What If Giving It Your Best Isn’t Good Enough?
Sometimes the scary demons of doubt, despair, and “Who The Fuck Do I Think I Am” play with your mind and invade your innermost spirit.
I’m trying to stop that from happening.
I’ve got a plan.
I love writing.
I wrote in a recent Writing on the Webb email that I love it with 7-bajillion fibers of my being. That was a rough estimate.
Some people even say I’m pretty good at it, which is part of what pushed me to quit a cushy-Corporate-American-ladder-climbing gig to start a business as a freelance writer. It helps to know that people would pay you money to do something before you decide to try to make money doing it. Contrary to many of the chase-your-dreams-turn-your-passion-to-cashin’ messages of modern business “coaching”. I’ve always dreamed of being the author.
Shockingly, writing copy about piano damper pedals and press releases for poorly executed discount business models wasn’t really as sexy as I originally anticipated. But a girl does what she has to do to make ends meet.
And I wasn’t prepared to do what some girls do to make ends meet.
Again and again I’ve thought back to what I love doing. It’s more than writing.
I love telling stories. Setting scenes. Endearing people to characters. Making them laugh. Making them cry. Threading ideas into words. Weaving tales that people remember and love sharing.
As I began telling the stories of my own adventures, at home and abroad, people were engaged.
I became resolute. The answer became clear: I wanted to write a book. A novel, cause I like to keep people guessing whether those stories are fact or fiction. And it would be a travel memoir. From a girl. Who is all about the blunt, sassy, direct commentary and writing style. And would likely include tales of struggle, adversity, sex, drinking, success, triumph, and cute outfits while being the author.
It would be the anti-Eat, Pray, Love.
Then, last week as I was knee-deep and thriving on creative flow and excitement, I clicked merrily on a link from Ash Ambirge at The Middle Finger Project about people peeing their pants. Prepared for some hilarity I was instead horrified.
I had totally forgotten that she was going to make writing a book a priority in 2012. And it was going to be a travel memoir. From a girl. Who is all about the blunt, sassy, direct commentary and writing style. And would likely include tales of struggle, adversity, sex, drinking, success, triumph, and cute outfits while being the author. It will be the anti-Eat, Pray, Love.
From across the planet that bitch punched me in the stomach and knocked me to the ground.
Which is a horrible thing to say because Ash is a good friend who totally isn’t a bitch and if she were to punch me it would be accidental because we were jello-wrestling. Which we would obviously make with vodka. Which would then mean we wouldn’t be wrestling at all, we would be laying in a kiddie pool gorging ourselves on vodka jello.
WHICH IS SOMETHING ASH WOULD WRITE ABOUT MORE POETICALLY ON HER BLOG BECAUSE SHE IS BETTER THAN ME.
This is about the time that the beautiful niceties come sweeping in. The people that tell us “Chin up young lady. Go frolic in the forest with your woodland friends while singing a little ditty about being the author because you are smart, talented, witty, and — gosh darn it — people like you.” Or “It doesn’t matter what other people think. It doesn’t matter how you stack up to other people…what matters is that you are happy and enjoying what you do.” Most of these people are on my social payroll (friends, family, guys I occasionally hook up with, etc) and it’s part of their gig to have to say nice things.
Unfortunately my imaginary woodland friends don’t pay the bills. In the published literary world it mattesr VERY MUCH how you stack up against others. And since those little bastard imaginary woodland friends aren’t paying the bills I certainly don’t have a ton of cash to keep enough people on my social payroll!
Writing a book is one of those big, hairy, scary goals that many folks have added to their bucket lists, but they never get it crossed off because:
- They don’t know where to start (“I just have so many ideas, I don’t know how to decide on one?” – “Do I have to write it from the beginning?” – “Should I write non-fiction or fiction?”)
- They don’t know how to do it (“I don’t have any experience writing an entire book!” – “Do I need an agent” – “What is a .mobi?”)
- They are haunted by their own ”Who The Fuck Do I Think I Am” demons (“I don’t have the authority/talent/knowledge/audacity/audience/etc to write something that people would actually want to read”)
These three obstacles come up constantly when I am talking to friends, colleagues, and clients who are working on their own drafts. Considering the people I am friends, colleagues, and contract with that is a LOT of conversations about writing books.
The final (and hardest) obstacle is that we are doing it alone.
Writing is a solitary process. You are sitting there staring at that evil little blinking cursor of…evil…as it mocks you:
You. Don’t. Have. Anything. Worth. Saying. Blink. Blink. Blink.
What if there was a place that you could see that there are others going through the same thing as you?
People who are struggling. Who are fighting these same demons and still trying to do something magical. Who are creating compelling content and making words sexy.
Launched today, www.BeingTheAuthor.com is a membership-based site that allows aspiring authors, struggling writers, and anyone in between to watch as up to five featured authors at a time share their journey from concept to publication.
The site will start with my process and book, and we will be quickly adding the other four authors over the course of the months of June and July. Each author will update at least twice-monthly. This may be a checklist. Or a How-To post. Or a raw and exposed tale of receiving their 38th rejection letter from a publishing house.
With 5 authors writing monthly, the content will criss-cross and vary the same way the subjects and genres will.
Being The Author is a great way for you to sneak a peek behind the scenes of the book writing and publication process. For some this will be the push you’ve needed to get started on your own book. For others this will serve as a road map in your quest for success in publication. And many just like peeking at things.
The site is launching with a heavy discount for members of this community, the folks who have supported me most. Consider it my birthday present to you (oh yeah, today is my birthday)
The price will increase at 3 authors and then again to full price at 5 authors.
If you sign up at the discounted rates, however, you are locked in a the lower price for the lifetime of your membership
Wanna just test it out and see what you think?
I’ve got your back – and have a 45-Day No-Overdue-Fee Guarantee.
Whatever gets you putting the pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) – giving it your best with the support of an entire community behind you will be more than enough.
Being The Author gives everyone the opportunity to live the glamorous life of a writer vicariously.
Imagine Hemingway and Fitzgerald in 1920′s Paris…with less cavorting and rye. Or maybe a little more.
It’s your story, after all. Make sure it is one worth telling!
Did you know I have a private newsletter that goes out ONLY to subscribers? It offers stories of travel adventures, writing brilliance, links to great content around the internet and other crazy shaningans.