This is my second installment of Fab Friday Finds. This week’s fab find is a post I read by Dan Blank on the role of shame in our lives. I decided to share a link to his post and add my personal experience on this topic.
Like you, I read a lot of blogs. How else can I keep up with changes in social media and the publishing world?
Last Friday, I read a wonderfully sincere post by Dan Blank titled Shame and Your Writing Career. The post focused on the fear and shame that can play a role in decisions writers like you make in how you practice your craft and pursue your writing career.
To illustrate his point, Dan Blank shared a moment of shame he had while working out with a new trainer.
His post got me thinking.
The Role of Shame in Our Lives
I know a lot about shame from a personal experience. I had a difficult childhood and instead of allowing myself to feel angry about it, I first had to feel the shame I had carried for decades in my subconscious.
Last week I listened to a number of TED talks featuring Brené Brown, an expert in vulnerability, empathy and shame.
Then, as serendipity would have it, I capped the week by reading the post by Dan Blank.
It made me think about the shame I have been feeling lately in my career.
The Genesis of My Recent Sense of Shame
You see on February 1, I fell and fractured my left wrist. It’s been a challenging journey with complications along the way. I don’t have full use of my hand yet, but I’ve tried my best to keep up with my obligations to you in the form of my blog and podcast.
It seems like a small thing, but to me it wasn’t. In addition, I started interviewing experts in the field because those posts take less time to produce.
You see there came a point when I had to relent.
Podcasts are a lot of work. In-depth blog posts take just as much time. And I found that trying to keep up my usual my writing and recording schedule while striving for a full recovery was causing too much stress in my personal life.
I needed to slow down.
Then I read the post by Dan Blank, and I realized that I was feeling shame because I wasn’t fulfilling a promise.
Going Against the Experts’ Best Advice
That promise was to publish and record my podcast every week.
It may seem like a small thing, but I worked hard in creating the podcast, marketing the podcast, and gaining momentum and listeners.
Then suddenly I slammed on the brakes and made the radical decision to publish every other week.
No one who publishes a podcast does that.
I went against every piece of advice podcast experts suggest.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Sometimes it’s okay to go against every experts’ best piece of advice via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Sometimes it’s okay to go against every experts’ best piece of advice via @CaballoFrances”]
As with blogging, once you make a commitment to a pre-established schedule you have to keep it no matter what.
Regardless of family vacations, the flu, or in my case a fractured wrist, I felt that no matter what I had to keep up my commitment to all of you.
As someone who has told you to blog at least once a week and to stick to your schedule no matter what, well, I felt a bit like a hypocrite. I felt ashamed.
My Decision to Be Honest with You
But I’m lifting the veil of shame now.
It’s excruciating to admit when you feel less than capable.
Frustration can enter your life when you are first learning about social media and self-publishing while trying to pursue your writing career. I’ve traversed those feelings just like you have so I understand.
And along the way, you can feel shame because you feel you may not write often enough, blog often enough, or know enough about publishing or social media marketing.
It can be too much at times.
Especially as an author entrepreneur, you have to know everything. You have to know how to write well, find the best designers, look for the best editors and get reviews from the most prestigious writers you can.
Then you have to enter the world of marketing. You think about publicists, you make your first attempts in social media, you read blogs and take online webinars to refine your skills.
It’s a heck of a lot of work.
And in this milieu of writing, publishing, and marketing, you think you have to push ahead, take more workshops, and read more blog posts all while trying to improve your craft.
It’s Okay to Take a Break
Today, I am here to send a different message.
It is okay to take breaks. It is okay to interrupt a publishing schedule.
It is okay to take a a month or two or three to reduce your stress, release some of your work to consultants if you can afford to do that, and reassess.
In short, it’s okay to stop, breathe and give your body and soul a chance to recover from any unnecessary stress you may be feeling.
You have to remember that some of these experts are working with a team. They have people to help them keep to a blogging schedule, assist them when their social media, work out the sound challenges in their podcasts, and create new graphics.
But you and I are different.
We’re author entrepreneurs, trying to do it all by ourselves.
So if there are days when you just can’t find the time to write, take another online webinar, or read one more post, don’t.
It’s a radical idea in today’s world for author entrepreneurs.
Reduce the number of social media posts for a month or longer. Tell your blog readers you need a temporary break.
Just never lose your connection to your soul, your sense of wellbeing, and your creative source.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Never lose your connection to your soul, your wellbeing, your creative source @CaballoFrances” quote=”Never lose your connection to your soul, your wellbeing, your creative source @CaballoFrances”]
Do you agree?
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About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.