Whether you call it shyness, introversion, INFP, or even misanthropy 😏, the truth is that timidity can get in the way of sharing and promoting your book.
Whether you are a beginner author like me, or just looking to boldly share your newest work, here are my tips for starting to crack that shyness eggshell.
1. Get a Pen Name to Remain Anonymous
The problem with shyness is that it can make you play small, safe, and risk-free ~ and some of the best writing out there is none of these things. In fact, your best writing is probably tucked in underneath a buttload of timidity, just waiting to boldly step forth!
Writing under a pseudonym can be the mask that actually lets you reveal yourself.
Bit of an oxymoron, but it’s true. When you feel safe under anonymity, you are bound to let your imagination play chicken with a truck. If you succeed, YaY! If you fail and get hit by that truck, no worries, you’ve just learned what not to do.
2. Have a Paid Editor Review Your Work
The problem with feedback is that it can hurt when it is negative (more on this later). And if the negative feedback comes from a close friend or family member, this can put a strain on the relationship. Plus…
If you’re too shy to give your work to your friends/family to review, give it to an editor instead.
Before you share your work with the world, an editor can help you make sure it is well-polished and ready to go. They’ll be emotionally detached and unbiased.
3. Join Twitter #Hashtags to Connect with Other Authors
While I don’t recommend you spend hours on Twitter, it is always nice to talk to other authors. There are many Twitter hashtags for authors to connect with each other based on genre, skill level, and more.
By joining writer chats on Twitter, you will connect with other authors in a relaxed setting ~ online.
Joining writing groups and workshops can be anxiety-ridden for those of us who are shy or socially awkward, and Twitter takes some of that edge of. Here are some tags to get you started:
4. Learn That You Are Separate From Your Work
Waiting for feedback is nerve-wracking, and getting a negative review can be downright hurtful. The sting can be enough to make us want to give up. But don’t! Here is one lesson that you must learn:
Criticism of your work does not mean criticism of you as a person.
I know, I know~ you put your very soul into that book. But still, when someone doesn’t like an element of the story, it means just that. They simply didn’t gel with part of your work. You, as a person, are separate from your creation and worthy of love and respect and hugs~ even if your story flops.
5. Start Small to Stretch Your Comfort Zone
You need to promote your book, even when you publish traditionally. But when you are shy, promotion can feel cheap, like a used car salesman or Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad. So… how to get to the point where you can do a book signing?
Practice saying hello to one person a day, or small talk with a waitress. The more you do little social acts, the more comfortable you will get.
So you may not be a pillar of charisma, but the more you do something, the more comfortable you are with it. The same applies for social situations. I’m very quiet, so I try this all the time, and I’ve realized that even when I “fail,” it is never that bad. Just a bit of awkwardness to chuckle over.
What are your tips for shy authors? Are you one?
The key to both writing and working on your shyness is this: Don’t give up. Even the most charismatic speakers flub every now and then. With a bit of practice, you’ll add up more successes than flubs, and the awkwardness will seem small.
Take care and Write on,
🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜