(by Christina Anne Taylor)
I just read an article about book promotion that got me thinking. It was an encouraging article overall, but I got hung up on the word “failure.” Let’s consider this:
Firstly, failure and success are relative and subjective measures, and while dreaming big draws the blueprint of possibility, dreaming big more often than not results in disappointment. If we always measure ourselves against the nearly impossible, then where is contentment? Take that dream property, for instance. We can fill in the visual details and hope that wishful thinking (perhaps “The Secret”) really does bring results, or we can spend life wanting that which the Fates have not woven into our life tapestry.
Secondly, is it about winning the race, or getting the prize? I suppose it depends on where our heads are. Materialists or people in need of money or recognition want the prize. Others are contented with simply winning their own personal “race” which is just fine at any pace. We can do extraordinary things without someone handing us a prize for it.
Thirdly, many of us feel the impulse to strive toward both quantity and quality in deeds, but we cannot always expect quantity or quality in results. Stuff happens. Life has its own zillions of agendas. An author might be doing a book-signing at one store when there is a big book sale down the street that swallows the crowd, or perhaps an author chooses a genre that isn’t popular and writes not for sales but for the love of expressive imagination. Maybe we just smile at the wrong people sometimes. There are countless external factors involved in all of life, and that includes book “success” (again, success being relative)…
Let’s try and settle more often for simply getting words in print, because “success” might come a hundred years from now when “the right person” is dusting an old library or sorting through boxes of books. Regardless, a published author’s mama is always proud.