I wrote the outline for this post months ago. Then work happened and my creative energies turned to teaching. After dressing up as Moses and speaking in first person during a lesson about religion after fixing a conflict that happened during recess, it’s hard to go home and just turn on being a lesfic author.
However, I was happy for my diligent planning during the summer. I know what this post is about HOWEVER I have no idea on why, underneath the outline I wrote “I GOT HORNS”… just like that. In caps lock. What did I want to tell my future self? Was that suppose to be the beginning of this post? I have no idea.
In this post I want to talk about becoming an author and what that means, mentally and practically.
I have been writing my entire life and making up stories since before I could write. As a child I claimed that I was going to be an author and when I was 28 I was signed with a publisher and before that I had self-published “State of Emergency”.
I received six rejections on three different works at three different (or was it four?) publishers before finally being accepted with “Out of Hand”. During this time of rejection and sadness I read a blog post by a young author whom I’ve now sadly forgotten (otherwise I would have linked it).
She wrote about being an author and how being published is not the end. Rejections hurt but being published is almost worse because then you worry about sales and marketing and being approachable. And how it can take over your life.
At the time when I read it, I thought “pfft, at least she is published!” While receiving rejections in a niche market (lesfic isn’t exactly mainstream, you know) it’s easy to see publication as the end goal. I thought that if I could just get signed with a publisher, I wouldn’t have to worry anymore. I was so focused on that goal. I wanted the title “author” so desperately.
…oh if I knew. I regret nothing but oh… my… gosh. How right that author was; how right that author is.
I thought I could so I did it. I punched through the barrier and got to the other side. I’m working towards publishing my fifth novel and I’m immensely proud… and I also feel more lost than ever.
I suck at marketing. There, I said it. This is my biggest hurdle. I don’t feel I have the time and energy during the majority of the year due to day-job and during the summer I have the will, the time but not the boldness to insert myself in conversations online and tell people to go and read my books because they’re amazing and sexy and all that. I feel like I’m imposing or even… who do I think I am?
I guess I feel a bit like a fake. A lot of people in the lesfic community online (at least where I find myself) have been there a long time. They know the lingo. They know what’s proper and what’s not. And they dare. Whereas I’m so worried about doing a faux-pas that I’d rather stand silently in my corner holding a tiny arrow with an even tinier text saying “if you’re interested in lesfic books… etc etc.”
And lately I’ve gotten obsessed with the thought that my publisher will think I’m selling so badly that they won’t renew my contract in three years or so. (also if anyone knows that this wont happen, please tell me so I can stop worrying).
If I could start from the beginning and go back to being unpublished I’d grow my blog first. I wouldn’t have deleted my popular tumblr account and found readers from my following there. Instead I deleted everything and started from scratch. Why did I do that? That was stupid. I’d also research so much more. About running an author blog. About marketing.
My computer broke so I bought a new one. I wanted to be a teacher, so I became a teacher. I wanted to publish books so I did. Now what?
I honestly don’t know.
Some advice for people who are even more lost than me though: I have found that making a regular profile for my author-self has been very helpful not to mention fun. There are a lot of Facebook groups that discuss publishing, marketing and the like, both for the lesfic genre and other genres. These groups are amazing. Use them.
Happy Friday and thanks for reading!