Banish Self-Doubt & Keep Writing

a50c644c69ecf62e5fd2caace50ca4f2As the last Deb to launch her book out into the world (THREE WEEKS TO GO) I’m at a disadvantage to discuss hindsight. However, I have the distinct advantage of learning from those who have gone before me, so notes have been taken and tips have been appreciated. Granted, I’ll likely only tame the worry versus eliminate it completely, and while I love Amy’s suggestion to do guest posts as they come in, I can see how that sounds great in theory but is harder to achieve in practice.

But while I don’t have a book launch to reflect upon (yet), I DO have book two written, edited, and as of last week, off to copy editing (THREE CHEERS!)

The copy edit dance!

Because while I might procrastinate on writing guest posts, I am loath to do the same on books I have under contract – which means I wrote this one as soon as I finished edits on COME AWAY WITH ME, and delivered it way (way) ahead of time. The good news is that means I can focus nearly entirely on my debut as it nears its launch; the bad news is I can focus nearly entirely on my debut as it nears its launch. Bad news how, you ask? Well, I like (need) a good, solid distraction. It keeps me moving forward and far away from Obsessing-Over-Things-Out-Of-My-Control-Land. So I’ve started working on two more books, because I’m a writer and that’s what writers do – we just keep writing. Right?

As for what I did differently from my debut (and my “practice” novels) to this second book, probably the most significant thing was to RE-LAX about the process. Yes, I still wrote a very detailed synopsis before I wrote one word of the story, and yes, I still woke at 5am every day when I was drafting, and yes, I still panicked a little when I opened my blank Scrivener file that first time. But alongside those anxious thoughts and process-based to-dos, I kept the mantra of, “RE-LAX. You’ve done this before, and you can do this again…” running through my mind.

It’s been said many times that self doubt is one of an author’s greatest enemies, and if I’ve learned anything after a first book, it’s that it’s best to shut the doubt down swiftly and fiercely. Or at the very least dull it with some excellent dark chocolate and a few stress-filled emails to author friends who get it, and can talk you down.

*For anyone curious about book two, it will be on shelves July 2016 and I can’t wait for this sophomore project of mine to make its debut!

BECAUSE OF YOU (Mira, July 2016)

When Ben and Hannah receive the heartbreaking news that Hannah will likely never get pregnant, her best friend Kate offers to not only to be her surrogate, but to use her own eggs to do so. Everything is going well until Kate suffers a devastating aneurysm—at 26 weeks pregnant—and ends up in a coma, on life support.

Hannah and Ben know their baby is at great risk if delivered so early—something Kate’s husband, David, is pushing for, as he believes removing the stress of the pregnancy could give Kate’s brain a chance to heal. What follows is an emotionally charged story about two mothers – one desperate to protect her unborn child, the other on the brink of death – and the impact those struggles have on their families and friendships.

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Karma Brown is the author of COME AWAY WITH ME (MIRA/Harlequin, September 2015), an emotional story of one woman’s discovery that life is still worth living, even if it’s not the life you planned. Karma is also a National Magazine award-winning journalist, and lives outside Toronto, Canada, with her family and their mischievous labradoodle puppy, Fred.

This article has 4 Comments

  1. Wow Karma, I am always awed at the feelings authors get. I know self-doubt is what I often feel (and I don’t write, except reviews which give me writers block) so, I love your quote for distraction- “Obsessing-Over-Things-Out-Of-My-Control-Land”. Dark chocolate and Re-Lax makes me smile. Stress requires chocolate for sure and then for me – peanut butter 🙂 ! I can’t wait to read Because of You, what a real dilemma that portrays.

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