Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#IWSG - BIG news from the Ninja and I talk about my split personality.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is an amazing group of bloggers brought together by the awesome and talented Alex J. Cavanaugh.

And today Alex announced that the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website is now open

Here is what Alex has to say about it!

Many thanks to the IWSG Admins who helped put it together - Joy Campbell, Michelle Wallace, Joylene Nowell Butler Susan Gourley/Kelley, L. Diane Wolfe, and Lynda Young.

It is still a work in progress and we will continue to add to it over time. You will find pages full of links to great sites and databases under the following subjects – Writing Tips; Publishers, Agents, Queries; Self-Publishing; Marketing; Contests; and Publications.

The IWSG List is also up on the site HERE.

The first Wednesday will be an encouraging word from the team, and every Monday will be a post from one of the admins about writing, designed to encourage and give you some valuable information or resources.

We also have a Facebook page HERE.

We invite you to follow and explore the new site. And let us know what we can do to make it a great resource for writers.

Thanks everyone for your dedication to the IWSG and making this site a reality!

Thank you, Alex! You inspire us. You encourage us. You always have our backs.

You are a great friend.


Being a writer and being a published author is like having a split personality disorder.

Let me try to explain.

I'm not social. I like to be alone most of the time. I don't do well at parties. If I went someplace alone it was to the movies. Even with family, I can only take so many people for so long before I need to sneak away. I live in a fantasy world inside my own head where voices talk to me constantly. I daydream. I evening dream. I make up shit all the time. Relationships. Scenarios. Beginnings, middles and ends. I'm a writer.

But now, I'm a published author and everything needs to change.

In order for my book to reach more than just my inner circle I have to reach out. I have to talk to people. I have to be involved. I have to leave the house. I have to find self-confidence, that I never had before, and shout from the rooftops that my book rocks and that everyone should read it. I have to hand out business cards. I have to interact with fans. I have to request reviews. I have to answer questions and not sound like an idiot.

How am I supposed to be both of these extremely different people at the same time?

I don't mean to sound snarky about being published. It's awesome. It's just that no one really tells you how much work you have to do yourself if you want your book to sell.

I have to find a happy medium between happy introvert Heather and awesome friendly book seller extraordinaire, Heather M. Gardner.

Anyone know what I'm talking about?


  1. I saw the site. It looks great! Balance is the most difficult thing to achieve. I do understand you and I'm trying to work on my balance too with different things. If you find the key, let us know!

  2. Glad you are excited about the website!! The admins worked so hard to put it together.
    I know exactly what you are talking about, because that's mean. Not always daydreaming, but perfectly happy to play my guitar alone in my office for hours. You will adapt over time. And you'll find it's easier when there is an army helping you.
    I also recommend that you program your clones to be extroverts. That also helps.

  3. Well, I obviously don't have any first hand experience with this, but I know that that's what a published author needs to do. And I know that if I ever get there, I'm going to have a very hard time finding the balance.

    I wish you luck with it.

  4. We know, we know! I didn't have a clue what was expected when my novels were first published. Even now, I still feel like a pimp telling people about my work, but a girl's gotta do what needs to be done. Take it in stages and the IWSG is a good place to start. Enjoy the journey and know that there are hundreds more like you on this publication journey.

  5. Being a major extrovert, I can't really relate, except that I'm a total nerd so in that way people don't really get me. IF I manage to get published, I look forward to all that public stuff...I think. I have plenty of time to freak out about it since I haven't even finished my first novel yet...
    Tina @ Life is Good

  6. I'm not even close to published yet, but I'm also an extreme introvert, so the thought of putting myself out there is terrifying.

  7. Good Grief! You are describing me.

    We'd be the ones sitting against the wall while the party was going on, perfectly happy reading a book.

    Probably sitting next to each other and not intimidated by silence.

  8. It is hard, I think if we could choose we would sit in our rooms just writing away for the foreseeable future. Still it something we must all do if we want our babies to be enjoyed.

  9. I'm thrilled with the new IWSG website and page on FB! I certainly know what you mean about a split personality. I think writing is necessarily a solitary endeavor. We weren't meant to be social, but in these modern times, we have to be. Good luck to you and everyone else who has to try to be two very different people. ;)

  10. I can relate! Oh boy, can I! Everything you said sounded exactly like me. My debut will be coming out sometime next year so I am also learning all about the struggles of being a shy introvert while as selfishly promoting my book. It's not easy, but for me at least I can keep most of my promo online as my book will be published as an ebook.

    Good luck to you, and if you need any help just ask! :)

  11. Al - You will be the first to know!

    Alex - Darn clones! I never get those right! Thanks, Alex!

    M.J. - You are right behind me my friend. You will know soon enough.

    J.L. - Pimp is an excellent word to describe it. It does help that I'm not alone. :)

    Tina - Well being an extrovert, WHEN you finish, you'll do great!

    Sarah - It's certainly something I should have thought more about. I'm sure we will do great, though.

    Huntress - Silence is awesome. Lets my brain rest! What are we reading? :)

    Brandon - It's true. I want the world to read it, I just don't want to tell the world. Harsh.

    Lexa - It's pretty darn cool, right! Thank you! I could use the luck.

    Chrys - You would think it was mostly online being an e-book but that's not really the case. You have to hawk the digital in the real world too.

    Good luck to all of us!

  12. It's not easy promoting your work, as I've discovered - I'm an introvert, so pushing my books doesn't appeal to me at all! I much prefer the writing part!

  13. I am an introvert too. Having to suddenly mingle with strangers and try and convince them to buy my book would totally freak me out. I think you are doing really well. Thank you for sharing what the reality of being published is really like. I wish you all the best.

  14. I'm a bit of an introvert and love my "me time." I like to do a lot of things alone like movies.

    But I can turn it on when it comes to promote my books. I am a shameless self promoter in this regard.

    Then, when finished the off switch naturally clicks and I'm back to being an introvert.

  15. I enjoy my own company. I can be alone for hours on end and NEVER be bored.
    As a child, I was very happy left alone, with my books, while other kids played outside.
    I certainly don't need people around me all the time...

    However I HAVE learned how to socialize and hold my own in a group... it took me a long time... but I THINK that I'm over the worst.
    But sales person? I'm hopeless...
    Writer In Transit

  16. Absolutely - almost all the writers I know are introverts. I think that's why we tentatively sell to each other first, it's like testing the ground before we face that unknown public! IWSG site looks good.

  17. I'd suggest coming up with the best selling point for your book and use that to talk about. Chances are you know what that is already, or maybe you'll have to think about it for a minute. Chances are equally good that you'll be able to talk about that selling point, because you were able to write a whole book about it.

  18. Emma - I hear that. When I'm not writing I spend too much time promoting.

    Murees - Thank you. It's definitely a learning experience.

    Stephen - That is the best of both worlds!

    Michelle - Yeah. I guess I still have a lot to learn.

    Charmaine - Good point. I think you hit it on the head!

    Tony - Not a bad idea.

    Thanks for coming!

  19. We all find that extra ability, to push our work forward, from somewhere, Heather, good luck!

  20. I only know you from your blog and you always come off so confident. I finally joined IWSG and I am finding myself energized just from reading the other posts (like this one). Maybe you should save your IWSG reading until just before you need that energy :) (Silly idea, I know, but its all I have)

  21. I totally get what you're saying. I have to find ways to be a hermit, yet tell everyone about my book. Which means talking about ME. Well, I don't talk about me so well. I talk about other people VERY WELL. All I can say is, you're not alone in this and good luck. I need some too. :D

  22. I understand because I also tend toward more solitary activities. I'm not a wallflower by any means, but I'm more of a homebody than anything else. Split personality definitely sums up the weirdness of having to break through that and put yourself out there. Great IWSG post!

  23. I constantly struggle with the same thing . . . and I AM an outgoing person, lol. I'm also a full-time teacher. I thought there was no harder job until I started this writing stuff *bangs head against the wall* But if we love to write, we must pay the price! Good luck finding your balance!

  24. I think it would be scary to be a successfully published author. Yep, I like my quiet solitude too. I rarely invite people to my home, and am worse about visiting others, or calling. I love the way the internet allows me to be social - one sided :)

    Argh, lol.


  25. This post reaffirms why I'm kind of glad I'm still where I am... it's SCARY to be out there... and to have all the new kinds of stresses that come with being published. Spot on post, Heather. Next time I get frustrated, I'm going to remember this and be content with where I am. :)

  26. Channel your inner Castle. "I really AM ruggedly handsome, aren't I?" You really ARE passionate about your book. You are in love with your book. People will respond to that when you talk about it that way.

    Plus - once I hit the lottery, I can quit my job and be your full time agent/manager.

    Love you,

  27. You described exactly what I am going through at this very moment. Like you I prefer to be alone in my own world. My family keeps telling me to contat the local newspaper, bookstores, library but I can not get out the door! I have 100 copies of my book to sell sitting in boxes on my living room floor, but the thought of getting out there and selling them terrifies me! You are not alone.

  28. I saw the IWSG site. It looks awesome. I look forward to stopping by to check it out often.

  29. I know exactly how you feel. I'm the same way. Sometimes it feels as if I have a bunch of different people living in this body. I have the hermit writer and the networking writer just as with the quiet mom, the excited school board mom. It's difficult because I re-energize by being alone, and I don't get nearly enough alone time. I haven't found a balance yet. Please tell me if you discover the secret!

  30. I think many writers know how you feel. People are always surprised when I tell them I'm a shy, introvert by nature. I've forced myself out of this zone for my own good. I'm a teacher by profession (I know, what the heck was I thinking as a shy person choosing that profession?) and had no choice but to come out of my shell. Don't get me wrong, I'd still rather read, write, or do any other activity that doesn't involve socializing. But that's not how life works.
    How did I do it? I made a commitment to change. Make a mental list of one or two things you can do a week that involve stepping out of your comfort zone and into socialization. Work it around your interests. Go to a book club or writer's conference and meet new people, strike up a conversation at the book store or super market. Have a get together and ask each person to bring along a friend you don't know to expand your circle. These are just suggestions, but you may be surprised at how easy it becomes once you get started.
    Great to meet you and good luck!


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