Last January I set a goal that I would sell 100 books in 2013. It didn’t happen.
This is largely due to the fact that for a significant part of the year, no one knew I had published a book. I hadn’t even begun to think about the work I would need to put in to let people know it existed. That I would need to figure out who might want to read my book and connect with those people. I hadn’t thought about attending conferences and leading discussions and collaborating with other authors. It never occurred to me to have a newsletter or to set up my own domain for my website (I’m not sure I even knew what that meant) or blog on a regular schedule.
I didn’t think about it being work. Hard work. I didn’t think about the fact that even when you love something – it’s still work. And some days I’d rather not show up. To be honest, some days I don’t. Some days it’s all just too much and I feel like a grain of sand amongst a million, trillion, bazillion authors vying for readers.
And then I think about the oyster – adding layer after microscopic layer to that grain of sand until it becomes a pearl. For years. And I realize that if I believe in that grain of sand, I have to keep putting in the work until it emerges all lovely and shiny. Until I hit my goals and move beyond them, even when it’s hard. Especially then.
So this year I’m going to be an oyster, and I’ll take steps every day (albeit sometimes very small ones) towards the thing I want to grow.
I sincerely hope you’ll do the same, with whatever it is that is your particular grain of sand.
(*Lovely oyster photo is from here.)