Pretty mysterious title? Maybe not as much as you think. Maybe not as much as I think.
Do you consider yourself a loner? Do you find yourself trying to do everything without ever asking for help? I do, on both counts. And as much as I like my lone-wolf status, writing is not a one-man show. Wait…let me clarify. When you write a book, you might be alone. If you self-publish, you might be alone when you hit the publish button. But the moments after writing the rough draft and before hitting publish should include the use of other people.
I’m not telling you to go spend a fortune on editors, cover designers, proofreaders, and everything else that a book needs. And yes, they do need those things. That was my excuse for two years. I don’t have the money to pay a cover designer. Editors cost a fortune. I’ll never be able to find anyone willing to proofread. Excuses. Every one of them. Hard truth: I don’t have money to fork over for any of these things. Personal life stuff that you don’t need to know about. Fact: After a lot of research, I found my solution.
I fear I might be rambling…
A little over a year ago, I self-published my first book. Without letting anyone set eyes on it. For the rest of the year, I continued publishing books. Although I did have someone do a read-through for grammatical errors, there was no content edits, no proofreaders looking for plot holes, no beta readers. Just me and my one-man show. Big mistake.
I love those books. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just notorious for being impatient. ‘Putting the cart before the horse,’ so to speak. I felt stuck, with no other options than to go it alone.
This year, I learned something. Yeah, I know. Took me a whole year to learn what most authors figure out in a couple days. I learned my fear of critique was keeping me from writing my best story. My 97% introvert brain said I couldn’t let anyone see my work. That I had to do everything alone. That I just needed to publish and then everything would be fine. How backward is that thinking? All the way on another planet backward.
Man is it hard to let those pages out of my fingers for someone to critique. I have the best critique group thanks to ACFW. They don’t coddle me. It hurts to see those red lines scattered all over the pages. Sometimes, I even have to walk away for a day because my introvert brain despises rejection. That’s my problem, not theirs. They are not rejecting me. They don’t hate my work. They want me to succeed.
Here’s my challenge for you. If you find yourself in the situation I just described, don’t give in to the ‘I can do it. I don’t need anyone’ mentality. Being strong is great. Asking for help is not a weakness. I’m still going to try and carry in all the groceries in one go without asking anyone to help, but when it comes to writing, I’m creating a team.
Do you need a team? Have you been trying to lone-wolf your way through writing, creating, and publishing? There are people out there who would love to help. I’m one of them. Helping is another aspect of my INFJ personality. I’m quicker to offer help than I am to ask for it.
Maybe no one needed to read this. Maybe I just needed to write it. Either way, here it is. I still need help launching my next book. If you want to help contact me. If you need help with any aspect of your book, contact me. I’ll do everything I can to help and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll help you find the answer.