A Letter at Launch Time (from My Vulnerability to Yours)
I sent out a letter of the same title to my mailing list this week… someone responded saying “I thought vulnerability was a good thing,” which made me laugh. I’ve always considered my vulnerability a weakness. It’s the thing that stands between me and being out in the world.
It’s the opposite of the toughness that I feel is needed to work successfully as an entrepreneur.
The irony of living my dreams is that my livelihood depends on what scares me most. Launching. My. Work. Again. And again.
It requires me to step into my absolute vulnerability…
Right now I should be writing you a compelling sales spiel on my very first, and very flagship e-course: Be Your Own Publisher: a beginner’s guide to self-publishing success. It launches next Monday, 23rd February at a special early bird price.
I am uber-proud of this course. It’s taken me a year to compile. It contains over 90,000 words – plus audios, videos, worksheets… And it’s not JUST all the practical stuff you’ll need… but all the emotional support and encouragement too.
I should be eagerly telling you all about the free author interview series where you get to hear six of my favourite writers share their insider’s story of writing, launching and selling books, finding publishers and doing it yourself. (I really would LOVE you to join us, I am giving away SO much free content when you sign up, including Module One of the e-course, Welcome to the Revolution…)
Putting together the author series was by far and away my favourite part of the whole process – none of the normal telesummit fluff, but real heart to heart conversations between passionate writers, creative souls and human beings of deep integrity. These conversations filled me up with goodness… and I know they will do the same for you too… if you accept the gift.
It feels like launches should get easier… and yet they don’t seem to. Because each thing I launch is the biggest thing I’ve ever done. Each requires me to be so far out on my growing edge I feel like I’m going to fall off the cliff.
My body is shaking. My belly feels soft and vulnerable. I want to reach as many people as possible… but have no interest in doing the hard sell.
A lot of people charge a lot of money to give you the perfect launch plan. Tactics and techniques are great. But they often totally whitewash the emotional truth that is the very largest part of it for most of us: when you launch you have to co-habit with … and overcome your darkest demons. The “am I good enough, have I made an idiot of myself, will I pay for all the time I put into it… oh yes, and am I good enough” brigade. Which eat sensitive creative souls for breakfast.
This is why a significant (and unique) component of the Be Your Own Publisher e-course focuses on supporting writers and self-publishers with all the doubts, fears, and blocks that can emerge at different parts of the process – from starting writing, to writer’s block, to marketing for introverts, dealing with that feeling that you’re not a “proper” writer… and all that jazz. Including the launch time terrors. Cos I know them from the inside.
Sure I tell you how to format a Kindle and how to make the most money from your book, I tell you your ISBN from your BISAC, how to rock Amazon and get endorsements. ALL the practical stuff you need. Because the techie stuff can cause terrors too. And stop us in our creative tracks. At the heart of it all is you, the open-hearted, vulnerable creative soul… and EVERYTHING you need to share your voice with the world.
Because that matters most of all. It matters that you can find a way to overcome your fears and blocks and lack of technical understanding so that YOUR VOICE IS PART OF THE CREATIVE REVOLUTION REMAKING OUR WORLD.
You see the biggest thing I have learned over the past few years is that the lie that anxiety tells us is that we are alone. That it is us against the world. That we are unsupported. Unloved. Unloveable. Not good enough. This is the fear that reawakens when we sit to write. And at launch time.
But this time I take deep comfort from KNOWING that I’m not alone in this – that so many people have my back and are helping me on… that includes you. So thank you. Do join us for the author interview series, where we talk creativity and keep it REAL. As always. Your presence matters to me… it’s my way of giving back to you for your support. (And the first 200 people signed up are entered into a draw for the Pro version of the course, worth $499…but hurry, as there are already 100 people signed up so far.)
Let me finish with a “Letter at Launch Time” which is part of the Self Care for Self-Publishers module. It was a real letter I wrote to my brother, an actor, as he was preparing for the premier of his first big film (The Theory of Everything) – which has since scooped dozens of awards.
I’m going to read it through myself too. I need it right now.
This is just a quick note to you at launch time to say congratulations. Take some time to celebrate.
But also… I know just what a rollercoaster it can be.
Some people love rollercoasters.
Me… not so much. They make shake and want to puke. And run away.
I often find launch time can be really tough – people expect you to be all happy, and you’re getting what you always wanted… and yet it never feels like how you thought it would.
Everything’s churned up inside and actually you are feeling vulnerable, nervous, worried if it’ll be a success, if people will like it, will they like you?
You look again at your work, the creative baby you’re been gestating and the mistakes jump out as though they have claws. They rip at your heart. Shit, I should have done this and that, this bit is crap… all that.
You’re on show… with no way of bringing you off show. You’re very public… and you might not want to be. And nobody really gets this feeling of being famous but not famous at the same time… not as famous as you thought you would be. Not selling as many copies as fast as you had hoped. Or perhaps it’s taking off too fast, and you feel sucked in behind the momentum, ungrounded and out of control.
And then there’s the thought of what comes next…. and that so much of it relies on other people liking and wanting you and buying your work… and try as you might you can only admit that you’re not in control… It all feels very scary, the up and down of money, the busy for three weeks solid without a break and then nothing. The chasm of nothing. And what comes next.
It’s not all in your head. Your body is in on the action. Too much adrenalin and anxiety. Sorry to be boring but make sure you’re getting lots of sleep and take adrenal support vitamins and don’t underestimate high sensitivity – the thing that is your super power, that enables you to do your work, is also your biggest disability – creative souls need to learn uber self care. See this post for more.
Or maybe you’re loving it and all is fine. Lap it up. Ride the crest of the wave. And please teach me how it’s done!
Here’s to your success! You inspire me… and so many others. I love you.
PS Please do be sure to let ALL your writer friends know about the FREE author interview series. I really want it to inspire and support as many creative souls as possible. The first 200 signed up are entered into a draw for a place on the Pro version… we’re at 150 so far…