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.