Writing is easy. Or, so I thought. A little over a year ago, I scratched out a novel with reckless abandon without any thought to punctuation or publication. When my masterpiece (or something like it) was complete, I was anxious to share it with the world, so I researched queries, submissions, and agents. I realized that writing for publication is a business.
I am not a businesswoman.
To distract myself from the ego-crushing process of editing and submissions, I cranked out another book or two. Submissions suck. It hurts to be rejected…or ignored. Writing a novel is a personal experience and a piece of myself went into every sentence I wrote, so sending out queries felt like mailing out my diary for strangers to read and review. Melodramatic? Yeah, maybe.
Writing is easy. Finding an agent or publisher is hard.
Throughout the harrowing submissions process, I led myself to believe that once I cleared that major hurdle, the rest would be easy breezy. Not so much. And, I’m not talking about revisions and edits. I’m talking about promoting the book. I’ve only just realized I’m going to have to talk about my book. To people. People I don’t know. I can’t hide behind the anonymity of my computer forever. And, if I’m going to make a go of selling my book, I won’t be able to realize my life-long dream of becoming a recluse.
You see, I’m shy. That’s right. Shy. That might surprise some people. At work, I am the voice of the company. I broadcast my voice over the intercom, sending forth page after page. I speak with total strangers all day long, answering accounting questions and promising payments. I argue with sales people. I sing goofy songs with my co-workers. I’m out there. But, that’s only because I’ve been working at my job for nine years. I feel comfortable there. Miserably overworked, but comfortable. I know every nook and cranny of that building and I know the life story of nearly every person in the company. But, pull me from my usual habitat, and I’m a complete social misfit. When I’m nervous, I laugh at things that aren’t funny, stammer, and blush. It isn’t cool.
I strongly suspect that part of my eventual book promotion will involve talking to people, possibly face-to-face. But, even if I somehow manage to hide behind my computer, I’m still going to have to put myself out there. I’ll have to tell people my book rocks and them to buy it. When people ask me, “What’s your book about?” I’m not going to be able to get away with, “I don’t know.”
Here’s the question: Can I overcome my own personal issues in order to conquer the business of writing?
I can either go with my natural tendency to hide from the world, or I can achieve my goal of becoming a successful published author. I can stick within the confines of my comfort zone, or I can take a risk. I can put aside my dream, or I can press forward. I can be the person I’ve always been, or become the person I’ve always wanted to be.
Okay. I’ve made my decision. Hey, everybody! My book totally rocks. Shoot me an email, and I’ll tell you all about it. Or, better yet, stop on by and I’ll act out the whole novel using my gift of interpretive dance. Only kidding about the dance. I’ll tell you all about over a cup of coffee. Face to face. No stammering, no blushing, no fear.