One writer who’s attending our monthly writing group get-togethers admitted that she’s terrified of publishing. She was surprised at how many of us admitted we felt the same way.
“Use a pen name,” someone urged. This author writes erotica; in his day job he’s an accountant.
“Blog,” someone else said. “You’ll look at publishing in a new way when you find out it’s hard to get readers.”
Become an author: it’s a challenge to find readers
That author was right — it’s a huge challenge to find readers, no matter what you’re writing.
The veteran author of the group said that once you realize how precious readers are, you become very grateful — even when someone gives you a bad review. “They took the time to read. I often think about that. A reader takes hours to read a book. He could do a thousand other things, but he read your book. That’s amazing.”
Yes, it is. Readers are wonderful, and we should be grateful, but it’s normal to be worried about how your writing will be received.
Tips to kill your anxiety and become an author
Let’s look at some tips to help you to manage anxiety. You won’t remove all anxiety. Those butterflies are excitement.
1. Use a pen name if you’re concerned about your reputation, or family and friends
Worried about what people will say? Perhaps you’re writing in a genre which might cause comment from your work colleagues, or your family. It makes sense to use a pen name.
“I use a pen name now because I don’t want to talk about my writing,” one author admitted.
2. Publish! Post on social media (blog)
Moving out of our comfort zone is always challenging. We fear judgement from others. It’s far more likely however that we’re harder on ourselves than others would ever be.
As practice for gaining readers for your books, publish on social media. On one end of the scale, you can blog. On the other end, if you’re short of time, you can tweet. However you do it, publishing is publishing.
3. Make friends with other authors in your genre or category
Do you network with other authors? I don’t have any writer friends other than those in our writing group. Most authors don’t. However, you can network with authors online — aim to network with authors who write in your fiction genre, or category if you’re writing nonfiction.
You don’t even have to join a forum or group if you’re pressed for time. You can:
- Follow authors on social media and retweet and repost them;
- Like their posts;
- Review others’ books on readers’ networks and Amazon;
- Comment on authors’ blog posts…
Hit the Publish button: nothing bad will happen
You can’t become an author unless you publish.
Take the leap; it’s not scary.
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