“My whole life is hanging on the tiniest spider web of one email.”
That is what a writer said to me recently who was waiting to hear back from a literary agent. I thought that was an incredible way to describe the process of what it means to find success as a writer. To write. To publish. To connect your writing to readers. It can feel harrowing… like at every step you are confronted with a moment where your dreams will come true, or come crashing down.
My friend Jennie Nash is having a moment like that herself. I interviewed her this week to discuss a change she is making in her business at Author Accelerator. She was radically honest about how much is riding on this, and how complex the process feels.
From the outside, Jennie has been offering more and more resources for book coaches, culminating in her amazing The Business of Book Coaching Summit this week. But internally, she has been working for months and months to analyze how she wants her business to evolve, making some massive behind the scenes changes.
When I asked her if I could interview her about this she said “Yes, but let’s do it later in the year, when I know if everything worked or not.” I encouraged her to do what so many people shy away from: to talk about the creative risk she is taking while she is smack dab in the middle of it.
She agreed, and it is one of the most powerful discussions I’ve ever had in my podcast. She doesn’t hold back, and it is an inspiration for any writer or creator to hear. What she shares is the reality of being “in it” — the creative process. And all the risks that come with it.
It’s often a scary place to go to as a creator or business owner, and may be even scarier to hear as a client of that business. But it’s valuable to look these realities in the face. It’s the only way to ensure that the people you do business with are aligned with your values. Jennie is a person who values honesty and integrity, and she is also deeply committed to serving her customers and clients.
That communication is critical. This week I have been doing a free training series on social media for writers in a private Facebook Group that I run. What I find is that many writers are apprehensive of embracing social media for the same reasons that Jennie considered waiting to discuss her creative shift, and that the author at the start of the email felt as though her life was hanging in the balance of an email.
Because this business of being a writer — of finding a path to create and share — is not easy.
It is filled with emotional and psychological complexity. At every turn, even small decisions can seem to have profound implications for our creative work, and even our identities.
This is why I encourage writers to get involved in social media. To embrace it. Because it helps us do the things that matter:
- Share your experience of the creative process.
- Learn to communicate why you write.
- Understand who your readers and colleagues are way before a book launch.
- Connect with like-minded people who love the type of writing you create.
- Have fulfilling conversations that make you feel part of a community, instead of isolated and struggling.
To show up to your writing is a risk. To share that writing is a risk.To engage with others with why you create is a risk.
But but it is a risk worth taking.
Here are some resources to help you do so:
- There is still time to watch my free week-long series on how writers can best use social media. Just join my Facebook Group called “The Reader Connection Project” to get access to the 5 videos I shared, plus connect with the 1,000 writers there!
- Listen to my conversation with Jennie Nash: You Have to Risk it All: Inside the Harrowing Creative Shift of Jennie Nash
- Check out Jennie’s The Business of Book Coaching Summit.