Why delayed gratification is like matching socks
Most of us, myself included, typically want instant gratification. Why? Simply because we tend to individually be selfish, but technology has greatly impacted our expectations as well.
This is a brief look back at my journey to self-publish a children’s book. First, I never started out thinking I would be a writer. Furthermore, I never took specific classes on journalism or in-depth fiction writing. While in college, I did take one class on poetry and another on copy writing, but that’s it.
However, the inspiration I always go back to is Dr. Seuss. I not only loved reading all of his books growing up, I still love reading them. They are timeless and full of valuable life-lessons.
So where does this leave me? I had an idea about writing a story involving socks. Yes, socks. Why? My personal experience and frustration with always having to try to match them up (a seemingly impossible task).
So I decided to take a notepad and pen with me every time I took my laundry to the laundromat. Why? Contextual Inspiration* (I’ll be explaining that in another upcoming post — update see the new post for explanation). So I gave myself 1 rule. Only write about socks while at the laundromat.
After about eight trips to the laundromat, I felt like I had a pretty interesting and entertaining story. It wasn’t long, but I was okay with that. My new task became trying to illustrate my story (I was after all a designer). However, I quickly learned that no matter what I tried to illustrate my personal style wasn’t resonating with me. Everything I tried to draw just didn’t seem correct.
So I began my first initial search for illustrators. I thought I’d pull from my personal network. Several illustrators showed interest but either didn’t have the time or I lacked an appropriate budget. What happened? My need for instant gratification frustrated me. I gave up looking for an illustrator for well over a year.
Several years later I revisited my story and felt bad that zero progress had been made to turn it into an actual book. I got the bug to start looking for illustrators again. Again, I found one, but as talented and open to my budget as he was, his busyness got the better of him.
I made myself a New Year’s resolution in 2014 that I would find an illustrator in 2015 and I did (on Fiverr). We worked well together and got the book finalized. I then had to endure the slow journey of the copyright process (a whopping 8 months — ugh).
Lastly, I needed to look at ways to get my completed and copyrighted story out to the masses. I looked at multiple platforms and just when I thought I had things finalized I learned that my story may not work on their platform, so I went direct (to Kindle Direct Publishing).
I’m pumped to announce that my first children’s book “Where’s Its Pair?” is now out and available on the Amazon Kindle store in most countries (so if you have a Kindle or a smartphone or tablet with the Kindle app you can check it out — and should especially if you have children). I even started a publishing company, Star Pupil LLC, because I have 3 additional books currently in the process and even more waiting to be illustrated.
It has been a journey quite opposite of instant gratification, but I’ve learned so much about myself, creative writing, finding talent, working remotely, self-publishing, copyrighting and most of all perseverance. I wouldn’t trade any of that away. I may have taken 8 years to complete from 2008 until 2016, but knowing I saw it through has been the ultimate gratification. If you have questions about any of those topics, I’d be glad to connect with you. So look me up on twitter.