Last week I posted a comment on Christine Verstraete’s blog, Candid Canine. She had written what she considered the 7 Deadly (Writing) Sins and asked writers to name any other sins they thought of.
I added one of my own. At the time, I called it “Self-Conscious.” That’s not a good title and doesn’t really say what I meant. I think “Insecurity” might be better.
If you’re a writer, then you know that, unless you have a writing partner, writing is a solitary endeavor. Oh, you’ll eventually have people read and critique for you and, hopefully, an agent and editor, possibly a publicist, then reviewers, etc. But the actual writing of the book is done, for the most part, alone.
But you can’t stay a loner forever. No matter how scary it is or how intimidating, eventually you have to push aside your insecurities and reach out to and involve others.
Even as you write, you need to be learning from others. Sometimes you can do this indirectly – through reading other writers, reading “writing” books, reading blogs and magazines and how-to articles. Then you can stretch a little farther out of your comfort zone and network via the Internet, by commenting on blogs, joining Twitter or other social networks, adding to listservs and online discussion groups.
Then later you can go all-out, and this is especially important after the book is published. At this point you share yourself. It’s time to share all the writing, learning and growing you’ve been doing. If you haven’t already, start a blog and share with writers who haven’t reached your level. Speak at book signings, conferences, and in classes. Go to book signings by other authors and ask questions and introduce yourself. Introduce yourself and your book to booksellers.
It used to be that writers could write a book, publish it and let it sell. Now, you have to make it happen. You have to get out from the desk and into the world. And you have to leave the insecurities at home.
1 month ago