I’m not talking about selling out. I advocate against that. I am certainly not talking about selling your soul to the devil. I adamantly and vehemently argue against that! I’m talking about selling a little bit of your soul to your readers.
I’m speaking metaphorically, of course.
We like to talk about how artists put their hearts and souls into their work. We talk about writing our hearts out. We talk about writing in blood or sweating blood as we write. And, as metaphors go, all of these things can be true.
Rip the scab off an unhealed wound. Let the blood flow. Put your heart into it. That’s a start. We all have this macabre pleasure in writing from our own pain. It’s like that teenage angst we never quite got over lingers just beneath our fingertips, ready to come pouring out at the least provocation. And that can be good with enough editing.
But the heart is a very corporeal organ and while the metaphoric heart can be a wondrous thing, it can also be rather dark and dreary.
Now the soul, that’s something purer—at least, it is if you haven’t sold it off. From the soul, comes the best of us—our best intentions, our best dreams, our best aspirations, our best contributions.
By writing from the soul, you’re sharing a special part of yourself with your readers. By sharing that self in your marketing, as well as—not instead of—in your work, you are offering something potential readers will be attracted to.
There’s a Christian song called “This Little Light of Mine” which is followed by the lyrics “I’m going to let it shine.”
Whether you’re Christian or Jewish or Buddhist or Pagan or Agnostic or Atheist or anything* else, let your soul shine through in your work. Share the best of yourself. Then, create your marketing materials in the same spirit.
(*I am well aware that there are people who do not believe in the soul, and while I respect your right to your faith or your lack of faith, there’s no way to make this post inclusive for you and keep to the point of the piece; and, quite frankly, I have no obligation to do so. I hope you find your light, wherever you might be keeping it.)