Every year this is a reunion of NYT best selling authors, small press authors, indie authors and yet-to-be-published writers. I probably talked to everyone of them before we left yesterday for our homes. I asked them what they feared most when it comes to writing.
After dozens private conversations and a couple of panels, I reduced our collective concerns to a scant few.
As a group, we feared loss of focus. That's a broad topic. For some, loss of focus fell within the end covers of their manuscripts. They can fix that with a good set of beta readers and distance. All agreed they needed to step back and the the manuscripts rest.
Two years ago a YA writer said she spent one hour three days a week responding to every Tweet that came in for her books. Because the audience was teens, she could get away with, "OMG! Thank you for reading my book. I'm so happy." Followed by a smiley face. She had a file on Word with about six responses. Copy. Paste. Done. And when her next book came out, her fan base was ready...
We all worry about what our obsession with writing and marketing might be doing to our families. The best balanced authors made the entire family part of the process. One's daughter wore t-shirts with her YA book cover on them. Another sat with his entire family at the beginning of the year. They blocked out family time on a huge calendar he hung in his office. He could use the rest of the days writing and marketing his books.
Almost to a person, we were afraid of rejection. Not the kind that come querying agents and/or publishers, but the kind that comes when you pick up the phone, cold call a librarian (for example) and pitch a writing workshop or book signing. We all were afraid they'd say no. Some did; others didn't. But those who didn't pick up the phone sat home waiting for it to ring. Or playing games on FB. Or tweeting and bleating about their lots in life.
Driving home, I vowed to be even braver this year than last. I will call more libraries. I will contact more book stores. I will contact service organization. I will contact active living retirement communities. I will be out there as often as I can.
I will not take too much time away from my loving husband, my life partner, and my partner in writing. He's the most important part of my life.
Please check out my novel, Mad Max Unintended Consequences, available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble in paper or e-book formats.