In three days, I take off for Anaheim, California for the biggest, yearly convention dedicated to the craft of romance writing. In prepping for my pending departure, the insistent list of skill sets and social marketing I’m lacking has been knocking around in my head like a malfunctioning MP3 player.
When my trusty friend and marketing guru, Christy, called to tell me it was time to start blogging, my brain started to grapple for purchase like a rock climber against a glass surface. “What in the world can I possibly blog about?” I thought. “All I’ve done so far is complete and edit one manuscript.”
My inner life coach jolted to life, hands on his hips, staring down at me with an imperiously raised eyebrow. (Yes, my inner life coach is a man. He’s also hot and steamy. I write romance, for crying out loud!)
“All you’ve ever done is write a manuscript?” he asked me incredulously.
Uh oh. Busted.
This is the lesson I’ve been wrestling with ever since I pushed out of my writing cocoon and walked into my first writing group; give yourself a little credit!
Writing and editing a manuscript isn’t exactly paltry. Sure I have a long way to go if I want to be published and spend my future happily ensconced in front of my computer writing more stories. The key is I started. I opened up my trusty iPad, fired up Pages and typed the first sentence. The first paragraph.
A year later, I’m three days away from flying toward a dream. Sure, I have a lot to learn and choices to make:
How do I best draw readers in to each scene?
- How do I create a fan base?
- How do I write likeable characters?
- Do I shoot for the traditional publishing route or self-publish?
The list goes on and on and on….
But you know what? I do have a few things under my belt already. I’ve completed something I’ve always wanted to do; I wrote a full length book. I’ve discovered I have a voice and people enjoy reading the stories I write. I’ve learned not every suggested change must be applied to my manuscript. The final decision is up to me.
No doubt, I’m a long way from being an expert. But do any of us ever really get to that point? Don’t we all have something left to learn regardless of our achievements in a certain area?
So my life coach is now massaging my mental muscles and helping me readjust my thinking…again. I’m approaching the upcoming RWA Convention with my list of accomplishments and a to-do list for where I want to go. I’m choosing to embrace this exciting journey and shove my insecurities in the closet. I’m going to meet new people and learn new skills. I’m going to feed my muse and chase my dream. I’ll earn the tools I need to hone my craft along the way.
I’m never going to be “done”. In fact, I’m figuring out each and every day is going to be clean and new…a journey full of fresh beginnings.