Today, I’m going to talk about celebrating our accomplishments. Like many insecure writers, I’m not very good at promoting myself. As a child, I was raised to be modest. I was taught that bragging was a Bad Thing and that people wouldn’t like me if I talked about myself. I’ll bet many of you were taught the same lesson growing up.
As authors, we’re put in a tough spot. We’re business owners. We have a product to sell. We have to tell people about our book and we have to give them a reason to want to read it. When we see other authors obnoxiously spamming on Twitter, telling others their book is the best piece of literature of our time, we roll our eyes and snuggle deeper into our introverted shells. We don’t want to be THAT person, even if it means not selling many books.
I released my fifth book on Friday. As part of my “promotion,” I tweeted about it twice, blogged about it once, and posted something on my Facebook page. Then I sat back and felt neglected because my family and friends didn’t care about my new book. Gee, I wonder why. Maybe it’s because I didn’t tell them?
With each new release, my family has become less excited about my books. So have I. Promotion is difficult and uncomfortable, so instead of killing myself with blog tours and begging for reviews with my last two releases, I just hit the “publish” button on Kindle, tossed a couple of posts on social media, and got to work on the next book.
What the hell is wrong with me?
I should be CELEBRATING every book release! Celebrating is different from marketing and promotion. Celebrating isn’t bragging–it’s sharing. I’m excited about my newest book, and if my family and friends care about me, they’ll want to share in my excitement. Not everyone will necessarily read it or buy it, but a “like” on a Facebook post or a congratulatory phone call is all I need to put me in a celebratory mood.
Writing a novel is a huge accomplishment. It deserves more than a lackluster blog post and a vague Tweet. With my first book, I celebrated every step on my journey, from finishing the first draft to holding my paperback for the first time. There were pictures, Facebook events, and parties. I need to rediscover that feeling of accomplishment and feeling of pure joy, even if I’m the only person celebrating.
When my friend, Greg, published his first novel, I shared the following video on his Facebook page. So, insecure writers, this song is dedicated to all of you. Celebrate your accomplishments. Whether you’re halfway through your first novel, or you’ve published twenty books, let’s celebrate your awesomeness. You’re a writer, dammit. That’s something to celebrate!