Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Writer Versus Author
This photo was taken in May 2019 (who knew how the world would change), and here I am, two years later, two weeks from my June 1st publication date for Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? Finding Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book. That’s what’s sprawled over my desk. My messy manuscript has become a beautiful book! Lately, I’ve been reflecting on the similarities and differences between being a writer and being an author. Both are in-the-moment creative processes that involve deep listening and allowing. They both ask us to say “yes” to ourselves and to our creative dreams.
Writing takes place in solitude. I listen and allow what wants to be expressed to come through me. I try to stay out of my own way, which means ignoring insecure thinking, and honoring my writing commitments, especially the ones I make to myself. There’s no thought of an audience (at first). There’s only the act of creative expression (composition), and opening to my inner wisdom and storyteller. The outside world falls away. From a quiet, internal place, ideas bubble, beckon, entertain, surprise, and sustain me.
Once I publish, I become an author. The Latin root of the word “publish” is “publicare,” which means “to make public, show or tell to the people, make known, declare.” At this point I like to consider what I’m making public and why. What do I want to show or tell the people? What am I making known? What declarations am I making?
These questions usher me into the business side of the writing life, which is also creative and fun. Reaching an audience falls under the category of marketing. Many writers think of marketing as a dirty word and would rather skip it, or have someone else take care of it for them. But in today’s publishing climate, few authors can ignore this vital part of the publishing equation. Getting your book into the hands of readers matters, and today’s authors bear this responsibility. This is true whether you’re traditionally published, or whether you hybrid publish or self-publish.
I think about the word “responsibility” as “the ability to respond.” How will you respond to this aspect of being an author? Will you dread it because you’re an introvert and the last thing you want to do is show up and make a lot of noise? You may hate the idea of calling attention to yourself, or worry you’ll cheapen your creativity, or sound like a car salesman hawking his wares.
But this is an outdated way to think about marketing, especially for authors. In his May 7, 2021, newsletter (which I recommend), heart-centered marketing guru Dan Blank, author of Be The Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging and Audience, writes “Marketing is sharing, and the opportunity that we each have is to share what we create in a way that feels meaningful.” Three words stand out: “sharing,” “opportunity,” and “meaning.”
Let’s take a closer look:
I enjoy being both a writer and an author. Shifting gears between the two happens naturally, depending on where I am in my work cycle.
As I prepare to launch my new book, I’m in author mode, but still writing, mostly articles and interviews. My publicists, Fauzia Burke (author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors: A Step-by-Step Guide) and Anna Sacca, at FSB Associates, have been setting up great media opportunities. It’s been a joy working with these ladies, and speaking to people about my book. Check out my first interviews:
Authority Magazine Q&A
The Writing Coach Podcast: “Health, Hammocks, and Happy Writers”
The Backpack Show with Chris Brogan
If you’d like to join me for the virtual launch of my book, I’d be honored. This event is free and open to the public, but you must register. The big day is Thursday, June 3, 4:00 PT/7:00 ET. I’ll be speaking with my mentor, author advocate, and publisher, Brooke Warner, about finding freedom and peace of mind in your writing and your life. We’ll also be raffling off books and a hammock!
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