Tuesday, April 28, 2015

18 Fearing What You Love -- The Scary Side of the Writing Life

Before I get to today's post, I have to tell you that Adventures has been honored by Writer's Digest Magazine with a listing in their 101 Best Websites for Writer's issue!

This is the third year in a row, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful team that we have in place here. Lisa Gail Green, Jocelyn Rish, Susan Sipal, Shelly Zevlever, Erin Cashman, and Jan Lewis, thank you all so much for the amazing work you do day in and day out. Thank you also to Alyssa Hamilton, who has unfortunately recently left us to concentrate on her studies, and to all the authors and publicists who provide the wonderful interviews, guest posts, and giveaways, and thank you to all of YOU--the readers. This is the best kind of team effort!

Fearing What You Love -- The Scary Side of the Writing Life

I've wanted to be a writer most of my life, but the word "author" really didn't enter into that equation. Not because I didn't want to be one, but because I had no perspective of what it meant. All I wanted was to get put words on a page and bring characters and ideas to life. Raise a few questions, connect a few thoughts.

Beyond publication, there is a whole world of things that go into being an author. I'm goodish at some of them. The things that are similar to the business world, those I can handle, and I love, love, love talking books and writing, anytime, anywhere. I love helping people. But the rest?

  • Pre-publication publicity and marketing
  • Interviews and guest posts
  • Getting and navigating reviews 
  • Pre-order giveaways
  • Blog tours
  • Launch parties
  • Book tours and events
  • Engaging with publicists
  • Ongoing post-publication publicity and marketing
  • Subbing to book festivals or responding to invitation

And that doesn't include writing the next book or editing the current one. Learning to write better books. All at the same time.

It's a lot.

It's also a mind-blowing honor and a wonderful opportunity, but there is no guidebook for this portion of the journey.

I'm going to the RT Convention in Dallas in a few weeks. And the more I think about it, the more I get hot flutters of panic. It's such a HUGE event. People dress up, and I don't really know anyone well. The social and the event side of publishing always make me feel completely inadequate.

Don't get me wrong, everyone I've met in the book world is truly nice. Really nice. But I'm a little shy, and when I'm nervous, I tend to babble, or fall back on things I know. What I know is business, and organization, and timetables, and how to get things packaged and put together. Which means that most of the time, working with other authors, I feel like an idiot.

Being an author is scary. It's a whole new career, and I'm on the bottommost rung, and the rest of the rungs are shrouded in mist.

Thinking about going to the RT Convention, it occurred to me that I haven't felt this way since I was a teen. Lost and confused and inadequate. Afraid. Convinced I would never be good enough. Afraid that people would laugh at me, or no one would talk to me. Afraid that I would fall on my face or make an idiot of myself.

Back when I was a teenager, I wouldn't have admitted those fears. Maybe that's the difference. I would have buttoned them inside myself.

Today, I know that everyone falls on their faces. I know that it's pulling myself up after I fall that makes me stronger.

Maybe this fear will be a good reminder for when I write. I'm writing some scary scenes for Barrie, and this third book has made me nervous. Stepping into the climax, it's important to connect back to being afraid. Hopefully, it will make me a better writer.

Thinking about going to the RT Convention, it has been tempting to cancel. I've considered it several times.

But I won't.

Because fear is good. Fear pushes us. New things stretch us.


So tell me. What are you afraid of?


SThe #1 New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen serves up his unique brand of swamp-justice in Skink—No Surrender.

Classic Malley—to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard—he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink—he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

Carl Hiaasen first introduced readers to Skink more than twenty-five years ago in Double Whammy, and he quickly became Hiaasen’s most iconic and beloved character, appearing in six novels to date. Both teens and adults will be thrilled to catch sight of the elusive “captain” as he finds hilariously satisfying ways to stop internet predators, turtle-egg poachers, and lowlife litterbugs in their tracks. With Skink at the wheel, the search for a missing girl is both nail-bitingly tense and laugh-out-loud funny.

Purchase Skink - No Surrender at Amazon
Purchase Skink - No Surrender at IndieBound
View Skink - No Surrender on Goodreads


  1. Congrats on making the 101 Writer's Digest. You all so deserve it. Casey and I were thrilled to make the list too.

    And I can totally relate to the fear issues. Have fun at the conference. Stina will be there too. Wish I could go to see you both.

    1. Hi Natalie! Congrats to YOU! You have done so much with Literary Rambles, and done such a great service to so many writers. YAY! I can't wait to meet Stina in person. Wish you were going, and I hope your writing is going well!

  2. CONGRATS!!! That is so exciting. Good luck with the busy schedule, and try to have FUN at the convention. I would be as nervous as you (same fears!), but I'm sure you'll do great. Remember, you probably WON'T be the only one who feels nervous there!! Think about others and reach out--it might be a nice way to deflect the tension.

    1. Thanks, Carol. I'm sure it will be fine. The funny thing is that I have been to a number of SCBWI conferences, but I met up and roomed with someone I'd been corresponding with for years for the first one, and then met two of my closest friends in the world there and went to conferences with them after that. This will be the first one where I'm starting out on my own, but of course there will be people I've met online there. I don't know why this feels so outside my wheelhouse, but it does. Again though, stepping outside our wheelhouse is necessary.

  3. I'm not afraid of much but I am afraid of spiders and tornadoes. Lol!

    1. Okay, those scare me too. I guess we can call you Two? :D

  4. Congratulations, Martina, on making it to WD's best list again. Happy to see it. I'm afraid I'll never find a publisher/agent whenever I finish my book. ANd then your list of things… I can't even think about all that!

    1. Carol, I can see the starred reviews in your future already. We need that book today more than ever, so hurry up and finish. Trust me! XOXO

  5. Whoo Hoo! Congratulations on the W.D. My friend, you are grace incarnate - not a babbling bone in your body. I have a Thor costume you can borrow for any dress up occasion - hammer included. XO

    1. Oooh, you are my hero. Thor? THIS is why you rock. Because you go straight for the big guy. And why aren't you going to RT so we can make mischief together?!

    2. I'd love to go. Maybe I can just leave a sign on my classroom door, "Be right back." Probably not. :(

  6. I am afraid of public speaking. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Congrats, girls! It's a fabulous website! And enjoy RT - I so wish I was going to see everyone and meet new YA authors. Alas, same weekend as the Whitney Awards banquet and the Storymakers conference. This is what cloning should be for . . . and a clone with utter confidence and speaking skills. :-)

  8. can't think of anything

  9. I'm afraid of reading books that have terrible character and plot development.

  10. I'm terribly afraid of cats, like I cannot even se one a thousand miles away without having the urge to turn around and run away! (Obviously, all of my friends have cats, so I can never go to their houses! -.-")

    Carolina M on rafflecopter

  11. Nicole WetheringtonMay 23, 2015 at 10:19 PM

    I am afraid of scary movies!

  12. I'm afraid of spiders


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