Okay, I’m going to put this on the internet for the whole world to see if they choose and hopefully, it will help me to confront my fears. I have no excuses to hide anymore.
Feel free to share your fears, too. With a team effort, maybe we can confront them together.
I’m a shy person. I never know what to say though my family wouldn’t agree and my friends would say I’m likeable, even gregarious. Writing has always been my dream but with those fulfillments come other problems.
I don’t like to talk about myself. I’d rather listen and with some people I’ve learn they’re just the opposite. They want to talk, they don’t want to listen. So it’s easy for me not to “fight” for that space and just not talk. Silly, I know, but true.
As a writer, that’s just one of my fears to confront. Self-promotion. Actually going into a bookstore and talking to a stranger about buying my book. Fear of failure, fear of bad reviews, of no reviews, of judgment, of the answer to this question: what if I can’t write another one?
Well, guess what? I have succeeded. Anyone who has ever accomplished their goal has succeeded, whether it’s losing ten pounds, getting a college education, buying a new home, or starting a new business. Whatever you’ve done, the first step to success is doing. Be proud of yourself for accomplishing your goal and be proud of yourself if you’re still in the doing phase. Just trying is an accomplishment.
I can write and I will continue to do so. It is my passion, and even if I never publish again, I will have succeeded at what I set out to do.
Another fear is the fear that (some) people look down on romance writers (though I think we all need more love in our lives, including romance). Why do some people scoff at love and romance? Isn’t love what makes the world go around? Money may be the dominating factor, but without love, this world would not have gotten to where it’s going and without love, this world is going where it is…downhill.
Where am I going with this? I have a problem I’ve been hiding from but a problem that is hindering my writing career. My boss, whom I have worked for for almost nine years, does not know that I am a writer. Better yet, I am an author with two published works. Because of my small town, only a select few individuals and my family know.
My boss does not like people to pursue other careers, especially ones that affect his public image. Without saying what kind of public image I’m trying to protect here, let’s just say it’s a pretty important political image.
I feel this is hindering my writing career, but I can’t afford to quit. I can’t go to the local library and tell them about myself, I can’t have an article in the local paper, and I can’t market myself in the way I’d like to market myself.
Though I don’t think my job would be in danger if he knew, I fear other repercussions.
Why do I feel shameful? If I wrote thrillers, John Grisham novels or Stephen King bestsellers, would I feel this shame? What’s wrong with romance? Conflict, action, suspense…passion, love, working things out…there’s nothing wrong with romance. I even had a family member say “Oh, you write that smut stuff.”
No, actually, I don’t but if I did, who cares? I’m fulfilling my passion in life, following my dreams, and that is something a lot of us have been trained to think we can’t do these days. Like our mission in life is to be in this box, living the life you’re supposed to live, being the good little girl you’re supposed to be. You go to work, that’s just how life is. NOT having and fulfilling dreams!
So what’s my point in all of this? I am seeking opinions. Do I tell my boss, or not? Do I risk he find out without my telling him or do I continue to hide? I have two bosses, actually. My supervisor does not appreciate the joy of reading and I won’t mention how I think her response would be to my news.
Should I tell my boss and if so, how do I go about it? Do I go into his office and say, “There’s something I wanted to tell you before you find out elsewhere and I’d like your permission to market myself.”
And for those who think I’m crazy for even questioning all of this, you’d just have to know my boss and the people I work with to understand my dilemma and if you’ve never had to worry about these types of people, you’re lucky!