Sep 7, 2011

IWSG - Be Positive

Here I go kicking and screaming into a new adventure. My friend, Ali Cross, talked me into participating in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Why kicking and screaming? Because I don't want to complain about the downs of my life as a writer. Not that I mind sharing my experiences, but I'm trying to remain positive and I'm afraid that once I get started, I won't be able to stop.


Some days I have a very long list.

The purpose of this little blog hop? The first Wednesday of each month, we're supposed to blog about the hard parts of writing and either seek for others encouragement or give it to others.The giving part should be easy enough. Yeah, I can do that. I enjoy praising others for their accomplishments. Maybe if I go at this from the "give encouragement" side, I'll have better luck sharing.

Here goes.

I know an author who has recently chosen to self-publish. The past few years, in both her writing career and her personal life, things haven't gone as well as she'd hoped and she's found herself in a situation where she'd never dreamed of being. Rejected by an agent. Dropped by her publisher. Alone in the very scary world of being an author. I'm very proud of her for choosing to represent herself and for taking control of her writing career. Being self published can be a very lonely place to be. Trust me, I know.

The problem I see is in how she's promoting herself and her work. Instead of being positive and upbeat, she's taken the "oh poor me" theme to an extreme, begging people to please buy her book because she's had such a tough go of it. Almost every post on her blog has the same tone, buy my book because you feel sorry for me and want to help me. I have to admit it's starting to have the opposite result than what she intended.

So, my advice to you is . . . be positive. Regardless of your situation, find the good things in your life and put your best foot forward when marketing yourself and your book.

Whew!  That wasn't too painful. Thanks Ali.

How do you market yourself? What advice can you share with my followers?

To find out more about Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group,or to join in the fun, head on over to his blog and click on the linky.


  1. This is really good advice. Positivity is so important and can be really hard to maintain when we've had a lot of hard knocks.

  2. Oh my. I feel sorry for your friend, but you are so right, that is no way to promote yourself. I think we just have to find topics that mean something to us and blog about those. People will find us.

  3. It's always important to keep the tears, rants, vents, and attitude off the Internet. That's what I try to do. I save those for my spouse and my critique group. Ha!

  4. This is 100% true! Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry? And you cry alone!

    When you're an author, I think it's very important to have some sort of "business sense". I have ONE PERSON I'll moan and groan to and that's my mom because she has enough sense to smack me when I get so self absorbed in my emotions.

    I have one good friend who's a writer and she's got this notion that if someone doesn't respond positively in her favor she literally says, "Well, I forgive you," AND MOVES ON! I've seen her do it! It's great! It also gives you a sense of control in this business as well as maintains your integrity.

    I firmly believe that you are what you write. And your pity and self loathing will make it into your story some way or another.

  5. I imagine she's still experiencing a tough time then!
    I'm always positive, even when I'm bummed. And no matter how insecure I feel, I never say it when I mention my book. Of course, I rarely mention my book on my blog. Guess that's my marketing tip, because I get daily emails from bloggers who've purchased my book even though I rarely talk about it.

  6. Okay, no kicking or screaming or Alex won't give us the cookies! Ahem.
    Marketing is one of THE hardest things for me to do. I had to market my book back when I ... well let's just say I made a huge mistake and leave it at that.
    But when I did the marketing, I got involved with a friend. She and I felt like we were the only fantasy authors on that particular publishing planet. We decided to help promote each other. We even created Author Trading Cards. Trading cards are a huge thing and the game, Magic the Gathering has millions of followers. So we got on this kick of finding other up and coming authors and promoted them right along with us. It worked. Might even still work now. But find something different, creative and test it.
    Stick with the mainstreams though! Blog it, facebook it, tweet it, create a website, get your name out there and include all these places where you can be contacted.
    You are doing the absolute best thing already and that is being POSITIVE!

  7. She is killing herself and her career. If you don't believe in your work, no one else will believe either.

  8. I agree with the other comments. We've gotta believe in ourselves FIRST and yucky stuff does not belong on the internet!