This is not a social media self-quiz about which member of the Rolling Stones you're most like. I seriously want you to think about what kind of boulder you are.
In my teens, I was part of a youth group that went to Leadville, Colorado to help with public works projects. While on a break from our work at a local reservoir, we found ourselves on a rocky embankment where loose boulders from the previous spring’s thaw were dangerously deposited on the slope. One of my friends gave one of the smaller boulders a shove and sent it down the embankment. The boulder glanced off several other rocks during its descent. Due to its size, just about every rock it hit changed its path down the mountainside. Halfway down the hill, it hit one much larger rock and came to an abrupt stop.
Two friends managed to start a larger rock down the embankment. The path of this medium-sized boulder remained straighter as smaller stones were knocked out of the way. It finally hit that big boulder that had ended its sibling’s descent. It also came to an abrupt stop. You can probably guess what happened next.
Several of us attacked a still larger boulder and, because it was dangerously perched on the hillside and needed to be helped to the embankment’s base, so that it wouldn’t be a danger to hikers and others—yes, that is the story I’m sticking to—we managed to send it down after the first two rocks.
Its path was the straightest of the three. Nothing could change its trajectory. Smaller rocks and even medium boulders were moved from their spots. Many started their own descent down the embankment, causing even more rocks to join in the rocky cascade. The larger boulder that had stopped the two other rocks from reaching the bottom took a direct hit and shuddered from its a resting place. Then the two continued down the hillside together, taking a hundred or so smaller rock bits and boulders with them to the bottom. Teen testosterone nirvana!
For some writers, it’s easy to let any excuse for a diversion slow or stop their progress. Whether it’s a lack of confidence or fear of the unknown, so many authors are like those smaller rocks that let others change their path and future. Even those authors with some momentum and drive can be stopped by a single bullying boulder—maybe that first criticism that makes them wonder if their book is good enough or will sell even a single copy.
A confident author, armed with a better book product that’s been professionally prepared to launch in the bookselling marketplace, is like that last, large boulder going downhill. Not only does nothing stand in their way to a safe destination, they cause others to join the movement and affects great change for the benefit of all.
I’m not suggesting you merely throw your weight around or bully others. I am confident that your publishing process will empower you with the confidence you need to find allies and influence others in the most positive ways. When you start thinking of who your book can help or entertain, and start mining natural connections to your target audiences, you’ll be better prepared to start your own landslide of marketing and information.
Positive feedback and word of mouth grows like a landslide. Readers that you’ve not met or reached will hear from those you have, and join the flow. The more feedback you receive and the greater your results become, the more confidence you’ll have. The rush of creating such impact for others can be very gratifying. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle that you’ll want to repeat again and again.
What kind of boulder will you be? I hope you won’t allow any resistance or delay to stop you in your tracks. Prepare well, and confidently head down the mountain, picking up momentum and a following as you go. Redbrush is here to help when you need a nudge.