gallery Round 2: What’s a new author to do?

I started reading “Platform” by Michael Hyatt, as recommended by my publisher. The tagline of the book is “Get noticed in a noisy world.” I am a soft-spoken woman who is not given to bragging or being the center of attention, ever. If I am the center of attention, I take it for about 4 seconds and eagerly move it to someone or something else. (Example: my friends had to convince me to let them sing me “Happy Birthday”.) I have a storage of soap boxes dedicated to my feelings on narcissism and the self-serving trends of our society.

But I wrote a book. And someone wants to publish it! So I have to become louder. I have to be okay in the limelight. I have to promote my story. And I have to remember that this is not narcissistic, nor is it entirely self-serving. Social media and e-mail updates and blogs are a great avenue to get my stuff out there, but Hyatt’s book encourages new authors (and anyone else with something to sell) to create a “Why” for their “Wow”. The “Wow” is the product, in this case it’s my book.

The “Why” for “Making Room” started in 2004. I remember sitting down at my Dell Desktop looking out the window at about 18 inches of snow. I grew up in Western New York where snow is a probability from October-April. I was cold for 21 years until I moved to Savannah, Georgia. The summer before this exceptionally snowy winter I had gone on a road trip with my best friend to North Carolina, my dream-haven since my first visit there 3 years prior. “Making Room” started with a simple scene in my head – a woman looking up at the stars with her toes in the ocean, holding the hand of a man she loved, saying “There’s nothing like a Carolina sky.” She was warm (I was not), she was on a beach (I was not), and she was in love (I was not). Oftentimes, writing can be about putting yourself in a position you’re not and toying with the possibility of said position, safely and without any repercussion. I added to the story about once a year until 2010, when I had an emotionally challenging day-job. In the evenings I was too physically exhausted to exercise, so I began writing as an energy outlet. I also missed my grandfather terribly, and wanted a big, strong, unexpected way to thank my grandmothers for being two of the strongest women I know. Those are my “Why”‘s: placing myself on a North Carolina beach when I was stuck in an endless winter, and honoring my grandparents who have always read everything I’ve written.

My book is currently in the editorial phase and will be for the next 2-5 weeks. I would love to post excerpts with which to tease you, but there will be a time for that. Soon I should be getting what they call a Design Q&A; the designers ask me for the main concepts of the book to put together the cover. (In my head, I just screeched: “I’m going to have a book cover! Because I’m going to have a real-life book!!) Sometimes I say those things out loud. Sometimes I spare my husband and cat and keep my giggles inside.

So far, the publishing process is a little overwhelming. Ambassador International has patiently answered my questions and just last week gave me somewhat of a task list, which I’m going through one at a time. No. 1: read “Platform,” which in itself is a bear of a task list. Everything is easy to follow, it’s just a matter of me releasing the anxiety of hoping I’m good enough, hoping I’m doing enough, hoping what I am doing is right, even if it’s not enough. My friend Rachel would tell me these are unGodly beliefs/anxieties because they keep me from working at my highest potential. She’s probably right, so I will continue doing one thing at a time, adding more as I feel comfortable doing so, and hoping you spread the love with me! 🙂

What about you? What do you do when you’re overwhelmed? Any tried-and-true tricks?

Here is Sheldon’s solution:

Thanks for reading… see you soon!

4 comments

  1. God has blessed you honey with the ability to write ( & paint visual pictures) with character, virtue, integrity and humor. Love you Elisa! Mama ❤

  2. Elisa,

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration for writing your book. Also, thanks for including me in your blog! So proud of you!

    <3, Rachel

    P.S. It was necessary to sing you "Happy Birthday"…it WAS your birthday. 🙂

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