Gotta be honest here: I’m exhausted! I’ve got a day-job situation (no surprise), and I’m sitting here on break during a week-long training session (painful), and … oh my god … I so painfully want to sleep. The need is an ache deep inside my eyeballs that’s telling them to close.
Last week I wrote about attending the Wordcrafters retreat and conference. I was sleep-deprived as I began this week. I haven’t caught up because I’m completing Kilmoon launch tasks late into the night. (Uh-oh, the instructor is starting up again. Time to pretend I’m listening … back later …)
(Later – shh. I’m not listerning to the instructor. This is what my life is right now—squeezing tasks in any way I can.)
I’m continuing with my Wordcrafters thoughts because in keeping with the theme of this week—springing forward and the kersplats we encounter along the way—I’d say that conference was a huge defining moment for me as an author.
For me, the word “author” connotes the public life that comes with having a published novel out there in the world. It’s the word for writers who have to think about marketing, promotion, and sales; who have landed on the other side of the book-signing table; who answer questions from aspiring novelists.
During the Wordcrafters conference, I sold books, signed them, and answered questions as a so-called expert. All firsts. (My launch isn’t until next week—woohoo!—but I got early copies to sell just for the conference.) I presented as an author for the first time also. Come to find out that I know stuff! For the first time, my name was listed in a conference schedule.
It was surreal, and I surprised myself by enjoying authordom. I stretched my comfort zone mightily, and I was proud of myself. However:
Along the way, as sometimes happens on a learning curve, I kersplatted pretty mightily. It’s a pretty funny story too.
The writers retreat ran from Monday through Thursday, and the conference from Friday through Sunday. So there I was, Friday morning, relaxing in my hotel room while my retreat instructor, New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs gave the opening keynote downstairs. She’d told us retreaters to feel free to skip the welcome since, well, we were already pumped and had spent the week with her. So I did. I needed some downtime, introvert that I am …
So what happens? I receive a text from my friend Stacy. She writes, “Susan just announced you. She bought your book. She wants you to sign it in front of everyone.”
OH. MY. GOD. Susan Wiggs plugged me, and I wasn’t there to savor the moment! Instead, I was holed up in my hotel room feeling like a total turd and catastrophizing the whole thing as if I’d ruined all my chances … for what, I don’t know.
Susan ended up making a joke about it and got some good laughs, and I got a good ribbing for the rest of the weekend. Promotion is promotion though—people knew who I was, that’s for sure. (And my books sold out!)
But, yeah, that was quite the authorial stumble. I figure there are going to be a few more (or many more?) along the way. Does this make me nervous? A little, but if that’s the embarrassing price I pay for going after what I want—so be it.
(And whew … I’m done with this post and almost done for the day … and I didn’t fall asleep!)
Have you ever blown it in a public way? Tell us about it!