Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Stop deprioritizing...Indeed! (part 2)
A few days ago I wrote about how I'm working on re-prioritizing my wordsmithy (you can read that post by cutting and pasting this link in your browser: http://notthenewyorktimesbookreview.blogspot.com/2012/01/stop-deprioritizingindeed-part-1.html).
Part of re-prioritizing my wordsmithy is making the writing process itself a priority. Another part of re-prioritizing my wordsmithy is valuing the finished product.
When I was married, my writing took a definite backseat to almost everything else. Admittedly, part of this was because I often put it there. However, part of it was that I didn't feel as though my writing was valued by my spouse.
Years ago, after getting through a long and very difficult situation, I wrote some poems. Writing them was cathartic for me, as well as being a brief foray into writing poetry.
The year that I wrote them, I printed the poems on nice paper, bound them with ribbon, and gave them to friends and family for Christmas, including my husband. One friend said it was the nicest gift she received that year. As soon as my parents took off the wrapping paper, my dad took the poems into the back room to read by himself. My husband? He didn't read them at first. When I asked him about them, he told me he couldn't read them, so he put them away in a box. After a while I stopped asking. As far as I know, he never read them.
His not reading them made me feel as though my writing was insignificant to him, my feelings were insignificant, and that I was insignificant.
I know that I have deprioritized my own wordsmithy. And so have others. While that is painful when it happens, it is part of the writing life. I have to value my wordsmithy first. I cannot control whether others will value it, even if I tie it up with a ribbon.
It is hard and scary for me to put my writing out into the world, out there into other people's hands. Yet this is an important challenge for me to work on, another aspect of re-prioritizing my wordsmithy.
I wrote a book about seven years ago, 7 STEPS TO FINDING YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE. My husband at the time (yes, the same one who didn't read the poems) and I developed the ideas for the 7 areas of spiritual life over about 3 years. I developed the workbook concept and wrote the book.
One great thing happened early on with 7 STEPS TO FINDING YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE. The agency that trains drug and alcohol counselors in Oregon selected it as part of their curriculum for training drug and alcohol counselors in the state of Oregon. I am on their training panel, working with drug and alcohol counselors on how to use the book most effectively with their clients.
The book's exploration of 7 areas of one's spiritual life seems to work well with people in recovery from addiction. I didn't write it specifically to be used with people in recovery, though I am glad it is helpful for that population.
Other than that, I have not promoted the book much (there's that deprioritizing again).
For those of you new to the blog, I work at a bookstore where we've been given a challenge. We are to select a book that we think we can sell to customers, and our goal is to sell 100 copies of that title. There is no time limit, just the exhortation to do what we can (feature it with a blurb, talk to customers about it, let our co-workers know about it so they can talk to customers about it as well) to let customers who might be interested know about it.
I just finished selling 100 copies of the first book I chose. SCENT OF THE MISSING is a wonderful book by Susannah Charleson about her decision to get a puppy and train her to be a Search and Rescue dog.
This was a great choice. Puzzle's gorgeous face on the cover was an invitation to customers, people would stroke her picture and comment on her. I'd start talking to people about the book and people either became more interested in the book or they bought it. Right now we've sold over 100 copies! I was pleased that Search and Rescue was getting a wider audience, AND that I beat the 100 handsell challenge! SCENT OF THE MISSING was an easy book to sell.
My book doesn't have a cute dog on the cover (maybe I should have thought of that!), and may take a little more explaining to sell it. But if I can't sell it, who can?
Here's what I wrote for the blurb at work...
"Used by drug and alcohol counselors across Oregon to help those in recovery rediscover their spiritual lives, this book provides concrete examples and exercises for anyone exploring their spirituality. I should know. I wrote it."
Already since I've had the blurb and the book featured (less than 2 weeks), two copies have sold. (It took 3 weeks for one copy of SCENT OF THE MISSING to sell when I first started featuring it.) I'm glad to be on my way...re-prioritizing my wordsmithy!
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