Maintaining enthusiasm can be hard, even when you’re passionate, love what you do, and believe in yourself. It’s easy to get lost in all the tedious parts of your craft or be consumed by the ever present marketing of your work.
Creativity requires juice — hot, electric, and wet, but juice doesn’t come from a muse. No bolt of inspirational lightning will bring it on. It is not some magical genie that retreats into a bottle when the mood strikes. No, Creativity comes from the doing.
After I published Shaping Destiny, I spent most of my time trying to market the book. When I wasn’t marketing, I was checking my stats, my rankings, and googling the book to see if someone had reviewed it without my knowledge. This was a waste of time.
Don’t get me wrong, social media can be wonderful and I’ve met some amazing people and made some great friends via my time spent on line. It’s also a necessity, no matter what business you’re in, but it can also be a life sucking drain that saps every bit of creativity out of you.
Finally, shriveled and dry, on edge and snapping at my family, I forced myself back into a writing discipline. The effort resulted in Pipe Dreams and writing it, I was on fire again. What a rush. Oh my god. I couldn’t wait to write the next chapter, dreamed about it all the time.
When I launched it, I planned to do what I’d done with the first book. Market, market, market. Surprisingly, I got sick of hearing myself really fast. Then I remembered that life sucking feeling I’d experienced before and decided to slow down before it ate me alive. So I started the next book. I’m 18,000 words into it and, as I’m sure you know, there’s nothing like it.
Sure, I spend some time every day doing the marketing work, but I’m not letting it own me. Instead, I’m keeping my discipline and doing the real work — the work that makes me smile all the time. The funny thing is, I sell more when I’m making the next thing than I do when I’m marketing incessantly.
My enthusiasm is contagious. It sparks real conversations, inspires others, and feeds itself. So if you are finding that you can’t maintain yours, start working on something new. Get excited again. Be a kid. Jump up and down when something goes right. It’ll change your world. I know because it changed mine.
On a separate note, and because I’m really excited, I want to let you know that Shaping Destiny just took 1st place for inspirational nonfiction in the LuckyCinda book competition for Indie authors and small presses. Yippee! To celebrate, I’ve put Shaping Destiny on sale on kindle if you want to check it out. For a limited time, you can get it for 99 cents.
Now back to the original thought. What do you think? How do you keep your enthusiasm on over drive? What are some of your tricks for balancing creativity with the business side? Please share. I love hearing from you.