Monday, March 10, 2014

Coming Out of the Writer’s Closet

“Hello, my name is Ally and I’m a writer.” I mean, “I write,” No, “I’m an author!”  
So, maybe I’m not completely ready to come as it appears I don’t even know how to introduce myself, but this is how I have felt for the past few years. After the initial excitement at the onset of writing my first book I over-enthusiastically told too many people and almost immediately regretted it. When friends and family would innocently and half-heartedly ask what was new with me, I actually told them.

“Well, I’m writing a book,” and I would then ramble on about the premise and enjoy the impressed looks they would give me. I loved it, while it lasted. It lasted until I would see the same person again and they would ask how it was going.

“Good,” I would answer and hope to change the subject.

“When is it going to be published?”

“Well, I don’t know. I have to find an agent, or publisher,” I would sigh, “It’s a process.” I would lose their attention and I assumed their respect, or at the least impressed thoughts of me they had previously formed.

Thankfully this all happened around the same time that I discovered the writing community on Twitter. There, I found the group with whom I confide in and commiserate with. During the agonizing querying, contest-entering, and synopsis writing phases I could whine from my keyboard and instantly hear from a fellow writer who would either validate my feelings of frustration or boost me up with 140 characters of encouragement. I began to be a writer only in the virtual world and amongst those few ‘real’ friends who happened to be writing too and alongside me in the trenches toward publication. I was a comfortable place to hang out for three years.

Now, everything has changed and truly the dream has come true, but I’m at a quandary as to how to deal with it. Of course, my family and close friends were ecstatic when I called them immediately to tell them I’d been offered a contract and again when I had to gloat that I’d signed it, but now as I get closer to it actually being published, the attention is a bit overwhelming. I get everything from,

“You wrote a book? I had no idea!” to, “Wow, that took a long time,” and occasionally, “Congrats, I knew you could do it.”  Then of course there are all the questions about the plot and when it’s coming out. I also have to backtrack to the people I told years ago that I was writing explaining, “It’s not that book.” Nope, the story I was so excited about four years ago sits on a hot pink flash drive. It keeps company with the other two manuscripts that got further, but not quite far enough. I find myself explaining and even surprising myself when I say this book is a romance and then upon seeing my friends’ facial reactions, I add the caveat that it’s a sweet romance, not what they’re thinking it is.
I have no regrets, it felt good and right at the time to hide out, but I’ve got my work cut out now to market myself. I’ll start at the beginning, “Hi, I’m Ally and I’d love to tell you all about my book.”

I’ll make this giant leap in my next post.

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