Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Time to Change My Hat Again!


The Marketer, The Blogger, and the Author




Yes, there’s my three hats. Notice they almost look exactly alike but they’re not. They’re actually very different. And, each one feels very differently on my head while I’m wearing it.

The first one the marketing hat is a very tight fit. I am extremely uncomfortable the whole time this one is perched upon my head. I may appear to be fine to the casual observer, but this hat almost always causes me to experience some level of anxiety. It makes me feel totally “out of my element”, far removed from my “comfort zone”. And, since I am highly susceptible to panic attacks (caused by my Anxiety Disorder Syndrome), being “uncomfortable” can become quite frightening. I’ve been wearing that blasted hat since the beginning of November which is why you haven’t been hearing much from me in the blogging world. I can finally take this one off for a brief, albeit well-deserved respite.



The second one the blogger hat is a little less uncomfortable than the first one. I’m more in my element when I’m wearing it. I’m writing, which is what I love to do. And, I don’t have to get fixed up to go out into public to “meet and greet”. I can stay at home, remain in my pajamas, and not have to do hair and make-up. The slight uncomfortableness this hat causes comes from the fact that I’m allowing the public to see the “real me” through the writing of my posts. While wearing the blogger hat I’m not creating a fictional story with a wide variety of characters. When I’m blogging I’m telling the reader about myself. Sometimes this can be pretty scary!

Now, the third selection the author hat  is easily the most comfortable one of all three . I love to tell stories. I relish the opportunity to create a good ole “whodunit” with colorful, hopefully interesting characters. However, besides writing a suspenseful mystery I also attempt to create a good true-to-life story which includes a deeper, perhaps slightly hidden, yet meaningful sub-plot. I’m an author who endeavors to spin a tale in a way that the reader will not come away feeling as though his or her time was wasted by reading my work of fiction.

Isn’t it interesting that if I had never worn the ever-comfortable third hat, the other two never would have been placed upon my head the very two that cause me to become quite anxious and uncomfortable.

Here’s a revealing quote from John Grisham, my role model. The following words appeared in the dedication of one of his latest books, Ford County Stories:
“When a Time to Kill was published twenty years ago, I soon learned the painful lesson that selling books was far more difficult than writing them.”
I was shocked to learn this painful lesson for myself. I thought that once I wrote the book and found a publisher, my part was done. Not so! I then had to learn to become my own marketing representative, whose primary responsibility was to figure out how to sell myself in a way that the buying public would want to purchase my book.

Now that I’ve given myself permission to take the marketing hat off for a time, I find I also need to lay the blogger hat aside as well. In order to finish writing my second book, the author’s hat the one with the golden lining must remain in place for the sake of maintaining continuity of the “creative flow”. Additionally, since I respect my blog readers’ time and interest, I don’t wish to publish a frivolous post just to have something to “put out there”, so to speak.

My second book is also a work of fiction. However, this novel was inspired by a true story. My husband’s brother-in-law was murdered on January 19, 2009. This tragic event sparked the idea for the story-line of my new book. While the murder of my sister-in-law’s husband is true, the rest of the story is purely my “imagination”. When I took off the author’s hat in early November to replace it with the most uncomfortable one marketing I was better than halfway through the writing of my fictional story. Putting the author’s hat on once again didn’t go as smoothly as I expected. The “creative flow” was all but gone. Consequently, I’ve realized that I must keep this hat on until this new story is completely written.
Wish me luck !!!