I’m still learning.
In life, of course, but specifically in my writing career. I’ve spent a substantial amount of time researching the publishing industry. I read about the experiences of fellow authors and devour any tips an editor may post. I read about writing romance, about being a writer, about the entire publishing process. I observe how my fellow authors, particularly newer ones like me, navigate the releases of their books on social media and with book bloggers. And while I learn, I find myself growing – the purpose of all my learning. But during this process, it’s easy to slip into a pit that undermines your growth.
I’ve seen some new authors slip seamlessly into the process of networking. They use social media with ease, and from my point of view, do so successfully. While I, on the other hand, find it terrifying. I spend hours agonising over whether I should post something, and if I have, whether people like it. In a career where social media has the power to make you a success, each post now comes with a higher risk, making me even more anxious to post things.
These feelings are all amplified by my perfectionism. It’s a constant battle between “you’re still learning” and “you should already know” for me. I know that this is only the beginning – my first book hasn’t even hit the shelves yet – and the logical, sane part of my mind (also, my husband) reminds me I can’t possibly know everything now. But then my illogical side asks why other authors seem to know what they’re doing and shouldn’t I be sending things for reviews and…and…and…
Like I said, I’m still learning.
I tell myself this over and over again, until finally, the anxiety subsides and I can get on with my day. And when that doesn’t work, I remind myself of all the positives:
- I’m still fairly young – there’s time to figure it all out.
- I get to spend a solid portion of my day writing – I’m so grateful for this.
- I believe in the stories I tell.
- I love setting my romances in places I will recognise – that my South African readers will recognise.
- I’m thrilled by the intricacies of relationships, and the nuances I get to explore.
- I’m so grateful to be with a publisher who will help establish me as an author.
And, as of yesterday, my second book has been accepted by Harlequin!
I do believe things will improve – that I will improve, and someday realise perfectionism isn’t realistic. But in the meantime, writing this post has made me feel better and has hopefully reached someone who feels the same way.
You are not alone.
If you can relate to this post, let me know in the comments or get in touch on social media at @ThereseBeharrie on Twitter and Therese Beharrie, Author on Facebook. It would be great to know that I’m not alone, too 😉