I’ve always held reverence for the phrase ‘shifting my paradigm’ and this powerful concept, or phenomenon–you pick–and perhaps never more than now, as I continue on my journey as an author. The learning curve is steep, but there are three areas where I find myself letting go, of habits, ideas and priorities so I can make room for new ones, to lessen that grade.
3 Ways I’m Shifting my Paradigm as an Author
Becoming a ‘joiner’ – I’ve not always been a ‘joiner’, per se. Neither were my parents, and perhaps that rubbed off on me a bit. Often, I recall my father saying instead of joining the group, or the crowd, he was going the other way, to avoid it. I’m overcoming that attitude. I’m active on Twitter and Facebook and have ‘met’ so many interesting, knowledgeable, unique people. Also, in large part, by being a part of my publisher’s network of generous authors, many doors have opened to me. I recently met many of these amazing women at the RWA national conference. I find I’m becoming the one to join new groups, organize the meeting, and so on, and I’m enjoying being part of communities where I can both contribute and learn.
Letting go of guilt – I’m slowly overcoming the guilt that comes with truly enjoying my work – writing, and reading. Yes, it’s okay – even necessary – for me to read a book, not just for the craft, not just for expanding my marketing horizons, but to enjoy, to feed my muse and to absorb because I know it makes me a better writer. As a freelancer for many years, one of my favorite things to do was write magazine articles. I always enjoyed the interviewing process, and I’m doing that with my blog. Too, blogging is helping me find my voice; I firmly believe writing non-fiction contributes to writing better fiction, and vice versa. I’m also really ejoying the techie end of things – creating a website, social media and blogging – yes, I’m a bit of a techie geek. And yes, I really enjoy it. Guilt free!
Believing with my whole heart I’m a writer – And that includes the hats of freelancer and author. I’m walking the walk, talking the talk. And I won’t apologize for it. I’m all in. This isn’t a phase. This is my passion, and it’s a journey I want to be on until I die. I’m investing my time and efforts in learning, reading and practicing the craft, and building relationships with people that love to do what I love to do.
Some of my go to resources, to name a few: Tim Grahl, Rachel Thompson, Bri Clark, K.M. Weiland, James Scott Bell, and Katharine Grubb.
And I’m shifting my paradigm with an attitude of abundance – there’s enough for everyone to go around, and then some. Too, keeping an open mind is key.
Perhaps my father set the best example of that for me. When he was fifty, the steel mill in our town closed down, and suddenly, the restaurant that had supported our family for nearly fifteen years was in jeopardy. Eventually, our family sold the business and my father returned to his previous career as an English teacher. He had to go back to school to become certified, and he had to learn how to use a computer. Instead of turning his back on the challenge, terrified, feet planted in the ground the way I see so many people do, he met it head on and months later, wound up showing me something new with his word processing software.
I know that to grab ahold of one thing, I’ve got to let go of something else. That includes, in general, fear – fear I’ll make a mistake (made ‘em, going to make more) and the fear I have no idea what I’m doing (oh yeah, I’m making this up as I go along.)
I’m working on not taking myself so seriously. Can you tell? Still haven’t mastered that one. I feel like I have to keep reminding myself I’m not being graded. Yes, it’s okay to have fun.
And I am. For me, Michael Bublé sings it best in Feeling Good – “It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day, It’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good.”