"I write so that my handful of pebbles, cast into still waters, will create a ripple."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Reinventing Myself (Again)

I now understand why agents can't represent a book they don't absolutely love. a year ago, I was convinced that my memoir, ORDINARY APHRODITE, was just an egotistical rant. I was embarrassed about my disclosures and I lost faith in my ability to discern between writing for the Universal "us" and just letting it all hang out. But something changed. G___, a member of my writer's group, approached me at a meeting and told me that the book had saved her marriage. She was the eighth woman to tell me the same thing, and I realized I needed to honor my vision.

Something I've noticed about aging--we spend a lot of time worrying about the body, but not so much on the rest. My nerves are affected by mysterious tidal surges, or the waxing and waning of the moon--some inexplicable natural force I can't pinpoint. I work myself up, only to let myself sink into complacency (at best) or lethargy (at worst.) Keeping myself on an "even keel" involves a mind-over-matter approach with thyroid supplements, exercise and good-old positive thinking.

Part of my strategy involves being proactive. Good Stuff In, Good Stuff Out. I attended the Central Coast Writers' Conference and heard Anne Allen speak about social marketing. And the moon and the tides aligned.

With a rebirth of confidence, I started talking up my book. I put a copy in my purse and I've sold it several times now. I've mailed out copies to women I met through social blogging sites I comment on. Sold a copy to the clerk at the drugstore, and another to a woman in Coco's while I was waiting to meet my sister and mother for lunch. More to women at the Pioneer Day tea I attended. While I was there, I jotted down e-mail addresses from women I had lost touch with.

Suddenly everything is fun again. I can see possibility instead of excuses. It's a new day! I'm getting more postcards printed, this time with info about OA's availability on Kindle and Nook. I put several display copies in waiting rooms--my doctors, my tire shop, my beauty shop, with contact info printed inside.

The Holiday Craft Fair Season is upon us. I'm having Staples print a poster of the breath-taking comments that readers made about OA. My tire store gave me a great display holder and I'll use that when I sell at the Octoberfest in Los Osos and the Twin Cities Craft Fair at the end of October. I'm loaded for bear, Baby!

My goals are to 1) increase my contact list for my next release and to 2) decrease my stack of book boxes in the garage by ten by Christmas. That's a reasonable goal. I'm building my network in hopes of finding a publisher for my next book, but I'm also having fun with the one that's already out.

Okay, so I sound like Queen of the Boast. Trouble is, I haven't found any way to energize myself without the collateral damage spilling out onto the world. Life is good. My unleashed energy is having unexpected results in (ahem) other areas of my life, as well. After all, self-esteem is self-esteem. When is life ever better than when we are living our passion, our life's purpose? I tend to go off on rampages when I believe in something. And guess what--this time I believe in ME!     

How about you? Is your  confidence rebounding (or lagging)? What are you doing about it?