Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Writing Privately, Changing Directions

Paul and I are being forced to review a lot of our choices. We're calling it the Ganesha influence and are trying to have a lighthearted attitude about it. Ganesha, remover of obstacles, has been removing a lot of what we paid too much attention to in recent months. It was shocking at first but it also made us take a hard look at our lives. We barely make ends meet and we don't have the kind of expenses a lot of people have.

We put out an incredible array of creative work—you only see a small percentage here on our blogs. We also do incredible work with our spiritual counseling and healing clients. (We had a phone session with someone the other day that blew our minds.) But we suck at marketing and we spend 70-80% of our time and effort doing it!

Paul has been intent on researching how other artists make it in the world. A few of our recent blog posts mention that they usually have some kind of help. But that's not the whole story. First, they have to feel proud enough of their own efforts to make sure it is at least seen by the people who might be able to help them. Putting our creative efforts on Cafepress and now on Zazzle is not, generally speaking, the way this is done! But we've still been dithering about on that and putting our newest work up on Zazzle anyway. So what happens? Glitches galore. Hours of work disappear in an instant, in different ways, and it's not always their fault. It's not wrong for us to be doing this (everyone we know has been suggesting it) but it just isn't right enough.

We've also spent a lot of time researching how other spiritual counselors and healers make it. There are two diverging approaches. One is to go the entertainment psychic/ fortune teller route. "Madame Gazatska sees all, tells all, reunites lost lovers, tells you what to do." We're not that. The other route is far less taken. That's the path of becoming known as an "expert" by doing talks, teaching classes and marketing best-selling books. Most of those people don't work one-on-one with clients at all after awhile. Those who do charge extraordinarily high fees. We're still wondering about that.

A third route begins to form in my heart. Maybe it's not entirely up to us to figure this out. We try something, get turned away (as has happened repeatedly along our way), try another approach and get turned towards the light. You never actually know that path until you've embarked upon it.

Right now I'm finding some delight in looking at some of my photographic and design work and thinking this is really good, this needs to be big and seen in a book and/or a gallery wall. I've also been going through all the blog posts Paul and I have written on our journey together and find that the story of our lives includes themes that echo in our society as a whole. The inner and outer journey seem to coalesce as one and sparks my writer's imagination. I couldn't come up with some of the threads and plot twists I've been looking at as a fiction writer if I tried.

I'm far less inclined to put artwork up daily and sell my work on Etsy and use this blog strictly for marketing as I have been before. I'm focused on rebuilding, discovering better channels for what we do. We'll be checking in regularly with our blogs I'm sure. I write better when I think I have an audience interested in what I do. But it's not going to be the same thing. It can't be. It will be interesting to see what we do.

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