Preaching to the choir: keep writers sane

A man standing on a rock in sihouette in front of a sunset, with the words: Acknowledging Alicia's Angels, by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardtt

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHOIR

August 22, 2016 at 12:42 PM

My dearest choir:

I think I’m going to name you Alicia’s Angels.

I don’t know exactly how you arrange it among yourselves, but it seems that every time I get discouraged, something pops up:

  • A sale of two paper copies on Amazon
  • Someone reading a few pages on Kindle Unlimited
  • An unexpected review on a blog
  • Another review on Amazon
  • Comments on the blog posts
  • A request for an electronic Review Copy
  • A lovely email with kind words
  • Someone replying to a blog post in a way that shows they got what I meant exactly right
  • An ebook sale
  • The promise of a review
  • Watching how someone on KU reads the whole book in a day or two
  • A reply to my comment somewhere else that carries more understanding than expected
  • An offer of an interview on someone’s blog (which I will respond to when I can – honest!)
  • A kind and accepting response when I think someone might like Pride’s Children, and I offer an electronic Review Copy
  • Hearing other people’s successes
  • Almost forgot: tweeting Pride’s Children for me!

At this stage – newly published author with one book up – sometimes called the ‘dribble’ stage, these notices from other humans keep me sane. I’m not writing in a vacuum. Someone out there likes my writing, and takes the time to say so.

And it keeps me both writing – and connected to the outside world.

For writers who don’t get out much, the connection is vital.

Shameless and continuous self-promotion – becoming ‘that author’ – is bad, so I watch my steps in public. I mention PC, as you’re supposed to do, when it comes up naturally in conversation. I hand out one of my artisanal business cards (with cover and contact information, and yes, the required link to Amazon), but only when appropriate. I don’t talk about it (much) unless asked – so easy to slip over the line and become ‘the bore.’

It isn’t a major problem – I don’t get out much – but every time I see an example of ‘bad author behavior,’ I add it to the list of things not to do.

I’ll figure out the thing to do, one of these days, and we’ll move on to the drip stage, and then the small stream stage…

Meanwhile, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Alicia

 

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