58 Comments

Thank you so much for this beautifully written and perfectly timed piece! I recently finished writing my first book (a novel) and am querying agents, and my oh my, does that bring up some inner darkness! I appreciate this reminder to stay curious and open and to embrace this as part of my creative path and my path toward greater self-actualization.

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Welcome to the querying journey. Boy oh boy do I relate. Twelve books written. Twelve years gone by. Hundreds of agent submissions. Many, many close calls, requests for full manuscripts, full reads, even multiple reads by one agent, lengthy praising emails, and yet, alas, at age 40, after all these years...still no agent. At this point I let go and am just focusing on Substack. My writing on here is growing so that’s good. Don’t give up. Keep writing and submitting!

Michael Mohr

‘The Incompatibility of Being Alive’

https://reallife82.substack.com/

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Jan 14, 2023Liked by Lisa Olivera

Lisa - your personal experience with self-promotion became a revelation about following our inner voices, and what erupts from that… our past experiences and decisions about showing up, misguided notions about trying to control ourselves and others to produce the “desired outcome” … which you recognize is actually fundamentally a self serving process.

You are looking at the darkness and integrating it back into conscious living, and I see that as a heroic act - because it gives each of us one more island to swim to, in which often seems to be endless turbulent waters.

I’m with you on this path. I want you to know I sobbed from relief reading your honest offering. Relief from loneliness, relief that others, like you, have sprouted from what I feared might have been barren in this culture we grew in.

Many Thanks!😊

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‘I inherited these messages and didn’t grow up seeing anyone I knew truly own, be proud of, and share openly and freely the gifts they held within them. Dimming was normalized’. Yesssss... Man, I can relate to this so much. This feeling of needing to stay small and not share your gifts. Going to sit with this one for a bit.

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023

Reading through this, I can't help but think of another story around it all - that I should have to do it all myself. That just because it's my gift that is being put out into the world, that it is all on me. What if...I showed up, shining my light AND others (especially those who benefit commercially from my gift) lifted away the curtains to help it be seen?

and p.s. I was so pleased when I stopped in at my local bookshop yesterday to pick up another book and my copy of Already Enough was there waiting for me :) (the library can finally have it's copy back)

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This post strikes such a deep chord, Lisa. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. You aren't along in your insight and musings. They resonate.

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Lisa, thank you for sharing and thank you for practicing self-promoting.

I loved the practices that you included.

This reminded me of one of my favorite quotes, written my Marianne Williamson "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." I won't put the whole thing as I'm sure you've heard it.

I'm also practicing YWA!

I looked at the "What's the Most Helpful Thing a Therapist Has Ever Told You?" and I wanted to share here... Two things that have helped in times of ideation, "I survive today for a chance to live tomorrow" and "If I choose to die today, I give up the chance of ever getting better."

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Thanks for sharing these thoughts, I needed to hear them:)

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Lisa, Your open style is a joy to read. My problem with self-promotion involves placing a dollar figure on my work. When I do, I am starting a negotiation as to the value of the work, and that is a negotiation I prefer not to have. You did an excellent job in this post describing your feelings and hurdles - beautifully done. My only upgrade would include a link to where to purchase the book. It may have been there, and I missed it. D

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Oh boy, another letter that got me where it matters - in the depths of my soul. I resonated so deeply with each one on the list. "Who am I to share my gifts with the world when someone else is already doing it...better?" is a question that runs around in circles in my mind. Another one is, in my belief, this need and craving for self-validation so I feel validated in my gifts, social acceptance for the creations, a weird stick to measure one's self-worth. I'm curiously noticing the discomfort and then practicing tender love and care to all the raw bits that need my attention. As always, thank you for your words. And congrats on the paperback. (I've yet to own a copy of your book.)

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Imposter Syndrome, yes! Common 🙌❤️

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Tears. Thank you Lisa.

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After weekly reflections from your way with words, I have started a Substack newsletter of my own called Structures so I am just noting here that your words are not just words that I or we in your community read and process, but seeing so many comments in this thread showcases that your words help people move forward into action.

Thank you for being my weekly nudge to be a better version of myself.

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Awesome. Glad you started a Stack 🫰🔥❤️

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I'm also doing the 30 days of yoga. I began regularly practicing (mostly) daily last year and yoga has had a profound impact on my mental and physical health.

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This is exactly what I needed to hear/read today. Very insightful when you spoke about how the discomfort is not really about you, rather patterns that turned into beliefs. So true for me. Thanks for helping me embrace this journey of self-promotion or self-celebration as very ambiguous at times and what it means to go for it, to do it anyway. My first book is coming out in April of this year and I am super excited and grateful. And, I also don't want a big celebration that most people do with their first book. Trying to find what it looks like to celebrate anyways, while letting it feel like me.

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There were so many years where I felt like I had to do some sort of "aw shucks, it was nothing, I'm just here to be your pal" self deflection whenever I posted any kind of self promotion, and finally the past few years I've realized all this people pleasing and making myself small is not, in fact, serving anyone.

When my most recent book came out a few months ago, I sent out a newsletter promoting it, and someone unsubscribed, and took the time to write a reason for unsubscribing which was this: "Today's email was too obnoxious for my tastes." I'm proud to say that rather than take that as a knife in the gut ("oh no, the people think I'm obnoxious!") my first thought was, "how...interesting." And then: "she must be going through some stuff, to feel so much about my post, to take the time to write this response to me."

Ultimately, that's where I am. I still want people to like me! I still want people to love my books! But if I show up fully as myself, and do the work of writing the best book I can, and I know I did my best, then I can't control other people's reactions. Some people will still think I'm obnoxious.

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Nothing wrong with self-promo, as long as you keep people in mind as full human beings versus just commercial shills to be exploited for money. Ya know?

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Yes, exactly!

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founding

I’m so proud of you and the work you’ve done. So amazing. Thank you for this wonderful message ❤️

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You said: 'The discomfort of self-promotion doesn’t mean my work sucks, or my gifts aren’t real, or my offerings aren’t valuable. It means I have remembering to do.'

And, gosh, that hit home so much :)). Thank you for this post. I just started promoting my work and it sure feels uncomfortable. Congrats for doing it anyway! <3

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I almost missed this but I’m so glad I didn’t it. I will be integrating this into my practice of being alive too

UNRAVELING FROM THE NEED TO BE FOR EVERYONE AND FINDING SAFETY IN BEING FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE, WHO CONSENT, WHO

OPT IN, WHO ENJOY, WHO LOVE, WHO CONNECT... IS MY PRACTICE.

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