This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the the June 3 posting of the IWSG will be M. Pax, Tracy Jo, Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi Lee!
One thing I’ve discovered being published (finally!) is that attention is awesome. Having positive attention focused on you for accomplishing something is heady and addictive. Every time a new release comes out, people are talking about and to me: tweets, Facebook posts, reviews, congratulations, acknowledgements. My heart soars every time someone retweets one of my tweets or talks about my book or gives me a review, be it on their blog or Amazon. Release day is the best day because that’s the day everyone is paying attention to you. Your publisher will chatter about you and all kinds of promotion and publicity is rolled out for you.
The problem with attention is that it’s fleeting. Release day will come, but it will end too. All the promotion both you and your publisher do will stop eventually. Reviews will drop off. People will stop tweeting about you and talking about you on Facebook. For one shining moment you’re the star, but that’s just it…it’s only a moment. Unless you have a new release coming out every single day, the herd will quickly move on to the next shiny thing.
When you enjoy attention, having it switched off can bring back all the insecurities and self-doubt that each pat on the back momentarily wiped out. All the sudden you’re left with just you and no one cheerleading. You have to sit down and write the next book so you can get more of that attention you crave. You have to create another reason to wave your arms and shout “hey, look at me!”
There are ways to fill in the gaps and get people to at least glance at you between the big important moments. You can do self-promotion, go on blog tours, write your own blog, enter contests, do giveaways, go to conferences, and talk to anybody who will interview you…not that yours truly would ever be THAT desperate, *ahem*. Anything to get just a little taste of that attention you get on release day. Sometimes I don’t even care if people buy my books, as long as they merely acknowledge them.
But in the end, I have to remember that I’m a writer, and as such I write to write, not to be a celebrity. Writing calms the anxiety. Writing makes me feel whole and it feels even better than the attention. Getting the words down and meeting my writing quota for the day feels better than a thousand retweets and reviews. Attention for your writing is like candy–it tastes good, but it doesn’t nourish you.
Do you crave attention? How do you deal with yourself when you’re not getting it?
(Completely apropos, I’m currently on a blog tour for One Night In Chicago, if you care to follow me around and give me attention.)