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So, um….I’m a writer. Okay, thanks. Bye!

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 February 3 posting of the IWSG will be Allison Gammons, Tamara Narayan, Eva E. Solar, Rachel Pattison, and Ann V. Friend!

I’m really shy about mentioning my books to people.

Sure, I talk about them here on my blog, and my website, and my Facebook and Twitter, but those are all places designated for talking about my books and meant to be resources for people looking for/discovering them.

My close friends and family all know I’m a published author, and my coworkers, and all know to varying degrees what I write, but to just tell random strangers that I’m a published author? Gah!

One of my coworkers could be my one-woman street team. She tells EVERYONE I’m a published author, and makes copies of my promotional material and hangs it up at her laundromat, and talks me up to everyone she meets. She’s one of those super-personable people who talks to everybody and makes a million friends, and since we work in the service industry, she comes in contact with a lot of people daily. I am endlessly grateful to her and for what she does–I never asked her to, she just does it. But when she mentions to someone right in front of me that I’m a published author, my face goes red.

I don’t know why. The few times I have told strangers (when it comes up organically in conversation) they’ve always been delighted, curious, and a few have even gone right to Amazon and immediately purchased my books! One guy even asked if he could take a picture with me and put it on Facebook. I’m always blushing profusely through these exchanges though, and trying not to sound stupid.

I guess the reasons I have for being so shy are:

  • I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging. Even though I’ve never had anyone roll their eyes at me, quite the opposite. I’m still afraid they’ll be like “well lah-dee-dah, aren’t you special?”
  • I’m not good enough. I’m not a bestselling well-known author. Ironically, if I was, I wouldn’t have to tell anyone about my books. While most people seem impressed, I still feel like a schlub.
  • Maybe they won’t like the kind of things I write. Even though my aim is never to sell books in these exchanges, but just to tell people what I do, the way you’d tell someone you’re a veterinarian.

I envy those authors who are powerhouses of self-promotion and tell anyone who will listen what they do and what they write. Maybe one day I’ll be a little more confident and a little less shy.

What about you? Do you talk to people about your work?

Megan Morgan View All

Urban fantasy and paranormal romance author.

30 thoughts on “So, um….I’m a writer. Okay, thanks. Bye! Leave a comment

  1. I’m too shy about bringing it up as well for the same reasons. What if the person hates my genre? What if they don’t like to read? What if they think I’m weird? (Well, I am weird actually.)

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  2. I could have written this post. I struggle especially since I don’t really have anything published except my blog. Writing and getting published is difficult and, therefore, is something to be proud of.

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  3. I completely identify with your hesitancy to shout about being an author in some situations. I have a friend who is a talented artist. She does go overboard on telling everyone she is an artist even if she is truly creative and a master at her artwork. She has a reputation about overdoing it. I guess we have to find a balance about marketing ourselves–not to bragging, but not too much of a milk toast either. My mother’s saying was “He who tooteth not his own horn, his horn remaineth untooteth.” But she never mentioned how loud to toot!

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    • LOL that’s a great saying! That’s my biggest fear too, that I’ll toot too loudly and overdo it. I guess we’ll simply have to practice until we get the volume right.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I’m the same way. I don’t tell people unless they ask what I do for a living, and if I think they might not like what I write, I just say I’m a stay-at-home mom. We should be more confident about it, but writers do tend to be timid.

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  5. I don’t have a problem knowing that strangers are reading my book–and at this point, they must be strangers because I don’t know that many people in the UK. And I’m much more comfortable interacting with people online–I don’t talk about my writing in most real life situations except with close friends. Frankly, most of the people I work with aren’t readers anyway.

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  6. It sounds like you have a great ally there in your co-worker. If she wants to be your one-woman street team – wonderful. If you are hesitant to talk about your books, carry bookmarks with you all the time and use them to talk to people. Sometimes just having something to hold can make it easier to talk about your work.

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    • That’s a very good idea. I often take stuff to work because she wants it to put out at various places. I feel like I should be paying her a wage!

      Thanks so much for the advice, and for stopping by!

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  7. Firstly, many congratulations on all your accomplishments. It’s lovely to hear a success story. With regards to promotion, it is finding the right balance. When I am in your position, I will ensure that I remain true to my own ethical beliefs and even though some promos may be outside of my comfort zone, I would like to think that I remain in control and represent myself the way I wish to be represented. Wishing you continued success!

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  8. I can completely relate to not wanting to talk about your accomplishments and come across as though you’re bragging. There was a woman who introduced herself to me the other day and handed me a flyer with information about her books on it. She did it in such a natural way, leading into it with a humorous story about herself and her misadventures that it didn’t seem pushy, braggy etc. at all when she told me that she was an author. Maybe it’s all in the delivery and approach.

    In any event, congrats on being a published author – that’s a huge accomplishment!

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  9. I am open to talking about my writing with friends and other writers. Coworkers at my job is where I get shy. My manager is SO excited for me, and other coworkers too. But I still shy away from getting very detailed. It’s great you found a champion for your work who will hang up fliers for you!

    The other piece of this is I think there is a larger systemic conditioning at work here. Women are taught to “be nice” which can include a laundry list of things like not boasting, waiting for someone else to lead (often men), staying quiet as to not intrude or cause controversy. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In book talks about this a lot. How women often sit along the sides or in the back during meetings while men sit at the front. How men will ask direct questions, boast about their accomplishments, while women seek permission to do things and give credit as a team vs them as an individual. This is all so ingrained in us, simply recognizing our tendencies is a good starting point. Only you can decide how to present yourself, and if you’re recognizing areas where you could change, that’s a great place to be! I highly recommend the LeanIn,org site which has free videos and discussions (I have no affiliation with them!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds great, I’ll have to check that out! I’ve always been a pretty shy person through my entire life, too, so that kind of adds to it. People always seem to react positively when I do tell them, so I’m gonna try to remember that the next time I feel too shy to talk about it.

      Thanks for all the advice, and for stopping by!

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  10. When people ask me what I do, I usually tell them about my other job. Lately, I’ve been trying to remember to describe myself as a writer first. You’re right, most people have a positive reaction to that. Although sometimes some people get a little too excited, like they think they’re meeting someone famous. Which makes me feel super awkward.

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  11. It is great when we have friends who talk us up like yours does. Let her do the bragging, but don’t be so afraid to tell people what you do. They will admire you. I do. They also might envy you, and that’s where the attitude comes from. You’re living out your dreams. Too many people sit around thinking about their dreams, but never act on them. Be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Go. Create. Inspire!

    Mary at Play off the Page

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    • Thank you Mary! That’s a really good way to look at it, maybe instead of bragging, I’m inspiring others to do things. I hope so, anyway. And yes, she’s such a great friend–I’m endlessly grateful for her!

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  12. Hi,
    Sometimes we have to learn to validate ourselves. Getting the greatest reviews of your books or having people brag about you is worth nothing if we don’t believe in ourselves. And believing in yourself and that you have been given a special gift to write is not bragging, it is opening your eyes to see that you are blessed to be a published author with lots of talent.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

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    • Thank you Patricia! I will try to remember that and try to have a little more self-confidence about it. It’s my dream come true, so I would love to be shouting it from the rooftops, if only I would let myself.

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