Monday, June 13, 2011

#Trust30: Alternative Paths

Photo of an open fortune cookieImage via Wikipedia
Taped to my computer monitor is a Chinese fortune I received a number of years ago now, back when I was toiling as a worker drone: “You will live the life that makes all others not envious, but proud of you.” Those words dug a foxhole in my psyche and have held their position ever since.

When I first read that fortune, I was not living a life I was proud of. I wasn’t writing. I’d named and claimed writer’s block for so many years that my family and friends had given up on me ever writing anything beyond a thank-you note – and even that was iffy. I was well on my way to letting my talent wither and die within me, leaving only the empty husk of what might have been.

Those words on that tiny slip of paper shamed and inspired me at the same time. I taped them a few inches to the right of the Dell logo on my monitor, where I knew I would see them every day. And I started to change my life.

I have been looking for alternative paths now for several years. Even when the path ahead of me is clear, I stop and consider what other options I might have. I could have continued to submit my manuscripts to agents – I’d had some encouragement in that direction, albeit not as much as I’d wished. I changed course and self-published. I could have spent all my time on social media tooting my own horn in an attempt to get noticed, but I was just one more voice in the cacophony of the internet. Instead, I became a voice of encouragement and support for other indie authors. Because I turned in that direction, I found an e-publisher who loves my work and encourages me every step of the way.

I continue to search out new paths on a daily basis. Though it is sometimes challenging, I try to never close my mind to the possibilities of the universe. After all, sometimes the messages God is trying to send arrive with the bill in a Chinese restaurant.

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  1. Great post Susan. Glad to that part of you as a strength. I probably still need to work on mine.

  2. I loved what you said about spending time on social media tooting horns. I've always felt like I'm very 'scattered' on social media. I don't tweet just about 1 thing. I don't seem 'focused' enough (at least that was how I saw it). As a result I felt stymied with how I am supposed to now 'market myself' as a writer author. Your post has encouraged me to follow what I have always felt was right for me.

  3. Roger and Jane, thank you both for stopping by and commenting. Jane, I truly have found that the best way to market myself is to just be myself -- to do what comes naturally. So if I read something I like, I tweet it. If I read a good book, a blog a review and post it everywhere I can. And when something happens for me -- say, I have a new book published or get a great review -- I tweet and post that, too. I hope I'm gaining friendship as well as readers, because that is my goal.


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