Saturday, November 28, 2009

Write, read, edit, repeat. When the cycle ends.

I've been doing the write, read, edit, repeat waltz for so long I never thought to see the end of a project, let alone two.

But here I stand. Safe Harbor was first to launch and I must admit to feeling a little ill at first. My baby, out in the cold, cruel world. Hey, there's a bit I should fix. Can a manuscript ever be clean enough? Pried from my fingers it's in print.

Now Escape to Love is in the chute on its way to print. The editing witch has pin pointed half a dozen things that maybe would be better this way or that. She's talking to the wind. Until the proof copy comes there is little to be done.

So here I find myself standing on the ledge of, gasp, promotion. Have I mentioned I'm afraid of heights?
Believe it or not, I'm something of a recluse, perfectly content to type away and let someone else deal with promotion. Scared? Who me? You bet your life I am.

Is it that I don't believe my work is solid? I know that it is.

Don't want the world to see it?
Nothing could be further from the truth. If I had the money I'd hand my books out for people to read and enjoy. I love them so much, I want you to love them too.

Afraid of criticism? Not really. I don't like every well-written book I pick up. So it stands to reason, as improbable as it seems, not everyone is going to get or like my work.  Having run the gauntlet of on line contests and reveiw by my most wonderful writing group (The Writin' Wombats) I've developed a pretty thick skin.

When it comes to blowing my own horn, selling myself as the next great up and comer, a voice nags at me.  I was raised with Midwest values and work ethic. Do your job. Do it well. Don't brag. Doing a good job is reward enough. Okay, that's leaves me hanging in a precarious position.

I wish I had a touch of my friend, Judi Fennell's enthusiasm. She's gone all out with her Mer-series beginning with In Over Her Head.  She's a real people person and it shows. The woman glows and then she smiles and everyone in the room is happier just for being there.

Pat Bertram has been an example of sheer force of will. More Deaths Than One launched her and I don't  think she's slowed down enough to notice a door might have been closed.

I mention and envy these two, because I'm shy. Not painfully so, but in new situations it's close. This is a new situation.  I'm inherently not a joiner, which in this business is a liability.  My watch and see M.O. won't serve me in this model.  So here I stand, wondering if I should take a leap of faith, or slide off the ledge from a seated position?

How do you go about breaking through into new situations?  How do you face your fears?


  1. I used to have a keychain that said: You must do the thing you think you cannot do. I took that to heart.

    So now whenever I think there's something I absolutely cannot do (for whatever reason), I think Nike: Oh, just do it, Laurie. There's a good girl.

  2. Hi Sherilyn. My first comment got trashed, so let's try again. Welcome to the blogosphere. You cite two very good examples of writers as bloggers and it never hurts to model the aspects of their approaches that might also work for you.

    On your question, in new situations, I try to size up the environment, understand the culture and mores of the medium (e.g. blogging, social networks, the workplace, etc.), figure out how I can contribute and then dive in.

    James Rafferty

  3. Sherilyn,

    You've taken a great first step! This blog will be a fabulous tool to letting the world in on your work. Here I am with a Barbie Pink shawl, mittens and a mug of hot cocoa! Your writing will sell itself and all you need do is stand there facilitating the process.

    As for new situations? Depends on the situation itself. When I'm confident I know whats going on then I can be secure in what I'm doing but if I haven't done my homework, don't know what's what, then it's harder. The secret? Get prepared as best you can and then as Laurie say above, "just do it. There's a good girl."

    I'm looking forward to reading each day's blog here. As my Aussie friends say, "Good on ya'"

  4. Thank you Laurie. I like that Keychain.

    James, I've been looking for my niche and I'm not sure where I can be helpful.

    Wanda, it's always a treat when you stop by. A daily blog? We'll see how I do with weekly first. Pretty outerwear.

  5. Sherilyn, looks like it's going to be a fun blog. I totally get that whole hesitation about stepping out of the comfort zone. I know you'll laugh, but honestly, I'm a very shy person too! Best wishes with this!

  6. I feel your pain, Sherilyn. Or I will soon. Promotion will be a daunting task for me. Shy? A little. And I write erotic romance which is all well in good until I have to look someone in the face and describe the story line. Me? Blush? Why, yes indeed. Also, I'm not sure the best way to do promote. Time is precious and I hate to waste time doing things that just don't work. If you find something that works wonders, let me know. I'm all for begging, borrowing and stealing the wonderful ideas of others.

    And congrats on your new blog!

  7. Welcome Ladies!

    If I find the person with the magic wand, I'll let you know.

  8. Sherilyn,

    I'm definitely not much of a joiner, either. I was also raised with the same values as you. There are times it's uncomfortable to bang your own drum.

    What helps me is one, is it a good product? Is it worth sharing? If so, I began the promotion process by preteding it was for someone else, lol! It's much easier now.

    Bottom line. If you want your work known, you HAVE to tell people about it. Best way I know to do that is play to your strengths. Be friendly, approachable. Like your post here. It's friendly and shows your personality, warmth, and friendliness. Thats a good thing because it will draw people. Best thing I can say is be yourself.

    Hint, you need to get a Share Button on your Blog. Why? It makes it easier for readers to twitter it, share it on facebook, wordpress, or any other social network they're on. I carry one that always show up at the end of EACH published article. It also makes it easy to *announce* it to those sites to pick up readers, as well. If you don't know how to embed the http script to do it, I know someone that might help. :-)

  9. Thanks Sia, I might have to bother this person.

  10. Sherilyn, I went poking around your new way cool website, found my name there, then came here, and here I was again! I like what you said -- sheer force of will. My secret? No sleeping, no eating, no... Actually, that's not true. The secret is to play your own game. Find something (better yet, several somethings) you can do on a regular basis and stick with it. I have come to the conclusion that online promotion is about time. You can't force people to buy your book, but you can entice them to stop by your blog where they can't help but be reminded you have a book published. Link everything -- make sure your blog gets posted on your Facebook profile via rss feed. Make sure your facebook status updates post to twitter, or vice versa.

    Perhaps people who are blatant book marketing floozies (I still have you to thank for that wonderful name for my book promotion blog)do sell a few more books than other people, but the only time I've been blatant was during my blog tour, and it made no difference to sales.

    So, if you're shy and can't talk about your book, talk about other things. People will make the connection. Eventually.

  11. By the way, what door closed? I guess you're right. I didn't notice it.