The Gentle, Authentic Creator…The Essential “Y” Questions

I was at a writing conference this past weekend. Well, it wasn’t exactly about writing, the conference primarily centered on publishing your writing.

For the actual writing part, they basically left that up to you and the ghost writer/editing team you may decide to hire once you realize writing is hard work and sucks a lot of the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, the one editor did say about 20% of the population were adequate writers. You know, every single person at the conference was sitting there thinking, “Oh, yeah, that’s me. I am even in the top 20% of the 20%.”

I normally don’t attend such conferences or workshops, but the timing/logistics of this one felt right. And plus, my friend signed up first and so like the proverbial lemming, I followed.

I was familiar with most of what was discussed in reference to publishing , what was stirred within me, however is how essential an “internal compass” is for every artist/writer.

The possibilities for publishing now are quite broad. Add to that the diversity of options for developing a “platform” (Publishing-speak for getting your ideas out there and connecting with audiences beyond your book).

Mix these together and every artist/writer is confronted with literally hundreds of decisions beyond the creative work itself.

Do you see yourself as a speaker and writer? Do you have social media associated with your work? How do you handle such media? Is it integrated with social media of a more personal nature?

Do you need an author website? Twitter? How can people find you (or not find you- as those in the audience who asked during Q/A about writing memoirs that are picked up by Oprah, but still wanting to be anonymous.)

I realized that there are so many options that not only must we be authentic with ourselves in the creative process, we must be authentic, and gentle, with ourselves in relation to our platforms.

We can not, most likely do it all, nor should we. Each artist must make those clear decisions for him or herself based on temperament, time available, logistics, topic choice and so on.

As I was sitting there and saw one participant after another in the Q/A trying to get some answers, I understood that no one can give us such answers. Many participants spoke in paragraphs (NOT sentences or a simple statement followed by a question, I am talking – Paragraphs) only to have the speaker say, “And what is your question?”

And in some ways, no one wanted to ask the simple, direct question because the answer may be equally simple and direct.

Sometimes we like too make life harder on ourselves and stay in the nebulous-aspect of life, in which things float about and meander and no clear decision is ever made.

But if one is to be clear in life, then one has to be willing to answer the “Y” questions in life. Note, this is “Y” and not “why” because these are the “Y” in the road questions- they provide one direction or the other.

Every person who walked away from the microphone with a sense of relief that they had “gotten an answer” was because they were finally able to articulate their situation in a “Y”-context. As in, should I use a penname? If I use a penname can I be “unknown” on Oprah? and so on.

Next time you are feeling, perhaps unsure or overwhelmed by your next step, don’t be afraid to ask yourself the “Y” question. The one that gets to the nuts and bolts of what your are doing and what is truly resonating for you.


11 thoughts on “The Gentle, Authentic Creator…The Essential “Y” Questions

  1. Great post Kimberly. Of course all the penis pics would lead to the “Y”!!
    One of the things I really enjoy about connecting with people on WordPress is the longer post formats. I’m very much a traitor to my generation in that respect, but there is something about staying with someone, and his/her thoughts, for more than 200 characters that really resonates with me. You are right, authenticity is always key, and it always shines. I appreciate very much that your art and words comes from that place of real self-reflection. Much Love on your Y journey….Amanda

    • Ha!! I didn’t even think of “Y” decision and the male chromosome! Good connection. I appreciate your support of longer posts. I am not sure that rings true for everyone, so that I like that you have a different perspective.
      I also wish you the best on your “Y” journey. Your heart always shines through.

  2. I’ve been to quite a few of these kinds of workshops. My post today reveals I’m burnt out, overwhelmed, and stepping away (for now) from the stress of it all. Course not everyone gets overwhelmed like me, lol! So many questions, so many answers . . .But I never tried the Y approach ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes things fall into place when I step back. Good post, Kim.

    • thanks for being honest. Conferences can make us feel burned out and overwhelmed. I go to these things and suddenly I feel that I need to IMMEDIATELY begin working on 100 items and so on. Stepping back and asking direct questions may be the best route through this process.

  3. Once we throw ourselves out here, we simply move in the direction our heart and spirit move us. I used my novelette as a platform to connect to others with similar stories here on WordPress. I had zero visions of popularity or fame. It’s been two (2) years, and I’m finally feeling confident despite some crappy Amazon reviews which I no longer read. I’m staying true to my voice and to my audience. I’ve evolved in ways I never imagined my writing and connections with others would take me. I have mentors who have no idea they’re my mentors (Hey, Kim!). And I continue to have doubts and continue to ask those “Y” questions with each new idea I consider, from changing my blog template to publishing a newsletter. Sometimes it’s just a matter of doing something in order for the answers to be revealed to us. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Love your first sentence. The only direction that matters is the one true to our hearts and spirits. While at the conference, you were one of the people I was thinking about. I have seen your work evolve in unique ways as you have opened yourself up to expressing all that is significant to you. Who would have thought that overcoming sociopaths and yoga could be tied together. ( I am not saying that is your goal, but your Spirit shines through on either topic.) I appreciate your comment about “mentors”. I have felt the same about you ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Exactly! Who ever would have thought a book about my abuse would lead me to writing about and attempting to help others through the power of yoga…and now I’m on a journey to become a health coach! The other thing, I never imagined my graduate studies in adult education would lead me to this type of facilitation. Every move we make leads to an unexpected surprise and proves the interconnectedness of our seemingly random acts just through the harmony of coexistence. ๐Ÿ™‚ <#

  4. Resonates, thank you for sharing. There are a million and one ways to do something but the best way is found in your own heart, where gentle whispers lead the way (sometime excited shouts!) ๐Ÿ™‚ needed to hear this ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. It is easy to be swayed by the various options available. To me, remembering to check in, ask the ‘Y’ question and follow the guidance of the Inner voice is the best path. One just has to keep from being distracted from doing so by all the glittering choices!

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