Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Worthiness Wednesday #83: plant a seed but grow roots
In my Sunday list of gratefuls, I mentioned how inspired I was by Pia Jane Pijkerk's efforts to self-publish her book. Like many, I adored My Heart Wanders and have since followed her story with interest. I was partly attracted to her hallmark style and grace and partly intrigued by her innovative campaign. (I gather pozible has been around for a while, but it was the first time I'd come across it.)
Then, I read her update. With a week to go, she had only reached half of the AUD $30,00 required to launch her project. As planned, she contacted various luminaries of the blog style world. To her surprise, she was mostly ignored, dismissed and rejected.
What happened next should probably have been less of a surprise.
Although I do not have anywhere near Pia's profile, let alone a best selling and highly regarded book under my belt, I can say that could completely empathise with her experience. And I'm willing to bet that you know what she's talking about too.
You know that thing when you think, If I send it to her and she blogs about it, then I've got it made. Or If I make friends with him then I'll get to hang out with them and then I've got it made. Or If I sign up to her e-course/retreat/whatever, then chances are she'll introduce me to her publisher/agent/licensing company/whomever and then I've got it made.
In my experience, it's more likely that the person will never respond to your email. Or they will, and they'll half-heartedly agree to whatever it is then never follow through. Or they'll let you do that guest post or whatever, but make a point of not supporting it in the way that every other guest post has been supported (with tweets, mentions, kind words, maybe even a thank you) so that the whole thing ends up feeling like an embarrassing anti-climax. Or you'll meet in person and realise that although it feels like you know heaps about that person from their blog, you're not actually friends and they really couldn't give a shit about you.
Sounds harsh, I know, but the point I'm making is that the big players are not really where it's at.
Because the ones that will always show up (or, at the very least, show an interest) are the ones who are truly in your corner. The ones who are just like you. The ones who are still making their way, haven't yet cracked the "big time" or maybe -- wow -- have no aspirations in that regard. The ones who read your stuff and go Wow! That is so me right now. Your grass roots, if you will.
That's exactly how Pia's project got off the ground. She posted on instagram how devastated she was that her project was looking unlikely to fly, and why, and her grass roots troops rallied. They posted incredible stories like this one. They tweeted, they facebooked, they interested, they whatevered.
And they sent her a juicy big message: We get you. We want you to succeed. Your creative project is worthy of our support.
You are worthy of our support.
I invite you to plant this seed so that the next time you need help with something, you will remember. It's only human to hope that a shortcut via an influential contact will be the thing that gets us there, the thing that makes us. But the truth is -- however daunting and exhilarating it may seem -- is that we are what makes us.
Together, we make us. Our grass roots kindreds and our vulnerable hopeful selves.
We are worthy of this glorious, freeing truth.