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 !!!


  1. So true, that our passions often force us to deal with things we otherwise would not. I guess that's the beauty of a passion. It makes us grow even further.

    Glad to hear you're working on completing your second book. I'm looking forward to it!

  2. Oh honey I have faith in you that God is going to finish what He started in you! He doesn't leave NOTHING undone. :) He's just soooo good like that. He will give you the desires of your heart. Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
    Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
    Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more--
    Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!
    Set you a pretty cup out on your bar so you can see it and sing this everyday to God. :)

    lol I wanted to read your blog and came over here and thought it was mine. lol We have the very same template, that is so funny! I didn't realize you had this one. I got tired of my dark blue one and wanted something bright and cheery.
    Anyway again I enjoyed reading your blog. Keep on keeping on. :)

  3. My Dear Pat, Having known you for so many years, I have seen you grow into such a smart, loving, creative and caring woman. The fact that you allow all of us insight into the "real you" is a gift. I, for one, really appreciate your posts. Many, including myself, would be very uneasy being so transparent.
    Since I have a real interest in your putting on your "Author Hat", I say "Yeah!!!". You have been so great to include me in your books. I truly appreciate it. As a main character I feel like somehow I am connected to the writing process. I look forward to seeing what you have done with and to me in the upcoming book.
    Keep up the good work…..