I have been well-and-truly sick for several days, and it's been a blessing. The enforced hiatus has allowed me to realize that I've been pounding compulsively on a single track for months now—and for me, that's never a good or healthy thing.
The track I've been on is, as you all know, re-releasing Speak Right On. I feel loved that so many have been enthusiastic about my efforts and outcomes. And I'm proud of it, proud that it's back in print; I believe it's a good thing.
But I tied re-releasing the book to this holiday book sales idea, and that's where things went haywire and I came down with marketing fever, the symptoms of which include:
- Not quietly sitting and reflecting on my day, my actions, my interactions
- Not reading anything that isn't advice on marketing
- Not really listening to and participating in my husband's ideas and activities
- Not initiating a conversation that isn't task/goal oriented
- Not walking the dogs or taking a walk
- Not maintaining my afternoon time with the cats
- Not calling my friends and family, just to say hi
- Not taking a scenic drive to see our amazing aspens turn golden or even noticing the sunsets through the window
- Not filling the birdfeeders, no less bird watching
No wonder I got sick!
So what's my new outlook for the next, nearly two months remaining of the holiday sales season: Bah Humbug! I read an article today that convincingly asserted that all marketing is about getting a reaction. Hmmm. But the fine print was about getting a reaction that leads to sales.
I sat back and quietly asked myself: what reaction do I want?
- Ideas to be stimulated
- Voices to be listened to
- Conversations to be sparked
- Lives of all creatures to be exercised freely and joyfully
- Relationships to be strengthened
- Compassion to be buoyed
- Experiences to be shared
- Connections to be discovered
- Birdfeeders to be filled, and birds to be watched and admired
It's this experience I want to share now: don't make yourself sick. Stop. Just stop and take a moment to quietly reflect on your day, your actions, and your interactions. What questions have arisen during the day that you'd like to explore? Who comes to mind when you think of picking up the phone?
And don't forget to fill the birdfeeder. You'll be so glad you did.