I just had an humbling experience. I won’t mention names because there are at least two that I KNOW and maybe a few others I don’t. Regardless, this is for ME as much as it is for you (two or possibly more) WONDERFUL folks!!
First, a bit of back-story. I started this blog not out of desire, but out of desire. Doesn’t make sense? Let me ‘splain. I read several marketing posts, blogs, articles etc. on the Internet that said I needed a ‘platform’ to market my books. I didn’t want to spend time (or waste time, I erroneously thought) posting crap where no one would read it, I wanted to spend my time WRITING!!
My first choice in developing my platform was to create this blog. If you scroll down to the first entries you’ll see my lack of enthusiasm evident. I wanted to WRITE, not blog! Then I started blogging. I wasn’t going to limit myself to ‘just’ writing about my books. This would be my forum for whatever was on my mind at the time, as are many blogs. I also intended to use it as a journal to record my journey down the road of being an independent author. Finally, of course, I was going to use it to promote my books.
Boy was I in for a shock! I got my first follower and I’m thinking WOW! Someone else actually likes what I posted. Then I started looking at other blogs. Some I followed, some I didn’t. Oddly, the ones I followed were not ONLY the ones I thought would help me. I said to myself when I started this whole ‘blog thing’ that I’d only follow the blogs that would help me.
BOY WAS I EVER WRONG!!!
I’ll be the first to admit, some of the blogs I do follow for tricks, tips and help with my chosen career. Most however I’m following because they’re COOL! Most of the blogs I follow are just plain old, flat-out INTERESTING! And, gospel honest truth, I’ve learned more from those than I have from the ones I followed specifically TO learn.
Oh yeah, one other thing. Along the way to my moment of humility I did comment on a few blogs. I responded to posts that really struck a chord with me. I also, on several occasions, posted encouragement, either to someone walking the author’s path or to someone else who decided not to take the easy way but rather the harder and more rewarding one.
Encouragement. I’m a (former) teacher. It’s what I do.
Then, the moment of humility. The epiphany. Some of the encouragement I sent out into the world came back and SMACKED me in the FACE!!
That made me realize something: I, too, am not alone in my endeavor! As I scour the Internet in search of more and better ways to market my work, as I sit at my computer re-writing the next book and as I log on each day to check my sales I am NOT the only one doing so!
So. My fundamental error: I intended to TAKE from my colleagues any and all information I could to help myself. As a mathematician and math instructor I always told my students ‘… The difference between a math STUDENT and a math TEACHER is that we all make mistakes. You, the student, have the opportunity to learn from mine. In fact, I’ll give bonus points to anyone who actually manages to make a mistake I didn’t.’ (And I would have but no one ever did 😉 )
My fundamental learning: I may not be an expert at this ‘indie author’ stuff. I may NEVER be an expert but I WILL keep trying and I WILL keep learning. As I do I’ll blog about it. If, by some chance, my posted words are some help to someone somewhere then TAKE THEM and GO WITH IT! Whatever I can give I gladly will.