I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I will promote my novel once it is published. I haven’t thrown myself into the research yet, especially as I’ve decided to wait a while before seeking an agent and looking into self publishing seriously. Still, I’m working out a lot of ideas.
It dawned on me recently that in order to sell my book I will first of all have to admit to being a writer; whole-heartedly and shamelessly.
Today at lunchtime I stole away from my desk, novel under my arm and set about editing while munching on my sandwich. A colleague crept up behind me and asked if I had brought my work into the canteen. No! I exclaimed. Of course I haven’t, this is just – and this was my moment to tell her who and what I really am – this is just something personal.
Maybe I’m just not ready to share my true identity with everyone just yet, not before I have something to sell and push. Or maybe I lack confidence, scared that she might want to read it (despite noticing her reading over my shoulder as we talked).
I’ve been a writer my entire life; since I learned how to spell my first word, and a storyteller since I learned how to talk. My friends at school all knew (and were very supportive), my English teachers all guessed but none of my current work team know. There have been opportunities to tell them all about it, today’s lunchtime is just one example of many, but for some reason I always hold back.
Writers are private people, writing is who they are, it’s their identity and it is precious to them. It’s one of the great mysteries – how does a writer sell their work if they don’t want to tell anyone who they are? What are we scared of? That someone will hate our work? I think for me the fear stems more from letting someone into the inner workings of my mind. Some day (soon I hope) I will have to become brave and declare to my work place who I really am (the world already knows thanks to this blog!) in the hope that they will buy my books, help me pay my bills and help to make my publishing dream come true.
Until that time I’m a bit like a superhero; an office worker by day and a caped crusading writer by night!