Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group


I am posting today for Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

This wasn’t a major insecurity for me, but I know it scares some people - once you become a published author, your life changes.

I remember talking to a woman at one of the Book ‘Em events a few years ago. She had just signed a contract with a major publisher and was scared that it would change her life. When her book came out, her publisher sent her on a big tour. She had a website, a blog, and many other social sites. Less than a year later, she posted on her blog that she couldn’t handle it anymore and was shutting everything down, including her email. The pressure became too much.

It doesn’t have to end like that though. You just have to be prepared for the changes.

If you’re introverted, you’ll have to learn to be more outgoing. You will have less time with family and friends. Some activities will go by the wayside. You’ll be on the phone more, You’ll be online a lot more! You may travel. There may be interviews. But your life will change.

My advice - prepare for the change and embrace it. Learn what you can and can’t do - early! If something is draining, pull back. Find balance, and that doesn’t mean everything gets an equal slice of the pie, it means everything gets an adequate slice. (Sometimes just enough to get by.)

I think back to my first year. I traveled almost every weekend doing signings and was constantly calling stores, doing interviews, and mailing bookmarks. It was total chaos. (Now add five years of professional speaking on top of that!)

But that chaos became the balance. I made it work. And today, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Can you handle the changes? Yes you can!

25 comments:

Isis Rushdan said...

Sometimes we need a pep talk just like this. Thanks!

Will Burke said...

I honestly hadn't put much thought into that. I guess it'a all about time-budgeting, eh? And multi-tasking, when you can.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm surprised she gave up so easily. I could understand if she had been forced to go on a book tour and speak in front of people, but introverts tend to prefer social networking for the reason they don't have to see their audience.

Clarissa Draper said...

Great post! I'm a very private person and so I know the actual person-to-person meet will be hard. Thanks for this.

Lynn said...

I love how you said the chaos eventually turns into the new 'balance.' That is so true for all of life events!!

KarenG said...

Wow what an intriguing story! It sounds like she should be posting today on her now defunct blog because that is some major insecurity! Now I'm curious about her book and how it did in the marketplace.

Matthew MacNish said...

Thanks Diane! I'm not sure I would ever get that famous, but you're right, whatever happens, we have to embrace it.

Sarah Pearson said...

I've never even thought that far ahead, but I think I'd embrace the chaos :-)

Tamara Narayan said...

This is a fascinating story. If given a choice, I'd be a writer like in days of old and leave the promoting to others, but today that's not going to work. If I do get published I'll just have to take a deep breath and jump in.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Good one Diane. I think success in any career brings changes to your life. Certainly brings increased stress and pressure. Why would being published be any different? I agree with you, it's all in how you prepare for it. Learning when to say no, learning how to tame the chaos into an organized and balanced job.

Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

Jo-Jo said...

Well said Diane...balance seems to be the key for just about any career. If we could all just remember that when we need it!

LD Masterson said...

Change of any kind is hard, even when it's something we've worked for or hoped for. Think about the stress that comes with getting married.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

There are changes all right! Doing my best to handle them.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Handy and simple advice. Thanks for sharing with us.
HMG

Nicki Elson said...

I like that you say it's okay to pull back when something feels draining -- makes a lot more sense than letting yourself overload and then pull the plug on EVERYTHING. The first year after publication was definitely crazy, but I'm learning how to strike that balance better in the second year. Thanks for the advice. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks, everybody! I don't normally blog on Wednesdays, but this was the Ninja Captain's orders. I'll be around tomorrow to visit all of you.

M Pax said...

I'm prepared if it happens. I'll figure out how to deal with it.

Lynda R Young said...

fantastic post. I like the advice about learning what you can handle early on and find balance. Balance is all important.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Awesome inspiration! I love the "after you get published" talk . . .sometimes I need to think in those terms, instead of "if I get published . . "
Thanks!

Johanna Garth said...

Thanks for the inspirational post and (oops) I just realized I didn't post on this topic today...shoot. Now I'm feeling very insecure!!

Green Monkey said...

Wonderful! Thank you for the inspiration.

Laura M. Campbell said...

You're right, book promotion can take a lot out of you. Granted, I'm nowhere near this point, but there are times when blogging feels burdensome. I just want to disappear. Sometimes all it takes is a step back, slow, deep breaths and verbalizing your frustrations. Afterwards, I can shake it all off and get back to blogging. Good coping mechanisms help. Thanks for sharing!

Kristin Rae said...

For me, the prospect of that kind of change is exciting. I look forward to the possibility, but as of right now, it's still that. A possibility. I have to worry about my actual STORY first, and make it the best that it can be.
Thanks for sharing--you always have so much to offer in your posts! :)

Donna Hole said...

Honestly Diane; I'm not sure I could handle it. Maybe that's why I'm such a slow queryier (one or two agents at a time). The thought of arranging book signings, traveling around, consistently talking about my novel and what is next for me; all that pressure to follow-up and succeed in more than just writing the novel is scary.

I just might be the lady who shut it all down and hid away.

Might. I'm not totally sure; I may rise to the challenge. Just thinking about all this creeps me out . .

Thanks for the tips. Really, I think I needed it :)

........dhole

S. L. Hennessy said...

Hi, new follower here. I have to say, I am one of those people afraid of the change. More afraid it won't happen (as I only have an agent so far and NOT a publisher). So I want to thank you for the advice. It helps to have people who've already gone through it to help. Great blog and hope to hear more from you!
- http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/