By nature I’m a very shy person. I’m obviously comfortable and relaxed around my family and friends and certainly can make my presence known in a room. However, ask me to stand in front of a crowd, speak in a public forum, even just be generally noticed and every cell freezes. Suddenly the elocution I’m quite proud of becomes in-audible gobbledygook, my cheeks flame, my palms sweat and generally I’d rather stick a samurai sword in my eye!
This brings me to the next stop in my travels as a debut author. I have to be seen, I have to speak to people I don’t know and hardest of all I have to sell my book by being super confident about me, myself and I and my novel that I’ve worked so hard on. Of course, at a keyboard I can say all of those things with relative ease whilst maintaining as much humble and thank you in my tone, and that is the honesty of it. I am humble and deeply grateful for the opportunity afforded to me to be able to live my dream and create a real, tangible book that is actually available to buy all over the world! Gratitude doesn’t cover it.
Herein is my conundrum. I’m shy, I don’t feel at all confident to speak publicly, yet it is a mountain I must face very soon as I’m booked into two events to promote Awaken and it’s upcoming sequel. I am honestly very excited about being at Supanova Melbourne and also the Book Expo Australia in Sydney. They are amazing learning opportunities. However, I need to psych myself up to feeling confident enough to present myself in a way that exudes an energy and pride in my writing without either falling flat on my face getting tongue tied or to the other extreme of overcompensating and not showing the gratitude I feel inside.
More than anything I want to entertain readers with my stories but I also want them to understand that I’m humbled by anyone who offers their time and hard earned money to read my words, that I ‘m thankful I live in a country that allows me the opportunity to achieve this goal, that my husband supports me and all the expense it has been so far to achieve this dream.
If you meet me sometime across a table and I sign your book or even just say hello, please remember I thank you and I’m grateful. I could just get a little overwhelmed by not being that girl that prefers to hide somewhere deep in the back row of the school production.
Say hello, it might just break the ice for me and make my day.
I have discovered an amazing thing since I began writing, other than my grammar needed a hell of a polish up! I am seeing and hearing and even tasting the world in a very different way.
Inspiration is EVERYWHERE. Seriously, I see a lady in the local shopping centre with thigh high stiletto boots and BAM, there is my lead female demon for Awaken. I have tea and scones with my sister at a little tea house called Miss Marples in the Dandenong Ranges and there was the place my protagonist had a part time job.
The one thing that really gets my head in a spin though is music. Now I don’t at all profess to being an aficionado of music at all, but I know what I like and I like music that hits me in the guts, apart from ABBA which just makes me want to dance and embarrass my kids! A good emotive song has visions of characters in various scenes popping into my head quicker than if I sat at the pc trying to just imagine it up out of thin air. In fact, one of the first ideas I had for Awaken was inspired by Guy Sebastians’ Battle scars. Every time I heard this song I imagined battle weary angels and it all went from there. Thanks Guy! Since then I’ve adored ‘Demons’ by Imagine dragons which has been on repeat endlessly, and more recently Adele’s’ ‘Hello’. I really love this song and I have a very specific scene I’m going to write for the sequel to Awaken because of it.
Inspirations is everywhere. Look around you, not just if you write, but for anything. The world is amazing when you allow it to be.
It’s been three months since I published Awaken and I have to say it has absolutely been a roller coaster of emotion throughout this time. The initial elation was tempered by expectations I had of myself and others not being met. This left me feeling disappointed, unsure of myself and wondering, “Does anyone give a damn?”
I found that my expectations of others did not necessarily gel with the joy and pride I felt with completing and publishing a book. I really let this get me down for a while. It wasn’t about book sales, it was about the fact that no one seemed to be talking to me about my book, my experience or even giving me a call to say well done. I suppose I thought that when I plugged my new achievement all over social media I might get at least one message of congratulations but nothing happened. It was really hard. The doubt I felt was overwhelming. It took many conversations with my sister and husband to get it out of my system and realise that you just can’t pin your hopes on the reactions of others to keep your motivation and belief in yourself going. I learned a very important lesson here. I did and do believe in what I’m doing. I am very passionate about my writing and the joy it brings me is worth more than any book sales I may or may not have. Slowly, I have moved on from this with a clear vision.
I have discovered the joy of Instagram and met some lovely book bloggers, book lovers and reviewers who are going to review Awaken. I’m very excited to receive their feedback.
I’m now knee deep into the sequel to Awaken. I managed to write a few chapters on some recent plane flights as I’m terrified of flying. I punched out thousands of words to prevent my knuckles going too white from fright!
I’ve have learned a lot about writing style and technique which is making the process a little quicker. My beautiful artist is currently working on the cover of the second book, the initial drawings are just too amazing which is motivating my writing even more.
Life really is one long lesson. I discover everyday something new about myself and the world, and everyday I read, reading is food for the soul.
Go read, feed your souls heartily!
Well it’s been an amazing, crazy 18months. In between school runs, pony club, karate, ballet, gymnastics and the torture room(aka the laundry room!), I’ve managed to write a book. Yes, my first novel, Awaken, went up on Amazon and Smashwords over the past 2 weeks. I can’t believe I made it to this point, but wow, it’s a great feeling.
The biggest challenge I faced, other than where to squeeze in writing time(often done in the witching hours after midnight), was self belief. Having committed to a very different career for nearly 2 decades, it was difficult to imagine myself somewhere else, someone else. Well, as I discovered, I just needed the right inspiration at the right time. I’ve realised I’m not someone else, I’m just me, evolved and on a continuous learning curve.
What we learn as young adults in school is to choose a career path. What we are so often not told is that what you choose early on is not the only option. Your entire life is not set in stone. You can do and be many things.
Do that. Be many things. Try new things. Every age that you are is a new opportunity to live your life to it’s very best.