This is a tough love talk. And believe it or not, this is a tough love talk I give myself often, in order to push myself and achieve goals. This pep talk is for the hard worker, the optimistic yet logical person who wants to chase after their dreams. And reach them. This pep talk is so I will continue to push myself and never stop trying.
I got promoted in less than a year to my dream job. You might say I was in the right place at the right time. Or that I got lucky or it was a fluke chance or any number of other reasons. But you know why I got that promotion?
Because I asked. When I asked to help take over social media, my boss said sure, thinking it took something small off a full plate for another employee. He appreciated my initiative, saw my dedication, and when he realized I could do so much more, he made a new position for me, made it into my dream job and it’s all because I asked. When I offered my help, I figured the worst he could say was no. Turns out hard work is, as usual, the only true way to succeed.
I had a goal, set out to achieve it, and am proud to tell anyone who asks what I do. So how can I apply this to my indie authordom? Thanks to the Roanoke Writers Conference, I’ve been thinking more and more on how to put myself out there in the writing world. If there’s something that I really want and think could work out in everyone’s favor, I go after it. Which is why I’ll cut to the chase and tell you my motto to making good things happen:
Grow a pair. The worst anyone can do is tell you “no.”
I understand how tough it is to gather up the courage to approach a stranger for a request, but when you really think about it, what’s the worst that could happen? Whether it’s book bloggers or authors, employers or agents, I say if it’s a great proposal that makes sense for everyone, go for it. Fear shouldn’t rule people. Don’t get me wrong, fear rules me in certain situations, but when it comes to my career, my books, my happiness, I refuse to let the fear conquer me. I don’t have time for quitters or wimps and neither should you.
When it comes to book reviewers (or agents or publishers), it’s not personal. For whatever reason they didn’t choose to represent or read your book, it wasn’t because they didn’t like you. How could they not? They’ve never met you! You have to keep that in perspective. I get it – when our book (or suggestions or the like) is rejected, we feel rejected. That we’re not good enough, that no one will have interest, etc. And so it goes.
You know what you do? Wipe off the dirt, put on your big girl/boy panties, and move along to the next person. Don’t complain and whine about how that one person you don’t know doesn’t want to read your book. Let’s assume you’ve done your research and are proposing your book to the right readers, but it’s time to move on to the next email, the next contact, the next potential reader and relationship. Learn from your experiences – what I didn’t know for Gifted, I know now with Witch Hearts, and I can use that.
This applies to plenty of other goals. I knew after the writers conference that I could help others with their questions. After the last panel ended, I sucked up my courage and spoke with the Guy in Charge – because I offered up my knowledge, we went to lunch. I not only was asked to help with promotion of next year’s writers conference, but to teach a workshop! Me, teaching a social media session! (I’m already terrified. I’ve got about 11 months to figure out what I’m gonna say besides “Uh…so Twitter’s neat.”)
The moral of the story? It never hurts to ask. It’s the simplest, greatest secret I can spill (and constantly remind myself of) and I hope you go out right now and apply it to something you’re working on or wanting to go after. Why shouldn’t it work? It worked for me.