By A.C. James

I follow only a few writing blogs because these days everyone has something to say about it. I’m certainly no exception in that! Yesterday, I read a blog post Dean Wesley Smith wrote and I was impressed with his I don’t give a shit attitude. As writers we’re told to adopt that nugget of wisdom from the very beginning. We’re told to grow a thick skin.

And I suppose parenthood has trained me well in that regard. I hear the word no about a million times a day.

However, his story reminded me of the days I used to pick-up hitchhikers and inspired me to learn card counting and blackjack. While I may not have the ability to take such extreme risks with three kids and a cat, I have to admire his tenacity. His underlying point resonated with a part of me that secretly holds back.

Regardless of how outspoken I am in my personal life and online—when it comes to writing I become a docile mouse, always second guessing myself. Except if you’re afraid of failure, you will fail to put yourself out there. We writers hold our words close to our hearts but you have to let others into your world without fear of judgment.

Sometimes I think that’s why traditional publishing has always appealed to me. I sought validation and wanted to have a working relationship with someone to oversee my writing career. Not that I need someone to hold my hand or teach me social media or blogging. As you can see I’m well versed in those areas.

I needed someone to tell me that I was good enough. I’ll share a true story with you. One day I was on a writing forum where you can share your work. After lurking for quite a while, I gathered the courage to share my first chapter. A particularly brutal individual said that I sounded like a retarded gerbil trying to eat my own head.

However, there were points about my writing that they were right about and while their honesty wasn’t eloquent, it motivated me to evaluate my writing. In the end I made a joke out of it and stuck their insulting critique on my Twitter profile but modified it to read that I’m a retarded gerbil with tourettes writing PNR.

You have to put yourself out there. You have to take risks. Sometimes you have to chat with the pit boss while counting cards to get in the game. If you want something bad enough whenyou fall and you fail, you get back up again. I’ll step off the proverbial soapbox now.

Quick Update: In case you haven’t been following my blog this week, I’m doing a daddy themed erotica giveaway for Father’s Day. I have three authors that I’m interviewing that week who will be giving away free e-books. But I have room for three more. So if you write erotica and have a book with a daddy theme to include in the giveaway, please e-mail me at authoracjames(at)gmail(dot)com.

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