Writer Wednesday Welcomes Lindsey Bell!!!

Today Writer Wednesday Welcomes Lindsey Bell!! Lindsey is a fun new friend of mine who I met on Twitter. She is absolutely lovely and you will agree. I love, love, LOVE her topic of choice today because it’s one I’ve talked to so many writers about. As it turns out, not every writer is as extroverted as I am *shocking* I know. And truthfully, even the friendliest of people can find themselves frozen when faced with a crowd of strangers. Also, in a world where we learn to be humble and polite, tooting our own horn can be pretty awkward. Lindsey really gets it right, and she says it way better too, so here she is!

Why You’re NOT Too Shy to Promote

If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s this: I’m shy. I’m an introvert at my core. Public speaking makes me nervous. Talking to editors intimidates me. My voice even gets shaky when I talk to other authors. I guess there’s a part of me that still wonders if my writing is any good. You’d think getting published would alleviate these fears, but for me, it hasn’t. I’m still shy. But…I’m learning to manage it.

Last fall, I did something that I’ve avoided for years. I pitched my book to several editors and agents at a writing conference. Yes, I was petrified. Yes, I was drenched in sweat by the time the pitches were over. But it was worth it. I met my agent at one of those pitch sessions, and we’ve been working together for the past six months to get my manuscript polished and submitted.

As a writer who has finally learned how to manage shyness, I feel obliged to pass along some tips to other nervous writers.

  1. Dress the part. I try to wear professional-looking outfits when I talk with editors, agents, or other authors. It’s weird how looking professional makes me feel more qualified.
  2. Come prepared. When you go to a writing conference and plan to promote your work, be prepared. Bring your book proposal and sample chapters. (In fact, I’d bring several copies of your proposal, just in case you run into another editor who likes your work). You should also bring business cards.
  3. Perfect your pitch. The pitch should be a couple of sentences long and include the title, theme, and basic story line of your book. Once you’ve written your pitch, practice it. Have it so well memorized that you can say it without even really thinking about it.
  4. Remember that they are people too. Editors, agents, and other authors are just like you. Try to take them off the pedestal and view them as normal human beings. It’s also helpful to remember that they are rooting for you. They want you to succeed.
  5. Believe in yourself. So what if you’re a first-time author? So what if you are young . . . or old . . . or whatever thing you think makes you less qualified? Believe in your writing, and believe in yourself. Because when you do, you’re a lot more likely to find someone else who will believe in you as well. J

Good luck, and happy pitching!

A Little Bio & Where You Can Find Her:

Stay-at-home mother, wife, and blogger. Her articles and devotions have been in various publications. She is currently working with the Blythe Daniel Agency to find a publisher for her parenting book entitled “Searching for Sanity.” When she’s not writing or chasing after her two-year-old son, Rylan, she’s likely spending time with her husband, Keith. Or then again, she might be taking a nap. Read her author blog at www.lindsey-bell.blogspot.com or her miscarriage blog at www.livingwholeagain.blogspot.com. You can also find her on Twitter (LindseyMBell) or on Facebook (Lindsey Bell).

 

5 comments to Writer Wednesday Welcomes Lindsey Bell!!!

  • This is a great post, Julie Anne, thanks for having Lindsey as a guest!

    Lindsey, your post really speaks to me. I’ve been wrestling with #3, not just with a book project but with all of my writing pursuits.

    My challenge is that I can play an extrovert when I’m being someone other than myself — performing, promoting others, etc. I find it very difficult to put myself in the mix, one of the things that led me to journalism — telling others’ stories without myself being in there. Promotion means exposing yourself, and I’ve spent the last few months as a writer working on developing the trust to do that. Your #4 is very useful in that regard.

  • I’m so glad my post was helpful for you, Patrick. I think promoting yourself is one of the hardest aspects of being a writer (at least for introverts like myself, that is). Happy writing:)

  • I must admit, I’m just not the type of person to flagrantly toot my own horn, which is hard because if you want to get the word out there about your book, it’s something you need to do. I’m basically going against my own grain, and sometimes it makes me feel dirty to push my work, but y’know? I’m going to hold my breath and keep doing it. I can always wash later… after my novel’s published – LOL!

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