What did you think of my first author interview in last month’s blog post? I hope you enjoyed it and like the variety I have here now. See, you don’t know if the month will bring an interview or my personal journey, so you have to follow along to find out. Hmm, I wonder what will next month have… You will see! Just click “Follow” at the bottom of the page and you will receive the monthly email with my post.
But as for this month, I want to ask a question. Are you a scientist? Most people will answer, “No” (I don’t think I have a huge reader audience of scientists but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised!). I am not a scientist, but realize I need to act as one in this great experiment I have gotten myself into with being an author. With having a new career as a novelist, I am learning as I go, therefore needing to experiment but also to check my expectations. Sure, I have researched as much as possible ahead of time and always think through every single thing I say in public, but I also have to try some things out to know if they work. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. It comes with self-doubt, anxiety, fear, endless time devoted, money spent, and probably more that I am blocking out. Kidding, not kidding. But hey, let’s not forget about the high of success in an experiment; the smiles on readers’ faces, the kind comments about my book and my presence online that I receive, and the surprises that are unpredictable. Sometimes I aim for a one result and get another, sometimes I receive an unexpected bonus, and sometimes I f-f-ail. ☹ Ok, that’s a strong word, but still, you get my drift.
Now, think about your own expectations with an endeavor. This could be as simple as making a trip to Target. Maybe you expect to get there in 5 minutes, shop and find everything you need, then come home and start laundry. Ah, but what if there is traffic on the way, the store is out of your common you-can-bet-that-they-have-it item, and you get home so late you don’t have time to start laundry before going to bed? You expected a yellow pineapple and got a pink one, so to speak. If you had your heart set on the yellow pineapple you may be disappointed with the pink one, but if you were open to any color pineapple, you would feel fine. There would not be a mood shift and no impact on your night. Perspective is everything. That’s how an author scientist needs to approach all activities for marketing.
This month is Italian Heritage Month, so I have many activities planned.
It’s the first full week and already I have come across challenges, reminding me of those pesky expectations that crept in again. My one day $.99 sale began and ended earlier and later than desired due to websites loading at different times then price matching back and forth. Next, my first giveaway post ever went out on the day after the Instagram and Facebook blackout. I thought the platforms were fixed by the next day because my pages were fine, but this wasn’t the case for everyone. So, problem solving mode ensued and all was/will be fine. Expectations had to get in check and remembering about experimenting had to take over. It was a great reminder that this has to happen with anything I try. If an error occurs, I will try to solve it. Just like Vanilla Ice (‘90s kids anyone?). “If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.” Now I have a huge urge to continue to recite the song, but I’ll spare you. 😊
Where did this genius idea of viewing activities as experimenting come from? My wonderful author friend, Debbie Cromack, who is the kindest human and also a new author, shared it with me this year (go check out her social media and books). It helped me tremendously to give myself a break from my high standards that sometimes are out of my control. I do not know how an action will translate into sales of books, so I have to try what I can to the best of my knowledge. Entering a promotion for my book The Difference, a new way to post or blog, or anything else I may madly experiment with needs to be approached with eyes and mind wide open but also through that lens of “It’s just an experiment.” This phrase helps my mindset if a mini disaster strikes, but sometimes Debbie still needs to remind me (thanks, friend!).
So my pointer to you for keeping expectations in check would be to visualize success but accept a different outcome because it’s all an experiment in this thing we call life. That’s it. Just try something and see what happens. Trying will always lead to some result, whereas not trying will get you nowhere fast and possibly leave you with regret and thinking, “What if?”
I will be talking about my written words the rest of my life and will continue to find ways of sharing about it, all with hopes of reaching more people in this great experiment of sharing my art. I will just have to embrace the wins and let the lows roll off my shoulders. I’m not great at that, but I will keep learning. That’s what experiments do for us after all; give us knowledge for future action. Happy experimenting, all.
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