Success is a matter of the heart and is not measured by the world’s definition of success (small caps). This is how I published a Successful book, as opposed to a successful one.
My first book Behind That Shiny Resume has gone into its fourth print, and it has been nominated for the Popular Reader’s Choice Award in Malaysia! The book is just a young girl’s clumsy offering to the world – I knew at that time I wanted to polish it more and explain the journey a little better, but I’m not that fantastic a writer (yet). I ran out of time (because of the move to Australia) and I didn’t know how to make it better. I wanted it to be accurate and honest, and I know if I write that story today there would be heaps more exaggeration, and the offering wouldn’t be as precious as it was back then because today I am already doing well. And I just knew I had to get it done at that time because I already saw myself recovering quickly in KL…you know how it’s easy to look back and offer advice once you’ve gotten out of your mess? Yep. When you’re out of the pit, you sort of lose a ‘special credibility’ when you tell people I know what it means to hurt.
My offering in 2009 was out of pain, weakness and a raw place that touched God’s heart.
It was despite my cute father turning his nose up at me and saying “I don’t get the point of your book. Who will buy such a book. People don’t even know who you are.” It was despite a lack of money. It was despite a complete lack of experience. I just pushed ahead and got it published on my own, clumsily, and feeling my way around. And still, I made sure I sought permission from parents, and I made my pastor read it to make sure I wasn’t writing anything that would disrespect my parents or not glorify God. Amidst the fear and the anxiety and the doubt I made sure I did that.
I didn’t even get everything right, but God saw I was really doing my best and He blessed it. He granted me favour left right and center – a good publishing house, good contacts, and good publicity opportunities. I learnt so much and it was the first step to overcome the fear of selling myself.
I gladly gave the profit of my first 100 books to the church. It was my privilege. My travelling dreams could wait. (They are still waiting).
And do you know my first response when I read the email that I had been nominated? It wasn’t “See! I’ve proven to the world that my book can be successful.”
My one and only desire is that the publicity I get out of this whole business will glorify God. I don’t want media coverage and book reviews to celebrate my courage, or my writing ability, and especially not my resume…because it is not a true reflection of who I am, haha. I did NOT write the book to make people go WOW at a silly long list of achievements. It frustrates me every time people do that because they miss me. They miss who I am.
Yes there is a time for the discussion to shift to mood disorders (and to keep religion out of it), but my life story is primarily about how God delivered me. How I wish I knew how to say it better at that time. How I wish I had more conviction back then. But oh well, imperfect vessels work just fine. 🙂