Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IWSG: The Courage to Go On


Today is the first Wednesday of the month, time for

Being insecure, I’m usually a taker during these little IWSG sessions.  I typically gripe and moan about all the things moving against me, most of which I have no control over.  And while I feel no differently this month than I do most any other, I’m not going to give in to it this time.

As a newish writer, I’ve gone through all the normal ups and downs, the doubts about my talent and skill, my loathing of querying, landing a book deal, its eventual launch, and, most recently, less than stellar sales, plus every blip imaginable in between.  And now, when I should be focusing on what comes next, like my second book, I’m instead obsessed with my lack of serious marketing skills and how I should rectify that. 

It never ends.  The worrying, the doubt, the insecurity…no matter how much success I manage, there’s always the big unknown looming ahead.


So what’s an insecure writer to do?

First off, focus on those small, hard-earned successes and remember where you were just prior and how far you’ve come since starting out, especially how high the odds were that you would even make it this far.

Second, once you’ve identified where and what you lack or what the next problem is, set into motion a plan on how to fix it.  For me, that meant finding a book tour company better suited to my genre.  Even a repped author can’t solely depend on an agent or publisher to know what’s best for you and your book.  It’s true what they, you know, that authors must learn to market themselves and their titles.  That’s a big chore if you know nothing about marketing, because before you even put a plan into motion, you must teach yourself what those components might be. 


That’s most daunting, I think, ‘cause this is serious business we’re talking about, incredible potential you don’t want to slip through your fingers due to ignorance.  It’s all in the baby steps, I say.  Yeah, sure, that tiny step might not work or be in the right direction, but you learn something when you make a mistake.  Even better, you might meet someone who can help you out, point you in the right direction, or give you a referral to another who can. 

So that’s my message.  While I know it would be pointless to say don’t worry, I will say this, don’t let it get it you down.  Don’t let it consume you to the point where you can’t move, can’t take another step for fear of failing.  Just taking the step is a measure of success.  Go ahead, pout, cry, stomp your foot and rave like a lunatic.  Then pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and take another teeny tiny step.


Yes, it takes time and patience, and I mean a lot of patience. And you should measure success in millimeters not miles.  But don’t quit.  You never know when things will turn around, when you’ll meet that one or few people who will make a difference.  You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

And remember...





36 comments:

JeffO said...

Very well said, Nancy. Nice way to start off the month!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And if you're taking baby steps in the wrong direction, it doesn't take much to redirect and get going in the right direction!

Murees Dupé said...

Great Post! I really needed this as I am currently so afraid to fail that I am really stuck with my writing. Thank you for making me feel better.

Heather Gardner said...

Yes. Double yes. Triple yes.

Great post.

We all need to hear it.

Heather

Matthew MacNish said...

This is one of the main reasons I don't want to SP. Marketing is a beach.

Luanne Smith said...

Yeah, that outreach and marketing doesn't come naturally to a group of people who tend to be introverts. That's the big fear of publishing for a lot of us, how to sell the damn book once it's out there.

Julie Luek said...

I've really learned a lot watching you promote your book, Nancy. You are amazing in your determination and willingness to grab every opportunity. It looks like all those efforts are paying off too. I'm so glad our paths have crossed. I appreciate your kind support, humility and example. All the best to you in the coming year.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Nancy! What a great post!

Melissa said...

Well said. What a great post!
Best wishes for 2013. :)

IWSG #137 until Alex culls the list again.

cleemckenzie said...

Yep! It's one step at a time! Here's to many of those small, but important steps in 2013!

mshatch said...

Have to agree with Matt on the SP. However, if you want some free publicity The Writers Box does interviews if you're interested. The Warrior Muse has a link on her blog or email me and I can give it to you :)

michelle said...

Yes! Step-by-step... little at a time...
I have loads of patience, so there's still hope for me...
All the best with your 2013 writerly goals!

VikLit said...

Wise words, thank you for sharing!

Andrew Leon said...

Yeah, I hate the marketing part. Pain in the butt! And publishers don't want to do it, because it costs them money. They're only really willing to market the authors that don't actually need the marketing, because those are safe investments, so to speak.

Rena said...

You're absolutely right. I hate that marketing is such a big part of the job, but there it is, marketing=writing. You've been a trooper, and I'm sending you good thoughts for 2013.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Patience - bah. I wish there was a pill for it!!!

Tonja said...

I hope you learn everything you need to right from the start, but I bet it's a lot like when you started writing - it takes time to learn how to do it well. Best of luck. If I had any advice, I'd give it to you. I'm a few steps behind you.

Keep writing. (That's all I've got.)

Carrie Butler said...

Hooray for baby steps! :)

Callie Leuck said...

The best part of baby steps is that you get more-frequent pleasure in crossing items off the to-do list!

Donna K. Weaver said...

That was great. First you scare me about the whole release thing (I'm wondering frequently anymore what I was thinking!) but then you cheer me up.

But, I'm still scared. lol

jamieayres.com said...

Nancy, I've been so impressed with your posts this year and your support of others, I just purchashed your book! I can't wait to read it:-) You are awesome--thanks for all the great advice!

Julie Flanders said...

What a great post to start off the new year. I love the orange picture!

I'd never have guessed you were a "newish" writer while reading The Mistaken if I didn't know it already. You definitely write like a veteran! :)

Candilynn Fite said...

Well said, Nancy. We as writers must take the time to celebrate the small steps accomplished. We are our own cheerleaders. Sure we have supporters, but we must believe in ourselves. Cheer ourselves on. Wave our own pom-poms!

Here's to a great 2013. :)

Liza said...

What an honest and wonderful post! Except for the being published part, it feels like I wrote it. You've had tremendous success! Keep taking those baby steps. They do add up!

Mel Chesley said...

Very good advice with great timing! I'm sitting here wondering if I am doing anything right in the promotional aspect of my book. Patience is NOT my virtue... But I have come far, farther than I thought I would. I need to keep moving forward and get that next book out! All things will happen with time and persistence. Great post. :D

Kirsten said...

Persevere, Nancy! As always, reading about your journey is enlightening to those of us still in the trenches of polishing the first novel.
Keep on keepin' on!

Ciara said...

You are right, focus on each small success. Keep going.

Stephen Tremp said...

So far I've done everything myself (with a little help from my friends). But I'm considering using a third party for my next book to help with marketing and promoting. It has to make sense so I'm exploring some options and seeing what doors open up.

Cherie Colyer said...

Marketing is daunting, that's for sure. I have a mental list of does and don't's after my first book. And it is very easy to forget how much we've accomplished if we focus on how much more we'd like to do.

Best wishes to you in 2013!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Good stuff, Nancy. I'm big on picking myself up and carrying on. Okay, yes, it's generally two steps forward and one step back, but I'm still gaining.

Happy Happy New Year. I'm betting big wonderful things will take place in your life in 2013. How exciting~!

Lisa Regan said...

Just like your amazing novel, some things take time! This year is going to be much better for you, I predict! Especially with the great energy and positive attitude you're putting out! ;)

James Garcia Jr. said...

Thanks for sharing, Nancy. That's what got me to dust off that first manuscript after nearly 20 years - regret. Now, all I can do is look forward. Much success to you in 2013.

-Jimmy

Empty Nest Insider said...

You have a great attitude Nancy, and you shouldn't let anything take away from all that you've accomplished. I've heard terrific things about The Mistaken, and I look forward to reading it.
Julie

Misha Gericke said...

Incredibly encouraging post!

I hope that 2013 will bring you many successes.

klahanie said...

Hey Nancy,

You can relax now. Yes, I've finally arrived to leave you with one of my highly anticipated, cherished, valued, much loved comments. Or something like that.

Wise words from your good self. And determination, resilience, belief, passion in what you write and the support of those who are here for you, for all concerned, are vital ingredients in the ongoing pathway that sees the dream.

I applaud you, Nancy. Along with the support that I receive and the fact I only write for therapy, I do have Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar trying to make me a better writer. Oh how poor Penny tries.

And with that, I wish that 2013 brings you, brings us all, a new hope for a caring, more kinder world. Within in this community, I know we embrace such ideals. Bless you, Nancy and happy writing.

Gary :)

Kelley Lynn said...

Great post Nancy! I'm going to be heading into this publishing thing in a few months too. I'll come back to this post. Thanks.