I have great friends, loyal supportive and very smart. Why else would they be friends with me? We’ve been through men, (thankfully not the same ones), divorces, childbirth, first loves and last kisses.
In all the years I’ve known them, twenty plus for some, I rarely mentioned my writing. If I did, it was only as an offhand remark and I usually mumbled about working on “something’.
Remarkably they formed the opinion from such minimal information that I could actually write and gave me every bit of encouragement for it.
Last year while I was still running in place, researching to my hearts contest and rarely producing, I met a friend and a mentor. She rapidly kicked my butt, hard (still hurts but in a good way) and got me out of the fantasy and into the real work of being a writer. Stop talking, she commanded, and WRITE!
I wrote and won one of the first prizes in the national Similac Mom's $130K Payday Contest. I wrote and won a short story contest beating out second and third time contributors for first place.
In spite of all that I still found it hard to tell friends and strangers, “I’m a writer.’ Why did I hesitate? Was it because I didn’t have a published novel? Or, was it because I wasn’t earning a paycheck writing? Even without all that I knew I was a writer. I knew all the joys, hopes, fears and frustrations of a writer. I’d entered several contests and planned on entering more. I even have a first work in progress plotted out and in motion.
Then this past weekend, something changed. Correction, I changed.
I started talking to my friend about my new author promotional site, (http://theravencroaks.blogspot.com/ launching May 1st)
I found myself talking confidently and not without a small degree of ego. I told my friend about my blog, my WIP and anything else that I could think of. It just felt so good not to be quiet or understated about my passion. I felt like I was coming out in my own way (cue Diana Ross music).
The truth I realized, when I wasn’t even paying attention, was this. Before anyone else takes me seriously, I have too. Committing to the job of being a writer means accepting everything that comes with it, skepticism, hard work, and challenges aplenty. I have begun building the foundation for my novel’s launch possibly years before it arrives. I used to feel that I would look foolish or even deluded if I told people about my writing and didn’t add a published title after. Now I am happy to share each of my writing successes or plans with them. I want to get them excited and interested in what I have coming next. I want them to want it almost as much as I do.
As I make connections through every social site I can join and utilize to my best interest, my name is becoming known in small and rapidly larger circles. By posting my thoughts here and there and blogging a little, the threads are beginning to weave into a pattern that links me to new opportunities and new contacts.
I am planting the seeds of my own success and the harvest I reap will be plentiful.