♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
If your book took off tomorrow with enormous worldwide interest
and sales, are you prepared for all that entails?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Ready, Steady, Go! I think. Wait. I’m not entirely sure. Let’s do a preflight check before we get our cart before our horse, because that’s won’t get us anywhere fast in the long run.
While we can’t prepare for every eventuality, we can prepare for the most obvious and the most important things. Of course, that all stands within reason of what we plan. Readiness to rise up in our field is part of preparing to move forward. Not everyone will realize that a great deal of it just comes with daring to do the next book, and taking growth steps. Others very much realize it and work to manage their writerly life so that it stays within their comfort.
Each of the above are great ways to face next steps. They both help manage the anxiety that comes with growing as an author. You know what I mean. Imposter syndrome sneaks up on us a lot. (If it doesn’t, I am envious of you!) We think we don’t know what we’re talking about despite all the work we put in on a daily basis. Fears and anxiety can make being ready for a big moment very hard.
My mom, for example, will run through a mental checklist of everything that could possibly go wrong for an event (such as a family gathering, holiday, vacation). Then, her brain starts catastrophizing and running scenarios for her to additionally plan for, just in case. It’s a form of trauma response to an adverse upbringing. We roll with it as best we can, and gently let her know she’s letting the anxiety run her ragged.
A little anxiety isn’t a bad thing. Neither is a little catastrophizing. Let’s be real. Are we ever ready for a big event? Doesn’t something always fall by the wayside? This doesn’t have to ruin the event, but it does leave you with an experience that reinforces the anxiety. Your brain will now say, “see, I told you you would forget that.” Thus, the next time, your catastrophizing may take on greater depth, if not power.
Being ready to have attention on my work is something I think about a lot. I am blessed to fly under the radar with my work. There hasn’t been constant and widespread criticism across social media. The interest is small and manageable. Certainly, I would like it to grow much more extensively. That said, there are concerns…
Personal myopia is a real problem when you’re working in the public realm. Scrutiny of your ability isn’t the only thing you might face, for starters. Have you thought about the connotations of your book, its characters, the topics, and so on? These things will make meaning for readers that we did not necessarily intend. Our bias, in addition, can shine through. As much as I would like to think that I have a grasp of right and wrong, let’s face it, I am a product of my upbringing and the culture to which I belong.
Largely, I hope I am prepared to respond appropriately to legitimate criticism of my work, especially when I have done something that harms communities that are not my own. Cultural appropriation, racism, sexism and the lot take an extra effort to unpack, and it is a lifetime journey in many cases. That’s why it’s so important that different voices rise up, not just the same old ones we are used to.
While I may believe that I have found a great tale to tell, my personal bias and privilege could rather create a destructive force. That said, challenging the status quo can create a whole other firestorm. My book series, for instance, challenges ideologies of a spiritual nature. The premise that not one is entirely correct will not set well with those who adhere to a belief system they hold dear and defining of self. Almost certainly, certain factions will condemn my work as evil.
Am I prepared to be labeled as a subversive and evil person who is corrupting the youth of today? Mostly, I believe that I am. My only question, is there are way to take a break from the anger and threats sure to come with those condemnations? Certainly, you can shut off social media and watch a show, but eventually, you’ll have to come back to it–or someone will have to.
I suppose, with success comes the ability to make your headaches someone’s full time job. And, that, right there, opens up a lot more to be ready for. Have you ever processed payroll? Sure it’s easy to write a check, but you’ll have to report payroll to the proper bureau of government. There’s a lot more to it! I guess I’ll just get an HR and tax expert while I hire folks. Now, I’ll need staff to manage this now multi staff business. Do I incorporate now?
Do you feel that stress? I don’t know if I am ready for all that. I like the idea of growing more slowly so it’s not a sudden change to adapt to and learn more about.
On a bright note, there goes the day job!
Hop through the other responses by our blog hop authors to find out if they’re ready!