I. Am. Sorry.
Ever since my dreams of becoming a published author came true, I’d been on what felt like a never-ending see-saw ride. On one side, I wanted to share my joy with the world and to get everyone involved in the process. And on the other end, I wanted to relish that moment to myself and reflect with gratitude on how far the journey had brought me.
“If you don’t talk about it, how will people know?”
I’d heard it all. Every time someone said what I should be doing, my heart told me why I shouldn’t do it. If only my heart spoke a little louder. So I searched for ways to “expose” my book. One method I used was paid marketing. I chose a couple of marketing tactics I heard good things about. In the end, they left me high and dry, frustrated, weary, and very pissed off. The money wasn’t more than a car payment, but that money could’ve gone to a much better cause.
“People post pictures of their kids all the time. You should post about your book as much as you see fit; at least once a day.”
It was the comments by that got to me. I let them get into my head, penetrate my thoughts and subject my journey to their own. I allowed them to hinder my process because they made me feel as if I wasn’t doing enough. So I began doing just what had been advised: I started posting about my books all over social media. Every time I hit tweet or share or post I felt a little piece of my soul chipping away. (Don’t get me wrong, sharing about my work isn’t the issue as much as why I was doing it is.)
Who do I blame in all of this? Me, Julia Blues. In every instance, my gut spoke louder than even my heart had, but since I had to “get myself out there”, I made costly sacrifices. I also lost myself in the doing. I went to bed at night disappointed for going against my gut. For not trusting the process enough to do what it’s was going to do without my interference. For the audacity of thinking God needed my money and help to fulfill His plan for the vision He placed in me.
Though it has been over two years since my first novel was released, I am constantly going over all of my actions. Asking myself tough questions. Seeking answers no matter how bruising the truth may be. Each day things become more clear, but still I haven’t been able to place a finger on it … Until today. I decided to put my phone down, shut the computer off and pick back up the book Super Rich by Russell Simmons. I opened it up to chapter two where this quote reached out and grabbed me by the throat:
“All nature loves an honest person. He need not run after things; they will run after him.” –Sri Swami Satchidananda
I began flipping the pages with the eyes of my soul wide open. It was just what I needed.
“We want to be so pure in our spirit and intentions that when we give the world our gift, we don’t spend a moment worrying about when we’re going to receive a response, let alone a payment, for it.”
Yes. Yes. Yes. Though my intentions were true to what I was needing at the time, they weren’t true to my book or journey itself. How unfair. I was beginning to feel I was turning people off of my book(s) instead of drawing them toward it. Russell Simmons went on to talk about how chasing money will make it run from you. I was not, and am not, chasing money. What I was running after was exposure. I figured the more Parallel Pasts and The Last Exhale were spoke of, it would have a ripple effect. And the more talked about, the more would know about them.
I’d gotten off course. I’d become needy for more. My desire for exposure lead me to do things I ordinarily wouldn’t do. There were book giveaways. Constant tweets, posts, even videos begging people to enter for a chance to win autographed copies of the books and more prizes. I’m not saying anything is wrong with that, but it’s not the kind of author I am or want to be. I love to organically give and reward people for their support, not cajole people to take part in my journey. It’s been overwhelming for me, and for that, I sincerely apologize.
This is my apology to me.
And I now free myself and my work to do what it was created to do on its own. It was and continues to be my job to create it. What happens after that is another story.
The reason why I am putting this on my blog is because you may have felt some pressure to support me so I wouldn’t feel so alone in the process, and for that, I apologize to you as well. I hope you see my truth and know that this has all been a learning process. Costly, both emotionally and financially, and has tugged at my self-esteem, but it has been a process I’m willing to go through to get to my destination.