Redefining Success: Reflections on my First Blog Tour
My first and possibly last blog tour is almost over. I’ve written 27 different posts for as many blogs, each one written to suit the particular blogger’s interests or focus, while also sharing something about my experience writing my book, and/or about my book. In addition, I’ve been doing a lot of social media outreach on Twitter, FaceBook, etc. It’s been an intense experience! It was fun to find that my energy level and creativity rose up to meet the challenge. I got very focused and met all the deadlines. And it was exhausting, too.
A couple of weeks into the tour, I had an unusual dream of pushing past a resistant barrier with all my might, and cranking up my will power to a new level of fierceness to banish that resistant force. This dream showed me that I had fallen into the grip of the “pusher,” the part of my superego that always demands more, and insists that I keep working endlessly. Social media is perfect for the pusher. There is always more one can do: more social media networks to join; more tweets, photos and posts to write and share; more retweets and shares to do for others. It truly is endless!
I got so stressed out, I was getting heart palpitations and went to the doctor to get my heart checked. (It is fine.) With the help of my counselor, I relaxed and regained my center. I was able to continue to work but from a grounded, balanced place. That certainly made it more fun!
Another trap I started to fall into was worrying about whether this blog tour was being “successful.” Friends kept asking me about this, meaning was the blog tour increasing book sales. So far, the answer is no. On the other hand, there certainly a lot more people who have heard about me and my book. With the giveaways that are a part of the blog tour, my book is in the hands of a bunch of people who otherwise wouldn’t have known about it.
Also, Tiffany H., a book reviewer, gave my book, Dark Innocence: Book One of the Star-Seer’s Prophecy, a great review.
“I gave this book 5-stars on Goodreads, and it deserves every single one of them. While this is a fantasy book, it is also so much more. … I could not stop reading this book. Not only was the story fantastic, but you could see each little step of self-healing, discovery, acceptance, etc. It made you think about all of the stories you hear about on the news, all of the children who have horrific childhoods and how they, too, need this journey to be able to live fulfilling lives as adults later on. It’s beautiful and sad and hopeful and inspiring. Can you imagine a world where we face our fears, take responsibility, and forgive not only ourselves but one another?”
I love this review, and not just because it is a 5-star review. More importantly, the reviewer clearly understands the message of my book, and this touches my heart deeply. So, what is “success” for me in regard to this blog tour, and my book? When I feel into this, what feels like success to me is:
– A warm, friendly feeling of appreciation
– A sense of community
– Gradual, organic growth, not sudden, overwhelming fame
– A feeling of sunshine coming out from behind the clouds
– Teary joy of readers truly understanding the message of my book
– People experiencing healing for themselves from reading my book
(as one reader shares here.)
– No rush, going at my own pace
– Being glad for each little success.
Long after I wrote the entire trilogy, I received that the purpose of my books is to help transform our inner and outer culture of blame, judgment, revenge and punishment into a culture of understanding, penitence, forgiveness and healing. The story came through me with its own karma, dharma and charisma. I can only do my best to offer it to the world, and to remain unattached to any quantifiable definitions of success.
I will be contemplating if there is a way to generate a community of healing and support, inspired by my books. If you have any inspirations or ideas about this, please let me know by commenting below.
Redefining Success for Yourself
What does success feel like to you? I suggest closing your eyes, relaxing and breathing for a little while. For the moment, set aside the outer definitions of success as fame or fortune. Let your heart open, and then feel into what success feels like to you. Write this down. Notice how you feel when you think of success this way vs. the ‘fame and fortune’ type of success.
I’d love for you to share what success is for you here. I’m sure we could all learn from each other, and help to redefine success in our culture.