Lost In The Crowd…But Not For Long

Those who know me mostly see the upbeat, almost to the point of perky, side of me. I’m everybody’s cheerleader in a business which is rife with rejection and disappointment — at ALL levels. When a writer friend is struggling with their manuscript, I’m there to talk them through the issues to help them get back on track. When rejection comes a-knocking, I’m there to offer encouragement to keep on plugging away. And rejection comes to us all. But, for the most part, rejection doesn’t get to me. It’s part of the business and it’s something I take and move on from immediately. And another thing we share in the writing business is doubt… we doubt our ability to put what we have in our head down on the page as we see it. We harshly judge ourselves and are harshly judged by others. (Why do we do this to ourselves… oh yeah, because we have to get the story out.)

People tend to be surprised when I express my occasional doubts about my abilities. Which usually makes me smile in a bittersweet way. Because I do ENJOY spreading positive cheer and I love to banish doubt, but I am a writer too, so prey to doubts & insecurity just as much as the next writer. Fortunately for me, these bouts are infrequent and short-lived. Today I am in the grip of discouragement. I’m not easily discouraged, but it does happen on occasion, and usually with my writing. That is not the case today.

I’m in the middle of a blog tour for my newest release, Tattered and this book has been a long journey for me. With all of the ups and downs that I’ve had during the writing/revising/editing of this book, it wouldn’t surprise me to have doubt strangling me about this point over whether the book was ready to release. Oddly, I feel rock solid about the book itself. My melancholy today was brought on by feelings of inadequacy to get the word out about this book. How can I shout loud enough to be heard over the holiday bustle? Activity around the internet has been frenetic. Everyone is pushing their products, offering deals, shouting out good tidings to all. The activity is swirling all around and I feel like a blade of grass in a stormy river, whisked along at a frightening speed toward the whirlpool funnel, struggling desperately to reach the safety of the shore. How can I rise above?

I recently had someone compare my books to food. They are a taste that most people haven’t yet experienced. And sometimes when we haven’t tasted something, we fear it. We’re afraid we won’t like it, that the taste will be too foreign. But then when we do taste, we may have found another favorite food, something we can’t believe we’ve ever lived our lives without. It won’t strike everyone the same way, but that’s okay — it’s why we have variety. There is no doubt that my books are not the average young adult fare. I don’t think it makes them less than, just as I don’t think it makes them superior. It just makes them different. It’s also one of the reasons I chose to take the path to publication with them I did. I knew they’d be a hard sell, and in the current industry upheaval, would be near impossible to place. But I know these books have a purpose and need to be read. I believe in my work — in fact, now more than ever. Which is why today I feel discouraged about being lost in the crowd. But in addition to having the sunny-side-up personality, I also have an innate inability to give up. So today I may go swirling down the whirlpool, but tomorrow I will have figured out a way to climb onto shore. I may lie there for a moment, catching my breath, but then I’ll get up and continue on the journey once more. The books are like a present, all shiny and tied up with a bow, containing the unknown — you have to open them to find the gift inside.

11 Comments on “Lost In The Crowd…But Not For Long”

    1. Thanks, hon. I know I’ll figure it out. It is something I felt like I needed to share. It helps me get it out of my system, so I can move forward and upward.

  1. Great post, LK. I can totally relate. Personally, self-promotion makes me very uncomfortable, and it takes a lot for me to work up the nerve. It’s hard feeling like you’re getting lost in the noise after putting yourself out there.

    1. I’m right there with you… self-promotion has never been easy for me. I can promote the heck out of my friends, but asking… ASKING… people to do things for me, or take a look at what I’ve written, takes something I don’t have a lot of (and I’m not sure what to call that something… it’s not courage) and it takes everything I have to dredge it up to put on my big girl clothes and do it.

  2. Maybe this quote will help. I found/heard it a week or two ago and it brought me such comfort.

    “”Write the story for yourself…Let the audience that’s meant to find it, find it.” Wally Lamb

    For me, the quote was about letting myself out of the box so I could write what was really inside me–hang what other people think. However, I think this applies to your marketing concerns right now. Do the best you can, let your friends help, and let those who are meant to find your book find it.

    Maybe I’m over simplifying. After all I’ve never been where you are, but isn’t it better to have a slow start than no start? And the readers will come.

    Hope you climbed up on the shore today. 😉

    1. Thanks Charity. I think we all end up at this point at one time or another. And yes, back on shore and scheming how to get the word out. I posted the feelings because they were of the moment, and I’ve learned it is better to let the demon out and take a look at it than to keep it stuffed inside. Love the quote, by the way.

  3. We ride the wave one day, the next we’re in the doldrums. Writing brings us satisfaction, but self-doubt can take us to our knees, not doubt in our work but that the right audience will find it. Thanks for this post, LK. What you so eloquently say describes what many authors go through every now and then and it’s always good to know you’re not the only one who feels lost in the publishing flurry!

  4. You remind me so much of myself. Optimism isn’t always easy but when u r a truly optimistic person u find the sunshine eventually. We all struggle with our writing. It’s funny how sometimes it’s easier to believe in others than it is to believe in yourself. You and your books have a purpose. They have already impacted people which is an accomplishment some may never see. Keep doing what u do. Maribeth

    1. Thanks so much, Maribeth. Most of the time I do keep things straight and know that my books have a purpose. I just had a bleak moment watching tweets roll by one day when I had been working so hard to get the word out about a book that I love, and wondered whether my efforts mattered at all. And while I usually get over such thoughts quickly, I was prompted to write about those feelings because I know I’m not the only one who feels this way from time to time.

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