated- to- buy- whatever -she’s -selling…you know the guilt concept. Don’t lie, you know you’ve avoided looking the bell ringer in the eye at Christmas time…come on, you know you have. Anyway, I said hello to anyone who looked my way, but that’s as far as I went.
I know my books are not meant for everyone because they attract a certain type of people which not everyone fits into, and I’m ok with that. Still, this was scheduled during what was supposed to be the busiest time of the weekend. Epic fail on that part. I did not work the people, epic fail on my part. Anyway, as one couple was leaving the woman came over and asked me to tell her about what I was doing. I told her about my books, and she bought one. As she turned to leave she said to me, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” She smiled and I smiled back and thanked her. I didn’t think much about it. I began to wallow in my misery…you know not that I want to be rich or anything, but it would be nice to break even on my investment for the books I purchased.
I had made a tiny profit on my first order and applied it to my second order. Yes, I have sold books, but I’ve given away three times the amount I’ve sold. Bottom line is all the people who tell you they are dying to buy your book, aren’t. All the people who tell you they are going to your book signings aren’t. Sorry, but it’s the hard cold truth and I should have been smart enough not to base my purchases on feedback from others. People say these things because they want to make you feel good. However, most want to wait to see if you really are going to make it or not…you know, they depend on the media to tell them. Now of course, you really do find out who your friends are as well. They are the ones who rush out to buy your book and show up at your signings to support you…and yes, I had that at my first two signings. I started thinking that perhaps I’d run out of friends…sad state of affairs. I decided I just wasn’t well-liked after all. I basically felt like I sucked big time. In fact, I typed it out in a text to a friend who lives several states away and can count on during times of great elation and despair. Then I thought about it and deleted the message before sending it. I wasn’t focused on the sale I made…my mind was set on the sales I failed to make. I was not thinking about doing good in the world. I was thinking about losing money. See where I’m going with this?
Then, visions of those exploited American Idol contestants ran through my head. You know the ones who not only lack what it takes to make it in the music industry, but can’t even carry a tune? The ones Joe Public makes fun of? I began to wonder if I had been falsely encouraged because people didn’t have the heart to tell me my writing sucks.
I couldn’t sleep when I went to bed. I began to question why I was even writing. Was I writing because I had something to say or because I just wanted to say something? There’s a big difference between the two. Then the words of that woman replayed, “Keep doing what you are doing.” A Divine message. She was the messenger of the words I needed to focus on. I had fallen victim to my ego. I had let my purpose slip from sight. I know why I write and why I choose to share what I write. Like most every other writer, it has little to do with money. The reason I have chosen this path runs much deeper.
It is not necessary for me to know the bigger picture. Perhaps this is the beginning of what’s to come. Perhaps my writing purpose is the delivery of a message to a particular person. If I know within I am doing what I am supposed to do, does it really matter why I am doing it? I know I only need to keep doing what I am doing, and the rest will play out in time.
I remind you to heed the words of the messenger, “Keep doing what you are doing.” You know deep in your soul if you are doing what you should be doing. Your heart is leading you. Know you are worthy. You are gifted in the area you are for a reason whether you are aware of that reason or not. Have faith you are doing what you are supposed to. Don’t allow the ego to guide you in this world. There are much deeper reasons for following our passions than status and money. Be thankful for your gift, and when your messenger speaks be thankful for that gift as well. Each star and planet is small in comparison to the many galaxies, and the infinite cosmos. We’re each but a tiny spot in this universe, but equally important and together we span the earth.