The creative process is something we all go through. Whether we are writing a book, creating a business, or starting a new adventure... the process we go through to create this new thing in our lives is probably about as different as our DNA and yet as similar as drawing a breath.
The creative process is messy, scary, confusing, liberating, exciting, life-giving, and more! I thought that sharing what I go through in this process might help somebody else not feel as crazy as I do because it always works out. Always.
This blog post will focus on how I buckled down and got shit done.
Boy, oh, boy, how time has flown. I've been elbow-deep in finishing the book and learning all of the backend stuff needed to publish a book.
In all honesty, finishing the book was by far the easiest part. BUT, when I write my next book, at least I will have a better understanding of what I need to do to publish it.
In the vein of keeping these posts primarily about the creative process, I won't bore you with the publishing and printing process. Let's look at how I got through all of those nasty Oh Shits and got shit done.
I am a researcher. Sometimes to a fault - meaning I get so deep in the research, I paralyze my next action step. I second guess my decisions. I begin to feel incapable.
When you are in the throes of a massive creative endeavor, you have to learn to let that shit go. You are just as capable as anyone else. Just because one person has done it one way doesn't mean that you have to do it the same way. (Or maybe the entire population follows a certain path to their success. That doesn't mean that needs to be your path.) The tried and true path is a good starting point, but it's okay to go off that beaten path when you feel it in your bones. (How many times can I use the word "path" in a paragraph?)
My creative endeavor of self-publishing a book means that I need to learn things that aren't associated with writing the book. I've had to learn how to be a publisher, book marketer, social media expert (yeah, right), plus a lot more, and I've had to learn to ask for help and let go of my perfectionist expectations.
I have learned to get a general understanding of the process, make a list of what needs to be done, follow that list, mess up and make mistakes, and just keep going. Oh, and then make another list, then make an updated list, and then learn more so you can make a better list... all while working those lists until you make an updated list.
I've had to throw myself into the fire, keep the flames from growing wild, and just keep going.
I guess that's why it's commonly said that to reach a goal, the goal better mean something to you. It has to be important to your soul. If I weren't so passionate about getting this book into the reader's hands, I would have given up a long time ago. I would have realized all of the extra work that needed to be done and thought it simply wasn't worth the effort. But, when you're passionate about what you're doing, you persevere. You keep going no matter what.
So, to answer how I buckled down and got shit done, the answer is I just did the work I needed to do. No excuses.
This isn't to say that everything has gone smoothly. I let my blog go for over a month with not one post. I didn't email my subscribers for over a month.
I did what I could and had to make some sacrifices. I wish I could have done it all. I still wish I could do more. But the fact is, I can't, and I've learned that is okay.
So far, I've pretty much been able to stay to myself. I've asked for and received a handful of reviews, and that was hard and scary for me to do. But I'm now at the point where I will soon reach out to my idols for blurbs and a forward for the book. I've tried to talk myself out of it, saying that I don't need them, but I've wanted those reviews and the forward from the beginning of writing this book. It's time to share my work with those I admire most, which scares the shit out of me! Not only will they be reading my work (if they say yes), but they will see all of the other work I've done and hope to have done correctly. (Like the media page, one-sheet, book formatting, etc.) I don't want to look like an imposter in their world.
So the next step in this process is facing some major self-esteem issues. Wow. That got much deeper than I thought it would. That's where I am. That's where I'm going. This is a major growing experience for me.
Stay tuned for the next installment of "The Creative Process" when I talk about how I faced long-held beliefs about myself and got through to the other side.