Writing a book is like setting out on an adventure.
You’re setting out to do something that not many people you know have done. If you’re a pantser like me, half the time you don’t even have a damned map!
Adventures are fun to think about, and fun to plan.
When you get down to the brass tacks though, adventures come with a lot of baggage to lug around. Adventures get tiring after awhile. Not everything goes to plan.
What makes the adventure worth it is knowing how to deal with the baggage.
Today, Jodi Milner friend and fellow author will talk to us about the adventure of being a writer, and the baggage associated with it.
There are a few preconceived notions when it comes to what happens when an author publishes their first book. Most will assume, and rightfully so, that it’s a time of joy. Arriving at launch day brings with it a sense of euphoria because a massive dream has finally been fulfilled. What no one talks about is that while it’s amazing to reach a life goal, publishing a book comes with unique baggage.
The first and heaviest piece of baggage is the sheer amount of uncertainty that piles on the second the book is launched into the world.
Will people like it?
Yes, there will be people who love your book. At first your best cheerleaders will be those who love you and want to support you. While this is nice, it doesn’t tell you if your book is any good. With luck, and time, and enough patience to create fossils, other people will start telling you that they love your book as well. These words of confirmation are like diamonds. Treasure them, because if you are like any other author ever, this will come at the same time the trolls come out to tell you where you screwed up – in excruciating detail.
The next piece of baggage is the constant worry that you aren’t doing enough to effectively market your book.
Instead of spending every waking moment entertaining thoughts of making your story better, those moments are now slaves to the worry that you aren’t doing enough. There are thousands of ways to attract a bigger audience, there are articles to be written, social networks to exploit, schools to approach, news networks to pander to, future works to be written – the list goes on and on. No one can do it all, and yet everyone seems to be doing it better than you.
The last piece of baggage, Impostor syndrome. Everyone is engaging you in this whole author fantasy, but behind your back they think you are nuts. I mean, really? As if the constant uncertainty and worry about everything else wasn’t good enough, you get to be sabotaged by your own brain.
Okay, listen. While this baggage is very real, it doesn’t have to take control of your writing life. If you let it, it will destroy the happiness you rightfully deserve.
Ask yourself – Does it matter if everyone likes your book or not? The first instinctual answer is, “Yes, of course it matters. Everyone should love it as much as I do!”
Easy there. You’re being unrealistic. Does everyone like sushi? Nope. Does that mean it’s gross? Nope. Just like with anything else, nothing is loved by anyone. Don’t believe me? Read one-star reviews of famous books, or even better, national monuments.
Next issue – worrying about the black hole that is marketing. Guess what? You have the same twenty-four hours in each day that everyone else has. You get to choose how you want to spend it. Choose marketing tactics you enjoy and figure out how long each day you can devote to them. Lots of little efforts add up over time. Worry does not.
Last issue – impostor syndrome. You’ll hear it time and time again. If you write, you are a writer. If you write books you are an author. There is no test you must pass or certification you must achieve to earn the right to call yourself one. Give yourself a hug, pat yourself on the back, you are doing the best you can.
Dump the worry and embrace your accomplishment.
About Today’s Guest:
Jodi L. Milner is the author of the YA noble dark fantasy Stonebearer’s Betrayal as well as several short stories appearing in numerous anthologies and SQ Magazine. She is a firm believer that life is what you make it and she intends to make it a good one. She is an avid student of the interesting and obscure and has an unhealthy fascination with medical science. This path led to her working professionally in both human and animal medicine. These days she raises a pair of cranky chickens and is interested in taking up exotic animal rescue, much to her husband’s horror. She makes her home in the mountains of Utah.
About Jodi’s Book:
A secret society of immortals, tasked to protect the world.
A demon bent on revenge.
A girl brave enough to fight for her family when the two collide.
Archdemoness Wrothe stirs the ashes from a long dead war, rekindling a fire that threatens to burn the world. Only the legendary Stonebearers of the Khandashii have the power to stop her, if they catch wind of her plans in time. Katira didn’t believe the legends. She didn’t believe a person could alter the fabric of reality or live forever. She didn’t believe in the dark mirror realm or in the dangerous creatures prowling there either.
That was before the first shadow hound came for her.
Stonebearer’s Betrayal is available on Amazon