At least no one laughed at her

Getting Shovel Ready

This morning I attended an information-packed Red Oak Writing workshop on blogging and social media, led by fellow Wisconsin writer Christi Craig (click here for a few links to some of the resources she shared).

While it fell during one of my busiest grading periods, the workshop couldn’t have come at a better time. This is my last term of teaching a full load of classes. In March, I scale back to one evening class twice a week—beginning the transition to indexing and writing full-time.

What this morning’s workshop did was further help me to get this next phase of my writing career shovel ready. As I’ve written about here before, I am not a natural planner, but I have in recent years become much better, and listening to good planners like Christi (she writes her Wednesday blog posts on Sundays!) is extremely motivating.

Two other motivators have been Kristen Lamb’s post Show Me the Money–What’s the Skinny on Author Earnings? and Mashable’s People-Powered Publishing Is Changing All the Rules. Something I haven’t done a very good job of in the past is putting my writing out there—where readers can find it—without apologies. While I am not looking to become a millionaire from my writing, I know it can earn me much more than it does now, if I start preparing that soil and strengthening my shovel muscles. Something that I am very eager to try is Wattpad, perhaps for the revision of my NaNoWriMo novel.

I am equal parts excited and scared. I’m excited to control more of my time. I’m excited to have more opportunities to stretch and grow professionally, something that my current hodgepodge of activities makes difficult. I am fearful not so much of failing, but of failing publicly, of being discovered as in impostor.

In the end, however, it comes down to this: Do I really want my tombstone to read “At least no one laughed at her?”

Photo by Ronny Satzke

4 thoughts on “At least no one laughed at her

  1. POST THIS ON YOUR COMPUTER:

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ~Teddy Roosevelt

    Do what scares you. Critics are just chicken. ((HUGS))

  2. Thank you so much for your honesty and openness, Lisa. I think this is something a lot of us struggle with, and it is frankly refreshing to hear it from an author with your accomplishments. (Your books are still my number one recommendation to new homeschoolers.) You help motivate all of us!

    • Gwyn, you are unfailingly generous! I’ve gotten so much better at accepting my usually contradictory feelings. I’m lucky that there is a core of confidence somewhere deep–even when I forget it’s there–that I am convinced came from time spent with my grandfather when I was young. However, those moments of doubt are always waiting to pounce. 🙂

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