Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Push Past Your Fears - Just Hit Publish! (An #IndieLife Post by @PiperPunches)

Indie Life is a monthly feature hosted by the fabulous Indelibles where we get to share something related to indie writing life.

And this month, my Indie Life post is a guest post written by author Piper Punches. Thanks for stopping by to chat about indie author fears, Piper!

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Six months ago if you had asked me what my two biggest fears were, I would have said snakes and spiders. You would have nodded your head at that clichéd answer and gone about your day not giving one more thought to my irrational fears of the common household arachnid or the backyard serpent. As you walked away, I would have been congratulating myself on keeping my secret. Of not telling you what I dreaded most in my life was hitting the publish button.

Was I a writer? Yes. I spent every single moment of my existence for years wrapped up warm and toasty in a daydream of other people's lives; characters that needed that one final breath to be brought to life. I ate words for breakfast. I dreamed dialogue when I closed my eyes, but the one thing I didn't do was commit to the actual process of writing. Why? Well, that is easy enough to explain. I was afraid of being wrong. I was afraid of letting my so-called book baby out into the world where it would be subjected to judgment. I was afraid of being called a fraud – a wanna-be writer with little talent to stand on. Were these fears as deadly as spider bites and snake venom? Actually they were worse because they as they pounded in my chest and ate away at my reasoning, they killed that part of me that knew I could succeed. So, instead of hitting publish I hit the snooze bar on my ambitions and dreams of being a novelist.

What changed? Honestly, I'm really not sure. Maybe it was getting older and realizing that I had the power to write what I wanted, when I wanted. I didn't have to wait for a swanky publishing house to agree I had a story to tell. The term "independent author" didn't have to be a dirty word. Instead, it could be a term that stood for me. Once I made that connection, I started putting one foot in front of the other towards publishing my first novel.

Have there been bumps in the road? Of course, because what road is pothole-free? The first major speed bump was when I sent my finished manuscript to the editor convinced my book was an utter disaster. She disagreed, but I was still ready to scrap it. Self-talk, booze, and my husband telling me to stop acting silly helped me navigate this hurdle. The second major hole in the road came when I finally hit publish and found a slew of typos I had overlooked. Self-talk, booze, and a supportive husband couldn't help me get over this fatal blunder as easily.

So, what advice can I give you as an Indie author when I have only made it to home plate once? Here it goes.

Write From Your Heart

If the story you have to tell comes from your soul, readers will fall in love with your words and your characters. They will be invested in the storyline and keep turning the pages. I have been overwhelmed with the response that I have received from readers that have told me they felt connected to the character in The Waiting Room.

Be Human, but Proofread

The truth is we all make mistakes. Even bestselling authors produce books with typos, but they have the publishing house to blame - you don't. So, if you see a typo or two or a hundred after you hit publish, scold yourself for only a second and fix it. Own the mistake, but don't let it own you or ruin your accomplishments.

Don't Be Critical

Promote your book and be proud of your success. Hitting the publish button will open up your novel and your talent to judgment. This is when you put your big-girl or big-boy pants on and brush it off. If someone leaves a less than glowing review, don't let it stop you from pursuing your passion and publishing again.

Don't be afraid to hit the publish button. Embrace it instead. Save the fear for the little things like those furry spiders with the beady eyes and snakes that like to sun on your driveway.

Piper Punches lives in the far west suburbs of St. Louis with her husband and two daughters. The Waiting Room is her debut novel. Piper is excited to connect with her readers and encourages everyone to stop by her website and say hello. In the meantime, she is currently working on her second novel, 60 Days, which will be available April 2014 and a short novella, Missing Girl, available January 2014.

a novel by

Waiting rooms tell stories. They are a medical purgatory. Some sit in the waiting room for hours to be shone the light, graced with blessings. For others this is the final holding room before they are delivered into hell; facing uncertainty, despair, sadness, even death.

When Charlotte receives a note on the day of her mother’s funeral containing a cryptic message, she is confused and intrigued. Although she knew that waiting rooms told stories, she never realized that part of her own story resided in this seemingly neutral environment. But, then again, why should she be surprised? Her mother had secrets. Charlotte knew this. She just didn’t know how life-altering those secrets could be...

A stunning debut novel from Piper Punches, The Waiting Room weaves a tale that reveals the complexities of family, the invisible bonds that connect people, and the pain that can reverberate through the choices we make. Told from several points of view the story becomes clearer and clearer with each turn of the page that the secrets we keep aren’t always ours to take to the grave.

Available as a Kindle edition and paperback edition on Amazon


Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing the potholes you've experienced and your advice. So true we all make mistakes and shouldn't beat ourselves up over them. Good luck with your book.

SA Larsenッ said...

Writing from the heart is truly the way to go. If I'm not feeling it, I usually stop, figuring it's just not meant for me to write. Being too critical of oneself is another element of my writer persona I have to work on. Thanks for the suggestions and advice.

Laura Pauling said...

I love the write from your heart bit because when we do press publish, we want to love our work (even if we're sick of it by that time!)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Laura, Natalie, and SA Larsen! So glad you had a chance to read my little guest post. Not that I have much experience to give suggestions or advice, but I had fun writing it and I am happy if it resonated with you.

Andrew Leon said...

My post today is on the same subject but from a different angle.

Cathy Keaton said...

Thanks for writing this fantastic blog post, Piper! I'm hoping when it's time for me to hit the Publish button for the first time, I have the courage to accept the scrutiny of the public, as well. Not going to be easy, but knowing it's hard for all authors does make me feel better about it. ;)

Miranda Hardy said...

That's great advice, and a valid fear... One I have as well.

Cherie Reich said...

Wonderful advice! Getting the words down, taking the time to edit, and then publishing is not for the weak. It's definitely scary, but it's rewarding too. :)

Libby said...

When I published my novel, I dreaded the idea of finding a typo. I had many before publishing and I'm sure one or two are lurking in that book, but nothing glaring at least. It is scary.

Shah Wharton said...

I concur with all you've said here. It's not easy to 'hit publish' and the hardest part for me has been that as a writer I've grown so much since I did first 'hit publish' that every time I read my old MS I want to change things. The hardest part for me has been letting go once something's published. Best of luck with your book... love the cover and the blurb sounds very interesting. X

PS: Hey Rachel! :)