Part 4 of my Self-Publishing Journey: Changing Mindset

It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything about my journey of self-publishing. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t mean nothing’s been happening. On the contrary, things have been bubbling away this end and the most important thing to have happened in the past weeks has been the least expected, an evolution on the mental rather than the practical level:

Changing my mindset.

Let me explain:

I am, first and foremost, a reader. Writing, for me, has always felt like a natural extension to this. I’ve always read and read and read, as widely as possible, and all these jumble of stories and characters that fizz and spin in my head make me want to create my own tales.

From A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers

So yes, I’m a reader and a writer. But here’s what I’m not:

  • A social media ‘natural’ (yes, I am on facebook and twitter etc but none of these are platforms that I naturally gravitate towards, perhaps with the exception of instagram, which I genuinely enjoy.) I truly don’t like spending any more time online than I absolutely have to.
  • A person who finds it easy to talk about their writing achievements. I’m getting much better at it, but, as an introvert by nature, it doesn’t come with a natural ease.
  • A business-woman. I have about as many business-minded bones in my body as a jellyfish.

From What Color is the Wind? By Anne Herbauts

HOWEVER (and this is a big however), I have spent all this time working on my novel to get ready for self-publication. But by very virtue of the fact that novel #3 has ‘self’ in the publishing process, unless I put myself into it, all this hard work will have been for…what? To pat myself on the back for completing another novel?

I’m aiming for a November 2017 publication and I want people to read my book. But the only way that this is going to happen is if I give it the time it deserves. I’m not talking about the writing or editing stages, processes I am very comfortable with. I’m talking about taking off my writer’s hat and putting on my business hat. I may not be overjoyed about this but…frankly, that’s just tough. I think it’s unrealistic to love every single part of our jobs, but we still have to pay attention to every part of our work. The business part, for me, is like pushing the cooked carrots to the side of my plate when I was a kid because I really didn’t want to eat them and yet, knowing, sooner or later, they had to be eaten.

Furthermore, just because I am not naturally drawn to something, does this mean I can’t come to like it, or change? Absolutely not. I’ve always believed in – and I’m sorry to slip into jargon – a ‘growth mindset.’ I used to believe I couldn’t run, because I’ve always hated it and plus I have a bad foot from an old injury. But now I’m running – not that far and certainly not fast, but the point is I’m doing something I always said I couldn’t.

I don’t have any photos of  me running! So here are my three children running along the beach on Lamu Island last year

The landscape for writers has changed enormously over the past decades and rather than seeing my own necessary involvement in getting my book out there as a trial, it’s time to see it as an opportunity. So I’m taking the plunge. Changing my mindset is just one step of my journey and I’m fairly sure it’s going to be far from plain sailing and moments when I’d rather just jump into bed, pull the duvet over my head and hide with a good book. But I take comfort from the fact that there are others out there who have had to veer way off their comfort-zone tracks to really make something of their books. And I have a stubborn streak, so time to put it to use.

How about you? Have there been occasions that you, or anyone you know, have had to change your mindset in order to make something work? I’d love to hear about them (writing or otherwise!).

If you enjoyed this blog post, read about how these women have overcome serious difficulties to become bestselling authors: Read Sara Alexi’s blog here and Louise Jensen’s blog here. If you missed Part 1, Part 2 + Part 3 of my journey, you can catch up with them.

My latest Amazon review for The Girl and the Sunbird:

‘This book is brilliant ! I could not put it down – but now I am sad that I have finished it. What a wonderful story and an excellent ending!’ Julie E Hancock


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