A confession. I've never done one of these before. Not publicly anyway. Why? 'Cause I like to look perfect.
"I am the author who has it all figured out. I work my magic behind the scenes and voila! I produce an incredible story that you enjoy forevermore. You're welcome!" (Glamorous smile)
But the reality is, that's not me. I'm more like, "I've got it all figured out. See? I... Oh, oops, don't notice that. Pretend you didn't see it. Take no notice of the girl behind the laptop." (Bet you can't tell where that's modified from!)
That's pretty much me. I totally stink at public life. And that's because I'm terrified of being judged. And it took my lil' sis to point it out.
(Wait. The apostrophe should go where the letters are taken out, so it's li'l sis, right? But there are letters missing off the end too, so should it be li'l' sis? Eep. That looks like a word for some item of obscure Hawaiian ceremonial garb. What the heck! How about lil with no apostrophes whatsoever? Grrr...)
"I'm going to enter into a story contest before the end of the month," I told my sister, who, for the sake of gravity, I will call Martian Kitty. "But it works differently than other contests. My chances of winning will be determined by the writing quality, and by how many people download my book. So I'm gonna have to promote like crazy. I'll have to give people some incentive to download my book. Maybe I can make a book trailer and..."
(Edit 03/01/17 - For the record, there are much better ways to promote yourself. I would not recommend doing this sort of contest, but it was definitely a good learning experience for me.)
"STOP!" Martian Kitty thundered in righteous wrath. "You are making things too complicated! Just tell your friends. Tell them how excited you are."
"Okay. I get it. But..."
"You're always trying to find some clever way to convince people to notice you and your books. But when I talk to you, you're different. You plain like stories. If you tell your best friend about them, you'd say it like this: 'So, I just wrote the awesomest story ever! (Mischievous gleeful finger twiddles) Check it out!' And she would want to read it."
"Because she knows me, Kitty."
"Precisely. And when people know you they won't need convincing. Stop being Yaasha the Do-It-Yourself Author/Marketer/Promoter/Designer. Be you. Yaash, I love your stories because they are adventurous and imaginative and gripping, and I love your stories because you have awesomeness."
"I have awesomeness?" I almost stopped dead in my tracks.
"Yes. You have awesomeness. Start acting like it."
Wow. Here I am, terrified of what my non-existent twenty million fiction fans could possibly think of me, and my sister is telling me that she plain likes my stories because (1) they're good and because (2) she likes me.
It reminds me of a quote by Stephen King, in which he says that he writes for only one person: his wife. I realize that I don't write for those twenty million random people. The person I write for is right there. She's already a fan. I don't need to convince her. I just need to be myself.
So here it is, world:
I love to write! I get excited about every little thing I write, and I love to share. I make lots of mistakes and I don't care, because they haven't stopped me yet. I have a lil' sister who thinks I have awesomeness, and who has lots of awesomeness herself, and I don't care whether the apostrophe goes before or after the stupid L, and I'm not scared anymore, because I'm going to be the quirky person I am, because that's me.
Thanks, Martian Kitty. I feel better already.
Who is Martian Kitty, you ask? Click here to read the post I wrote about her.