Thought Shift for Artists: Could You Be Part of Someone’s Legacy? Diane Grimard Wilson

My friend of 30 years had hinted that she’d like to help with the publication of my brewing book, and it was surreal to me that anyone could make this process easier.

Let’s start at the beginning.

In 2019, I took the risk of presenting a book idea at a large publishing conference for healthcare professionals. I received more support than one could imagine and left with a mission to write my memoir, come back the following year and hopefully secure an agent or publisher.  It felt like being shot out of a cannon.

However in April 2020, as the emerging pandemic suddenly became real, the conference was cancelled.   

During the spring and summer, besides working to stay alive and healthy, and helping others do the same, I felt crushed. I feared my vision had been sacrificed. At the same time, a friend who didn’t understand the publishing industry kept pushing.

“When will your book be published?” 

Perhaps tiring of explanations about the rigors of writing and the process of making a book she finally said: “Look, the world needs your book. What will it take to have a self-publishing company get it out there? I can pay for that. I want your book to be shared.”

So, I did what any self-depriving, scared writer would do and said: “I can’t accept that.”

She responded: “If this takes away any excuses, I want to do it and make this my gift – to you and the world.”

This friend and I are like sisters. We have gone to lunch, dinner, and many events together routinely dividing any expenses straight down the middle. Her offer was a complete surprise.

I talked to my husband, who felt the same: “Let’s get on with this,” he said. “However we can, let’s take control of the madness of the pandemic. The world needs inspiring human stories, I vote: accept her offer.”

The next day, I said: “Yes and thank you.”

And then cried a lot. I was touched. It was a huge nudge that made me believe my book and story was worth sharing.

We found a hybrid publishing company that provides marketing support and Brain Dance was released on May 11, 2021. It became an Amazon number one best seller in the areas of neuroscience and Buddhism in that first week.

Since then, I get notes daily from people telling me things like: how my book Brain Dance helped them understand their own brain, how they couldn’t stop reading it; and plans of passing it on to friends and family. Brain Dance is now doing the work I hoped it would. I am so thrilled.

My friend who funded the publication is one of the most proud and happy people in the world.

Her support was more than financial. It allowed me to let someone share my dream and pointed out what I couldn’t see clearly, the world needs our art and creations like Brain Dance.

This caused me to reflect on how artists and writers often see their work. We don’t give people a chance to love it or connect with us on it. We believe we need to suffer a life of deprivation. Or worse, we fear that no matter how hard we work, we will somehow fail or our art has no value.

It’s time for a shift away from that mindset. 

From someone who has had those thoughts, a few tips on making the transition from fear to optimism.

  • Share your work and dreams.
  • Open your mind to consider that your success may become a beautiful part of someone else’s legacy too. Not everyone will be onboard, but some may be willing to provide support in ways not imagined.
  • Don’t focus on just one person. It will make you overly dependent on them, create expectations and possibly resentments.
  • Let people do what they can and don’t push. If it feels right, let it happen.
  • Always, practice gratitude.

When I reflect, I realize how fortunate it is that Brain Dance was the product of generosity of many people.

I share this in hopes my story will help fellow writers navigate their creative path with a mindset that inspires abundant resources.