As the one year anniversary of Unfolding Life being published is fast approaching, I thought this would be a great time to reflect on the process that it took to get there. With any writing project, you soon realize that the actual writing is only a fraction of the whole process. Once you decided to put in the work it is a long road to getting there, but you will get there with persistence. It all starts with your motivation.
I need to confess that my motivation for publishing Unfolding Life was not simply to share my work with the world. It wasn’t because I thought that my skills at writing haiku were above average. And it certainly wasn’t to impress anyone. My original motivation for publishing this book of haiku was mostly for funding future projects. More specifically, I wanted to make enough from book sales to hire an editor for my next project.
This doesn’t mean that my book wasn’t the best work I could put forth. And it doesn’t mean that I just slapped it together without careful thought about each decision I made. I took the time and the effort to take the best writing I had at the time and make it into the best project I could produce. Of course as every writer knows, you produce your best work right after you send out a submission or publish a book. It happens every time, and it is what keeps you writing (or banging your head against a wall) until the wee hours of the morning.
After having a published work for nearly a year now, I understand that motivation is a big part of the whole process. Maybe if my motivation had been more about the work and less about the bottom line, I may not have slacked off on promoting it when I had to face the fact that my sales flatlined within days of publishing. I would have also tried to get more creative with my promotion—after all, there’s a whole big world out there and my promotions were strictly limited to online avenues.
Tomorrow, I’ll discuss the preparation that went into Unfolding Life and what the process taught me.