why you need to start marketing your book before it's published

You have a story to share with the world. A story that will breathe life into the people who read it. The thing is, it’s not quite ready to publish yet.

So you put your head down and write and rewrite and edit and revise. When you finally have a beautiful book to share with the world, where are the readers? Are people eagerly waiting for your book’s release? Are they as excited as you are that your book is available to them to read?

They should be.

And they will be if you have prepared them.

It’s never too early to begin building readership. Before writing a first draft or even an outline, you can begin to build relationships with people who will eventually buy your books.

Good marketing is exactly that — building relationships. If there are people in the world who want to read the sort of book that you are writing, you have a responsibility to find them and tell them how they can get their hands on this book! Marketing is not a necessary evil, it’s a gift to your readers.

Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about marketing your work. The right way focuses on the readers, and the wrong way focuses on yourself. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing more on this topic. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it! I’ll also send you a guide that I wrote: {3 ways to stay inspired when you don’t feel like writing}

how to eliminate the possibility of failure

When was the last time you learned something new just for fun?

I’m not simply asking,
when was the last time
you tried something new that was fun.

I mean just what I ask:
When was the last time you tried something new
for no other reason but that you felt it would be fun?

This isn’t something I do naturally.
If you ask me what I do for fun,
you may just stump me.

I like practicality
and I like results.

It’s a discipline for me
to do something fun -
to find joy in the process.

But as I have developed in this discipline
I have found it very rewarding;
even more rewarding than accomplishing a productive goal.

If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you try?

If you knew failure was impossible,
what would you attempt?

If you removed fear of failure from the equation,
what would you be brave enough to do?

What technique would you learn?
What new material would you use?
What new tool would you try?

Redefine failure.

It’s tempting to think that if you try a new technique
failure is not managing to use that technique like a professional.

But what if you defined your goal
not as “learning this technique”
but rather “trying this technique”?

What if you simply allowed yourself to experiment
and called it success if you experimented well,
ignoring the question of whether or not you became proficient.

When you’re trying something new,
expecting proficiency
is far too much.

The bravery of trying something new
is not in facing the pressure of proficiency,
but in simply attempting a thing.

Lean into the process of learning.

Forget proficiency
and lean into the process of learning.

Try something new
(that thing you would attempt if failure was impossible)
and do it for the sake of trying it.

Think of a child
learning to draw:
The first time you hand her a crayon
you do not expect her to stay inside the lines
or even to hold the crayon “correctly.”
No, this is a phase of exploration and experimentation.
You expect, and even encourage,
scribbles and awkward hand motions,
for in these she will learn
the basic mechanics of drawing
and eventually writing.

You do not call her first marks on the page
a failure
because you did not set out to expect
a masterpiece.

You set out to expect
a random doodle
and so, she succeeded,
and you praised her for it.

Every time you attempt something new,
you are that child.
Do not chide her for less-than-perfect work.
She is on a journey;
simply encourage her to stay on the path of discovery.

That is more than the average person would do.
Most prefer to stay in their comfort zones.
Praise your inner child when she steps out of hers!

Now you can’t fail, so try it!

Now that you understand that
the goal is not proficiency -
that success is not defined by the results,
but rather the process of experimentation -
what will you do?

That thing that came to mind
when I asked you
what you would attempt
if you could not fail?

Look at it from this new perspective;
redefine failure.

If failure is simply
failing to try,
then you are failing right now.

But you can stop.

Go try that thing.
Begin to attempt it.
That is the only way out of failure;
so long as you lean into the process of learning,
failure is impossible.

stress-free projects: finding joy in the journey

Why don’t you finish already!

It’s an all-too familiar feeling:
Pushed up against a deadline,
real or imagined,
the stress and pressure pushing you to
finish already!

Rushing through the process
to get to the finished product —
yet now that you hold it in your hand,
are you really happy with what you’ve accomplished?
I know I’m usually not.

Where is your focus?

The joy in the journey is diminished
when the destination is all you can see.

When your eyes are not on the road in front of you,
but instead straining to see beyond the horizon,
you are apt to stumble,
or at least stub a toe.

In the same way, when your mind’s eye gets too focused
on the futuristic finished product,
you are likely to slip up
or prick a finger.

Let your focus be on the moment you are in
that you may fully enjoy it.

How do you feel when you see what you’ve accomplished?

Think of the last thing you’ve made;
did you purposefully find joy in the process?
…or was it rather rushed?

How many times did you say to yourself,
“It’ll have to do!”
as you rushed past one poorly executed step
into the next hurried task?

This finished product that you now hold in your hands — do you love it?
Or does a vague sense of regret seep into you whenever you see it?

More than a few things I’ve made
carry in them memories of many make-do moments.
Maybe I do smile, knowing I did well…
but I also feel a little sad inside, knowing I could do better.

Mostly, I simply don’t have the same
beautiful memories and associations
that I do with other projects.

Choose joy in the journey!

When I see certain things I have made,
a peculiar joy washes over me.

I remember the exact moment
when I stitched that seam.
The particular day
that I pressed the hem.
I remember what I was listening to
as I placed a particular stitch,
and the silence as I focused
on a special detail.

I chose to create these things slowly and surely,
with minute attention to detail, and forgetting the concept of time.

I have learned to love
the process of seeing something come together
so much that when that process is over,
it almost makes me a little sad.

But then, or course, the end of one journey
may simply lead into the beginning of another.

Imagine a project so stress-free that you hate to see it end.

Imagine if you loved every single stitch
that you put into your next project!
How much more perfect
might each of those stitches be?

Imagine holding the finished object in your hand,
knowing it tells the story of a wonderful journey.
It would hold memories of so many
joy-filled moments of pleasure.

I know what it’s like,
because I have projects like that.

Stress-free projects that had no deadline,
or a deadline so far off it was easily forgotten,
so that I felt completely free to invest in the moments
without worrying how much time I was taking.

When I made myself forget
thoughts of time and deadlines,
and simply invested in the work at hand,
not only did I do better work,
but the work became faster!

Forget time. Choose to love the moment.

Let the very concept of passing time melt away
and lean in to the moment you are in.
Invest in the step in front of you
and you will be rewarded.

Love the present moment,
along with what you are doing in that moment.
It will be over and gone before you know it,
so love it now.

Go make something stress-free.
Something without a deadline
and without the pressure of perfection.
Maybe a simple little bag,
like the one in my free ebook:
{simple sewing skills}

If you take the time to enjoy every beautiful stitch,
you’ll not only learn to stitch beautifully,
but also to find joy in the journey.