It’s that time of year again when we reflect on what has transpired during the past 11 months. What went right, what went wrong and what steps we’ll take to change things in the coming year. Like previous years, 2022 seemed to accelerate uncontrollably after Halloween and I couldn’t help but wonder where the last six weeks went. Perhaps seeing Christmas products in stores earlier this year than in years past—in fact, alongside skeletons, witch costumes and candy corn—confused me into thinking it was later than it was.
We’re now solidly into December and I’m still wondering if I accomplished all my goals for 2022. In past blogs, I admitted to being a perfectionist, which I consider a double-edged sword. While it’s a trait I continue to consciously suppress (no one is perfect), it is also one I am grateful for as it compels me to pursue positive things like writing and editing on a regular basis. And as I reflect on the goals of 2022, I am proud to say that after countless edits, I finally released the third and final novel in the Persona Non Grata series for publication: Eve of Destruction.
To publicly admit my fear of imperfection would be a gross understatement. Indeed, until the final edit—at which time I was so tired of reading it—I still feared I missed a few typos or glossed over continuity or timeline issues.
In the end, I calmed my anxiety, took a deep breath and approved the manuscript for production. It was a huge relief. I could feel an immense weight being lifted off my shoulders. I could now move on to the next step in the process: Marketing.
Self-awareness is a great gift. Luckily, I think I always recognized my strengths and weaknesses. Right brain vs. left brain talents. During my youth, however, I may have shied away from expressing what I considered to be my strengths fearing criticism. Still, I believed in my talents and clearly acknowledged I’d never excel at anything requiring complex math. I barely passed algebra. I do not possess a mathematical brain. My talents lie in language. Linguistics. Vocabulary. I live for learning new words and discovering new literature. I aced every English class I ever had, from junior high school through college. Without even trying. And while my day job as an executive recruiter requires good verbal and written communication skills, thankfully it doesn’t require advanced arithmetic. But it does require I use sales techniques, though they’re more on the consultative side than the hard sale side.
Ironically, the art of sales isn’t a skill that comes naturally for me. And I am no good at marketing either. Especially when it comes to marketing myself (i.e. my books). I struggle promoting myself, and would clearly make a terrible “influencer,” a millennial word I first heard about nine years ago.
For me to realize my full potential and fulfil my passion (and maybe destiny) of writing more novels, I MUST learn how to promote myself and my writing. Confront the fear of criticism and rejection. Take baby steps, I tell myself to motivate me onward. At least I took the first crucial step earlier this year, vowing to complete the Persona Non Grata trilogy by resurrecting Eve of Destruction out of the documents folder in my computer. And then furiously editing it. Progress.
As I wish all my dedicated readers a Happy New Year, I’d also like to mention that I’m seeking a terrific marketing professional willing to take on a talented, yet struggling and shy author. If anyone knows such a person, please send them this link. In addition, if any of you want to read some thrilling, edge of your seat stories this holiday season, go to Amazon or my website to order my books today. I’ll even sign a copy for you!