So here I am all pumped up about moving forward on my children’s book, Feeling Loved, A Ted E. Bear Story. I love editing the words. I’m loving the pictures and imaging the pictures yet to be created (thanks Isella!). I’m loving hearing my friends talk about how they love it, how their kids love it, how school children love it. Happy times!
As I’m laying out the words on the back cover, a thought comes to me. An endorsement on the back would be great. A name pops into my head. It’s been 14 years since I met this famous author. In fact, many years ago she handed me her manuscript. (She and her husband self published and sold millions due to the popularity of their books.) I made a reconnection through email and she responded immediately. She was happy to read it and share it with her grandchildren. Perfect.
And then I make the classic mistake; I get out of the “love” boat and free flow of consciousness and into business-PR mode. Having run my own PR business, promoting world leaders, authors, experts, celebrities and non-profit organizations for 20 years, it’s pretty easy to fall back into it. I thought, I need to get more endorsements!
Who do I know? Lots of people. But who cares about children and empowering them? Whose endorsement would make a difference to a prospective reader? I recall authors I read and admire, but don’t know personally. I did take a writing workshop with one of them, so maybe she would be interested.
So I write an email asking permission to send my book. I am met with an email from an associate who explains this person is too busy to look at people’s manuscripts. Ok. First I think it wasn’t too warm. Then I imagine, when I’m really busy like her will I take the time or have the time to read other people’s manuscripts? How would I respond? I ponder on this.
I make a second attempt to reach out to another famous author whose adult and children’s books I love. An email comes back saying the author doesn’t read unpublished work so as not to inadvertently use someone else’s work. Seems fair. Feels better than the first response, but I’m taking it all in as “lessons” in how I will handle such requests.
I go back to people I “kind-of know” and write to another author with whom I recently connected and got an enthusiastic, send me a copy, request. Yippee. Back in the love boat.
But now the insecure part of me starts worrying about “not hearing back” yet from my contacts. Funny, I’m not worried they won’t like it, but about being ignored. Am I just “waiting” for their “approval?”
I woke up this morning realizing I had inadvertently gone into murky waters of the pond called “looking for someone else to validate who I am or what I’ve done.” I know, long name for a Pond. We’ll just call it POV, Pond of Outside Validation. And a rather dis-empowered “POV or Point of View” it is.
The trouble was not in seeking endorsements, which is actually helpful for an author. It was giving away the power of my mood, my joy, by depending on someone’s reaction, or validation. Great insight for today. So, whether or not I get positive feedback or none from these folks, I still LOVE my book.
And I love the process of developing it and seeing it’s perfect unfolding. I imagine getting positive feedback from lots of readers young and old. And it feels good, not because they will be validating me, but because I will know I brought them some joy.
And that’s the real point of it all my writing. My validation comes me, from knowing I’m doing what I am meant to be doing, and knowing it is the right thing for me to do.
Are you giving away your power or joy waiting for someone else to give his or her approval? How can you validate yourself? How can you stay in the “love boat?” Love to hear your thoughts!