I am a giver. It is in my nature. I would do anything I could to help someone in need. Not necessarily monetarily, but things like advice, or prayers, or any kind of other help is what I offer. And I generally do not ask of anything in return. Am I wrong? Am I cheating myself?
When I first started writing, I would ask this person or that person for advice regarding the process. In doing so, I would get taken for money or no one would really have time for me. So, I learned to do it all by myself. I researched everything regarding authoring a book. I learned about which fonts would be best to use. I compared distributors to know what kind of services they offered since I was a self-publisher. I figured out how to purchase the ISBN and contacted the Library of Congress to file for copyrights to my books. I looked at my own book collection on my bookshelf to determine which measurements would best suit my book dimensions. I had to figure out how I wanted my book cover. After being swindled out of more money, I decided to go the more professional, more expensive route instead of word of mouth (not always the best option). My husband helped me with editing both books instead of spending tons of money on the ‘experts’ (so if you see errors, my apologies). With that being said, I think the both of us did a pretty good job. But for the most part, figuring out the details on how to write and self-publish … it was all me. (Whew!)
I know how it was for me when I needed help. It was hurtful because the very people that I hoped would help me didn’t. So now, if someone were to come to me to ask my advice (and a few people have) on things like how to do this or that with starting a book, I will gladly answer – for FREE. I guess my thing is is that I appreciate those individuals who would even come to me for advice. Me! I am no one special. I don’t have degrees on how to write or any educational knowledge on how to self-publish. It was just God and I (and my wonderful husband, of course)!
Sure, everything I do is a learning process. Every day, there is something new, something different. And I choose to learn and absorb as much as I can with this slower than normal brain of mine. But one day, I sat back and wondered am I cheating myself by not charging folks for advice? Even though I spent many days and nights crying because I just didn’t know what I was doing? Even though I gave my own self anxiety/panic attacks? Even though there were plenty of days I wanted to give up because I felt defeated (and trust me, there were plenty of days)?
The answer … I promised God, while writing my first book, if I were to touch just one person with my writing, that would be all the compensation that I needed. And He gave me that one person along with so many more who were influenced by my message (mental health). You see, not only has He kept His promise, but I also kept mine, too. Sure, receiving monetary compensation would be wonderful – FANTASTIC! However, I am doing this for a purpose. His purpose. My purpose.
So, I guess I wouldn’t say I am cheating myself. I am blessed with exactly what I am supposed to have, and I won’t ever complain about that. And for the ones who trusted me for advice on their writing adventures – Thank you for trusting and believing in me!
Until next time … be blessed.