Monday, February 27, 2012
And, yes, I have already promised this author I will review her book when I finish reading it.
This author's repeated reminders have reminded me that I have a tendency to put other people's needs before mine, which has made me think about my priorities. When I felt guilty that I was letting the author down by not hitting her publicity push, I stopped and thought about it. To meet her publicity push, I would have to sacrifice my own writing projects. To accommodate her needs, I would have to put two of my writing projects on hold and concentrate on reading her book and then writing the review. I asked myself if the author would do the same for me. When the realization that she wouldn't whispered quietly in my ear, I decided it was time to reassess my priorities. I thought about it and decided my work needed to take priority. For the first time in my life, I put my work above helping someone else meet success.
As soon as I realized I wasn't willing to sacrifice my work to help someone else, both the guilt and the pressure lifted. I will review the work when it fits my schedule without sacrificing my work. If this author is the professional she professes to be, she will respect my decision to treat my work with the respect and professionalism it deserves.
Other people don't sacrifice their work to support mine, and there's no reason I should sacrifice mine to help them be more successful. I need to respect and value my work as much as, perhaps even more than, I respect and value other people's work. Sometimes in my desire to help others, I forget this.
So today I am making a commitment to myself. From this moment forward, my writing and my life take top priority. Supporting others is still important to me, but I will no longer sacrifice my writing in order to help others. I will still support, encourage, and promote my fellow authors just not to the level of placing a higher priority on their success than on mine. And I refuse to feel guilty about giving my work the priority, respect, professionalism, attention, and love that it deserves.
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.