I've had this post percolating for a long time, trying to figure out how to say what I want to say. And I'm still not sure I've figured it out, but I'm giving it a try.*
This publishing thing is ... a crazy business. Awesome and amazing and many other incredible things. But it's crazy too. For so many reasons. Deadlines. Pressure. The fact that you are putting something deeply personal to you out in the world for all to see and judge, knowing some of them won't like it. (and that many of them will express that dislike in very public places, flogging you for all the world to see. YAY REVIEWS!)
But I guess the weirdest part--for me at least--is that you're also putting YOU out there. Especially if you're active online. Then you are putting yourself on blogs, facebook, twitter, tumblr, pinterest, insert-other-social-networking-trend here and saying, "Here I am world, judge me!" And THAT is a crazy, crazy thing. Especially because so many of the people I'm interacting with online are my peers.
See... here's the thing about peers. Whether we've yet to sell a book or we've sold twenty, we're all writers. And we're all watching each other, seeing what we're doing, and we can't help seeing things from the standpoint of ... would I do that? Would I say that? Would I blog about that? Would I want my book deal announced that way? Would I RT that? Would I tell that story?
And naturally, a lot of times, the answer is, "No."
We're all different people. We all have different things we are and aren't comfortable with. So... we're all going to have different ways of handling things. ESPECIALLY when it comes to self promotion.
Oh, self promotion.
The words alone make me want to move to a wi-fi free cabin and curl up in a little ball for the next year while my books launch into the world. It is a big, mucky, icky gray area where EVERYONE has their own opinion on what is and isn't acceptable. There. are. no. rules. Except that it's pretty much a guarantee that SOMEONE will be bothered by SOMETHING you do. In fact, I'm sure it's already happened to me. I'm sure I've done or said something or not said or not done something or just... I don't know, the way I'm smiling in my author photo has rubbed someone the wrong way. Probably more than a few someones.
And that's okay. Personalities clash. Misunderstandings occur. Whatever. It happens. And it will keep happening.
But I guess what I'm trying to say--after all of this rambling--is mostly... I KNOW I'm going to make mistakes as I muddle through this crazy year. I'm SURE I've already made some. But... I still need to do it. I still have to talk about my books sometimes. And me. And share good news. I'm going to try and balance it the best way I can. But I'm sure some of you will probably think... I wouldn't have done that--and you may even be right.
But... maybe some of you will enjoy sitting back and watching the last threads of my sanity unravel. Hey--maybe even a few of you will find it fun.
Whichever category you fall into, I hope you'll try to remember that I really am doing my best. I don't know what I'm doing and I'm not perfect so yeah... there will probably be faux pas. But I really hope that you'll bear with me anyway. Hey--if nothing else, there will most likely be a whole lotta Shannon Shame going on too. And prizes. I AM NOT ABOVE BRIBING YOU TO LIKE ME!**
And hey, if you have any tips or pointers or DO NOT DO THIS pieces of advice, feel free to share in the comments. I can definitely use all the help I can get.
*please note: this post was not inspired by any particular or specific INCIDENT. Just something that's been on my mind pretty much from the moment I accepted S&S's offer and I realized I would have to self promote.
**See? Faux pas! :)