The idea for this post occurred to me this morning as I was moving through the process of releasing the digital version of my new book, “Internet Marketing for the Rest of Us: Your In-Depth Guide to Profitable Popularity” – since offering this last night, people are already having huge shifts in their thinking and their approach. (You can get your copy here)
Anyway, I was thinking back to the cycle of creating this book and how I came to be where I was last night.
You may know that I wrote the book in 25 days in January 2013. You may also know that it’s been just about two months since then, and the book has already been edited, laid out, designed, and presold. With all this activity, there hasn’t been much time to fret over whether the book is good, or not. (Though all early readers have been very positive.)
What I also realized is that, in the act of writing a book, or developing a program, or conceiving a product, there comes a point where we no longer own what we create.
Now, I’m not talking about in the legal or materialistic sense- of course, if you create something, it’s legally your intellectual property, you own copyright, and so on. You, too, like me, expect that you will be compensated for your efforts to create whatever it was. All that is clear.
What I’m actually talking about is the idea that the very act of creating something new means that you have given form to a new entity. This new entity didn’t exist before you, but it will, likely exist aside from you. By giving it form and life, you have created it.
But that doesn’t mean you own it. You can’t hold it back and control it when it’s time to let it go. You can’t manage how it will be received. You can only wait and hope that what you wanted to convey actually was.
You have to give time for your ideas to take root and for people to understand what you want them to know.
In essence, your creation plants a seed, and you have to give that seed the proper environment to grow.
I bring this up because I know there are many of you who create beautiful and meaningful things, but you find it very difficult to release them into the world, because either you fear criticism, you’re very perfectionistic, or you worry (secretly) that the deepest sharings of your heart just aren’t that good.
I have all those voices too. This is my fifth book I’ve written, and it’s the one I’m most proud of so far. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t go through a period of angst and uncertainty as the draft was coming to a close and I was contemplating sharing it with other people.
I definitely felt moments where I wanted to keep the writing close and safe from anyone who might criticize, judge, or just not understand.
In fact, I even felt worried when I asked some of my closest friends to read it- I felt shy and vulnerable once I knew they had it in hand.
And now, as I move into selling the book with more focus, I realize that I’ve done all I can in the act of creating it. I’ve given it my best thoughts, my best care, and my best attention.
Now it’s time to send it into the world, and let it express its own life force and destiny.
That is the true cycle of creation, and the wisdom of understanding that just because you create it, it doesn’t remain only yours.