So far we’ve talked about the Year of the Writer and how it’s time to develop the courage to NOT fit it. And what that really means is this:
As writers in the digital age, we need to be SEEN.
Well, if we want readers to find, fall in love with, and buy our books, that is.
Gone are the days of writers hiding in the mountains and coming down to drop off a manuscript only to disappear again. Readers LOVE interacting with their favorite authors.
You can blame this age of social media, thank-you-very-much!
But there is a silver lining.
This also means it’s easier to cultivate stark raving fans! Because people don’t just buy products (aka books) they buy people. So if they love you? Trust you? Feel connected to you? They are more likely to buy your book, buy your next book, and tell all their friends about how freaking cool you are!
So what’s the problem?
Most of us are afraid of being seen.
We have a story in our past (or the past of someone we know) that says being seen is scary, dangerous, too big a risk.
And our beliefs usually boil down to this:
===>WE are not enough. (Not perfect enough, skinny enough, smart enough, talented enough, etc.)
===>OTHERS are too much. (They are going to yell at me, judge me, ridicule me, stalk me, hurt me, etc.)
Because what if we get seen and people DO NOT like us? What if they (*gulp*) HATE us? And what if they are so unkind to our work that we never want to show our faces in the light of day again?
OR… what if they LOVE us? What if they go bananas for our work? What if too many people line up all wanting our attention and we just can’t keep up with the demand and energy of being so… SEEN? (*faints*)
Whether we’re looking at failure or success… trolls or super fans… we tend to feel the same fear.
So how do we prevent this from happening to us?
I’m not here to sugar coat it for you. That’d be irresponsible. When we stand up to be seen, we get seen by both the lovers and the haters.
You might be thinking: Okay, Deb, that’s great. Now I NEVER want to come out of my writer cave!
But I promise, there is hope.
What can we do then?
- Focus on the people who support us. Invite more of them into your tribe. Surround yourself with people who will cheer for you, love on you, go to the mattresses for you, etc. And then… LEAN INTO THEM!!! A tribe doesn’t do you any good if you don’t ask for their help when you need it. (We’re writers, remember? Not mind readers.)
- Handle the old stories. The ones I mentioned above? Yeah. Those. If I were to put you on stage in front of a bunch of other writers, what would be your top 3 reasons why that’s not okay? THOSE are mostly likely your stories. Look at them. Find the truth, find the lie, and choose into a more powerful belief. Because you don’t have to be perfect or even “just right” to let people see you. I promise, your fans won’t actually care.
- Be more committed to your fans than you are to your fear. If you haven’t done this yet, write a letter to yourself from a superfan (as if you were them). Give them a name, picture them in your mind, know who they are and what they like and don’t like. Then let them tell you why your book mattered to them. What difference did it make to their lives? Why do they love it so much? How have you inspired them? Just let the pen flow and see what comes out of your superfan’s letter to you. Keep that close by so whenever you start to feel the fear of being seen, you can reread this letter and take courage knowing the difference you’ll make is MORE important than the random troll who happens to stop by.
Glitter Sister, you deserve to be seen. You are worthy and you are worth it! If you’re not ready now for the full spotlight on you, at least take a small step:
HIT REPLY and tell me “I want to be seen!!!!”
Or talk about your current project on social media, tell a trusted family member or friend, say hi in one of your writing groups, etc.
I’d love to have you introduce (or reintroduce!) yourself in Creative Central! Let us know who you are, what genre(s) you write, what books you currently have available (or what project you’re working on) and which step (from the list above) that you’re going to take on your road to being seen. Let us heart it up for you and rah-rah your big step towards being a writer others want to meet (AND have you sign their copies of your books)!
I’m not here to tell you that being seen isn’t scary. It is.
I’m here to assure you that being seen is within your power.
I believe in you.
Loves & hugs,