Have you ever noticed that sometimes we do get exactly what we want and it doesn’t seem as sweet as we envisioned? My book launch is an example of this. I spent 17 months writing, editing and finding a publisher for Cycing, Wine, and Men: A Midlife Tour de France. When I finally held the finished copies in my hand, I felt overjoyed! Anything seemed possible. I jumped into promotion with gusto, hosting events, appearing on TV and radio, writing articles. I was a one-woman dynamo.
My book made it to the top ten in two Amazon categories, I was named a finalist in the Indie Book Awards. I received invitations to speak at events. I felt great about the progress–but all of the effort came at a tremendous personal cost. I felt out of shape because I no longer had time to ride my bike or go for a jog. My then-boyfriend complained about how much time I talked about and worked on marketing my book. My heart wasn’t in my work and my day-job performance became lackluster. I had accomplished my goal of writing a book, making it a best seller and even winning an award. But it came at such a great personal cost that I knew I needed to make a shift.
So I did something radical. I stopped all the madness and took time to reflect on what I really wanted. What I knew for certain is that I needed more balance. I wanted time for friends and a relationship, time for working out, time for relaxing. So I got the balance first, and now I’ve started doing some book promotion again, though at a much more sane pace. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.
- Consider how achieving your goal will affect all areas of your life. We’ve all been led to believe that we can have it all. We can–just not all at once. When we really go for something in our lives, something else will likely have to give. I can’t be a top-notch cyclist, riding 50 or more miles several times a week and think I’ll have time to successfully launch a book. Know that you may have to put aside other aspects of your life to achieve your goal.
- It’s OK to readjust priorities. When I realized that my life was suffering because of my book promotion, I made the decision to take a step back and figure out what really mattered. Just because you shift gears doesn’t mean that you are a loser or a quitter. Sometimes we need time to decide what we really want.
- Consider a more realistic pace. I took on my book launch like a hare, racing around trying to make so many things happen all at once. I thought, “This is my one and only chance!” I’ve come to realize the wisdom of the tortoise. Slow and steady can take us to our goals. Progress unfolds day by day.