Writing is my passion and my career, and I love, love, LOVE it. But as every artist will tell you, the creative process holds it's fair share of agony. For me, the writing part is easy. I even hold a certain fondness for the editing process. But putting myself out there via the world wide web? Not so much. In fact, the thought of promoting myself keeps me up into the wee hours of the morning. mind racing with anxiety.
So I've decided to come clean about my struggles.
I love public speaking and plan on doing a few video blogs in the near future. If you put me in front of 10,000 people to give an impromptu speech on tighty-whities versus boxers, I'll wing it and probably enjoy myself. If you ask me to sit in front of 3 people and tell them why they should buy my book, I might have a panic attack. Seems ridiculous, doesn't it?
My writing is personal. I believe that's true for every writer. We write from our soul, regardless of the genre. This fuels some writers to a place where promoting themselves is a no-brainer. They believe in their work so much, that spreading the word is effortless. A labor of love, but a fun one. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I joke about world domination and tiaras as a way to poke fun at the ego. I have a strong personality, which sometimes translates as being arrogant. I believe in my writing, but I never know if readers will too. I can't tell you how you're going to react to my book, which is, in essence, an extension of me. Self-doubt is an insidious, ever-present energy in my life. Far more so than arrogance.
I recognize that promotion might never be a strength of mine. Publishing isn't a solitary journey. Each author has a team who works their butts off to make a book the best it can be (a fact I'm eternally grateful for). Does that make promotion easier knowing I have so many amazing people on this journey with me? No. It freaks me out. What if I let them down? What if I let readers down? What if, what if, what if?
Damn that self-doubt.
One of these days, I'll figure out how to tweet effectively. I'll learn how to blog better. I'll engage readers and create a strong web presence. Maybe I'll even find someone who can give me a tutorial for dummies. But for now I'll stress. I'll worry and wonder. And I'll write every day, hoping it will be enough to make up for my fear of putting my books out there. I'll face it all head on, hoping it will work out beautifully. At the end of the day, I'm still a writer. My fear of promotion gives me the neurotic edge I need to fit in with the writing crowd. ;)
As a writer, what's your #1 struggle?