Committing to learning is a lifelong dedication that shifts your mind and outlook on life. I read a quote online that I can’t recall where from. Unlucky for me, it was from one of those doom-scrolling, ludic loop moments where you get trapped after squeezing your brain dry all day (in my case, some complex design projects). Still, it was a good photo of a book, cropped down to a single line that went like this:
“You are never fully invested in something if you have full confidence in it.”
The statement resonated with me, considering some of the massive overhauls I’ve been doing with my online book marketing, design business, and life direction. How’s that for some vagueness? We’ll dive more into these topics:
Welcome to Another Edition of Unprocessed Thoughts
Like most people over the pandemic, I shifted focus to online sales due to the great world shut down. In my case, book signings, book launches and conventions were no more. This was okay for me because I have a background in the web design industry. I’ve also been learning how big-time indie authors recommend spending their time marketing which I am continually shifting to. Adapting is partly why I did not attend the Calgary Comic Expo this year.
Let’s get back to that quote we opened with. As I said, I have no idea where it came from and if you do, let me know either in the comments or by email because I’m curious. It brings up an interesting point because, as writers, we are fully invested in our craft when we finally complete that manuscript. Finishing a project shows commitment.
Growing is vital for your craft, writing, or any form of artwork. The idea of success and fulfilment with writing varies for every writer. Some writers want craft recognition, others only want to sell a few thousand copies, and others want to go big. This is where confidence becomes a double-edged sword.
Confidence. Ups and Downs.
If you’re confident in something you’re doing, you can take risks, showcase your work better, and open the doors to more opportunities because you’ve shone your abilities and can produce results.
On the flip side, confidence can lead to arrogance, cockiness, and the inability to learn. It can cloud you and your judgement, leading to poor decision-making, especially as years go on and the industries change.
Confidence can also rot your mind, leaving you stuck in your craft, and you become a one-trick pony for an indefinite amount of time until you’re committing to learning once again. That is where the total investment comes in.
Instability is the Constant
Having some confidence is a perk if you remain humble and know when to return to the role of student. Personally, I think we should be lifelong students to exercise our minds, living a fulfilling life, but that’ll derail us into a life philosophy topic.
We are continually growing and changing physically and mentally throughout our time alive, whether we like it or not. Life throws new curveballs at everyone. There’s one constant in life, which is instability. Continually being curious about the world and being willing to learn will keep you engaged, humble, and able to adapt to change.
An Adaptive Mind is Committing to Learning
Artists of all types, or entrepreneurs, must stay light on their feet and pivot quickly to keep up with our ever-changing world. I discussed some of these points in last month’s Unprocessed Thoughts with The Dark Side of Contracting. To expand upon that, we writers are always trying to find new readers. There are millions of them worldwide, which leads to the question: how do you find these people?
The methods change, and one thing will work for some months while some methods remain solid for years. A dramatic example would be referencing the conventions again. They were great for building loyal readers until they all closed in 2020. Many authors can adapt and return to the conventions now that they’re opening again. Sometimes being adaptive means going back and revisiting something with a fresh lens, and I’ll loop it back to the previous statement, which is committing to learning and not letting confidence cloud your mind.
I’m kind of a cliché where every year, around December and January, I reflect upon what worked well and what didn’t work well with writing and marketing that year. There are always ups and downs and things I can improve upon.
My marketing re-configuring has been a slow grind with the massive influx of contract work this year. However, I have drastically changed a lot on the backend with automation, tools, and marketing philosophy. It’s phase one. Phase three is profit. Phase two? Who knows? South Park reference aside, re-configuring the systems and my own mindset lets me change how I market my writing online and ultimately reach more readers who will enjoy the stories.
This goes back to committing to learning which sometimes means taking a hard look at yourself in the mirror and asking what you can trim and grow from. Thus, I put on the student hat and picked up some books to re-evaluate my writing and marketing, breaking from the slump.
The newsletter is part of the revamp that I have been working on over the past couple of months. Some of the other books I chatted about in March’s newsletter gave great insight into online marketing. I will explain more about these in the upcoming newsletter, so be sure to sign up if you haven’t.
The personal example covers the first overhaul, online book marketing, which I mentioned initially.
My design business? Well, I want to focus more on design and less web. I also wish to grow and expand my design skills, working on even more cool projects. This ties into the third overhaul, my life direction. It’s taking a new angle this year. More on that later.
Stay Humble by Committing to Learning
That headline, along with the quote at the beginning of this blog post, sums up the whole thing, and we could have saved about 1,000 words. There’s no fun in that, though, is there? We got graphical icons, subsections, and elaborations on the quote. Either way, we can call it a day and grab a beer. Speaking of a beer, for this month, I tried . . .
Beer Note: Zero Issue Brewing Tartarus Dunkelweizen
For this month, I tried out Calgarian-based Zero Issue Brewing’s Tartarus Dunkelweizen beer, which features artwork by Phil Piercy. I haven’t tried a Dunkelweizen before, and in the spirit of staying curious, thus I did.
I quite enjoy it! Easy drinking and not too potent with a 5.1% alcohol volume making it all about the flavour. It’s something I’d have again sipping on my balcony.