Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG June 2015--Author Apology to the World


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

I'm currently #72.

Over the weekend I took a blow to my ego. For the first time ever, I had an event where I didn't sell a single book. Yeah, color me devastated.

My daughter and I sat at the Farmer's Market for several hours. It was damp and cold, but the place was packed. I enjoyed talking with some people, gave out lots of bookmarks, but didn't sell any books. I'm hoping I get some kindle sales out of it.

Ah well. Today I'm apologizing to the world. And yes, I've done all of these at least once in my lifetime.


To Whom it May Concern,

I am truly sorry if I have ever offended or hurt your feelings by:
  • not acknowledging you as I passed you in the hall at school/work/church/on the street/in the grocery store/at the movies
  • having a conversation with you that I didn't remember five minutes later
  • saying I would meet you and then not showing up
  • appearing distracted when I manage to focus on you for a brief conversation
  • forgetting your name/calling you by the wrong name (even if I've known you my whole life!)/staring at you as if I don't know who you are
  • spending the whole afternoon with you barely speaking at all
  • asking you bizarre questions like "How would you react if an eight foot dragon human hybrid was trying to kill you?"
  • taking a conversation we had and using it in one of my stories
  • repeating myself multiple times because I forgot we already had that conversation
  • showing up half an hour late to parent teacher conferences/your birthday party/lunch date/concert because I was writing and didn't notice the time
  • assuming you read my book (because, why wouldn't you??)
  • assuming you care to hear about my latest shiny idea
  • leaving you to cook your own dinner and clean up the kitchen too
  • serving cold cereal for dinner 
  • not doing laundry for over a week
  • still wearing my pajamas even though you've been at work for almost 9 hours and we're supposed to be going on a date (so sorry hun!)
Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt your feelings or do something to disappoint you or damage our relationship. Sometimes these imaginary friends and worlds get so loud in my head that I often lose sight of the here and now. 

Just know I value our friendship and appreciate your patience and willingness to forgive. 

Love,
A Fiction Writer

How has being a writer affected your relationships with those around you?

52 comments:

  1. What's wrong with cold cereal for supper?

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    1. I know, right? :) Funny thing is, if I take the time to cook, half my family won't eat whatever it is, but everyone likes cold cereal.

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  2. Wow, that's powerful. I can think of many evenings my wife was on her own while I was busy writing.
    You may not have sold a book, but those were seeds planted.

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    1. I feel bad for Alex's wife, too... but she is obviously a supporter of all things Cavanaugh :)

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  3. Living/being friends with a writer must be a peculiar kind of annoyance sometimes. On the other hand, we are completely awesome people and being served cold cereal is a kind of adventure... Honestly... it is!

    As for wearing pyjamas - I was considering buying some solely for wearing during the day recently. But it's summer now and there aren't any in the shops :-)

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    1. I think we're awesome too. Getting together with other writers is one of the best things I've ever experienced. I mean, you can have 3 live bodies in a room, but it will be filled to overflowing with ideas, characters, plot lines. It's so nice to have people "get you."

      I think buying a set of day time pajamas is a great idea!

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  4. First, I'm sorry you didn't sell any books, that's a bummer. I once did a craft fair to sell some little crafts I'd made, and got one pity buy from a coworker. Yikes.

    For perspective, I think a Farmer's Market is kind of a tough place to sell a book. I regularly go to farmer's markets and I am mainly looking for food and maybe a few crafty type items like handmade soap or something like that. What I am not looking for are knock-off purses, $100 moisturizers, and other multi-tiered marketing, which sometimes crop up at these markets.

    Books fall somewhere in between for me. It's not what I'm looking for at a market, but I'm certainly not offended by it, and may even stop to chat (espeically now that I'm a writer) and buy the book. Where as a book fair or a library event, I'm there to meet authors and buy books.

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    1. That makes a lot of sense. I guess I was just surprised because the last time I did the Farmer's Market I sold 11 books. You just never know, do you?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Oh how I feel your pain!!! LOVED your response. Wish I'd thought of it last month! I never got a response from Bville CF, and am trying my luck at a charity sale this weekend (with books AND yard sale stuff). And teach my first writing class tomorrow. All two students. But we will keep at it and persevere successfully because we don't quit. Yah!

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    1. That's right, we don't quit! Good luck this weekend and keep me posted how it goes with your writing class. I'm excited about that!

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  6. What a lovely and thoughtful post. I’m sorry you didn’t sell any books. On the upside, that’s never happened to you before, and that’s great. If the reverse were true, not so great. It’s also an excellent reminder of how little control writers have over anything but the writing itself. Writing has pretty much cut me off from any social life. I didn’t realize how much of my social life was tied to the work environment until I stopped going into the office everyday.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Thanks VR. Maybe I had an "air of desperation" around me that day. LOL, who knows, but you're right. The only thing we have control over is the writing. At least as far as my characters will let me have control. :)

      Get out and find some friends to hang out with! Are there any writers close to you? Maybe you can organize a lunch once a month or something just to help you get out of the house again.

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  7. I'm so sorry you didn't sell anything, but you never know how that event will play out behind the scenes. Here's hoping for you!

    I totally laughed at your list--especially the odd questions bit. We are such strange creatures, aren't we?

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    1. We sure are! I'm glad we have the opportunity to visit during IWSG. It helps me feel more normal. ;)

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  8. Oh, I'm so sorry, Charity! That must have been heart-wrenching. What was it about May? I thought April was supposed to be the cruelest month.

    I've been very, very fortunate that the men in my life have been my biggest fans and supporters. I'm sure sometimes they don't understand the process, but I can't complain about them at all. I did have one guy who was so focused on his own writing that I spent our time together helping him out rather than writing my own stuff, but thankfully that relationship didn't last.

    Hugs. Let's hope June is better!

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    1. Thanks JH! I'm hoping June is better for both of us. I'm also glad you were able to get back to your writing. ;)

      My husband tries to be supportive, and he's really improved, but eh. I try to keep my writing confined to the weekday while everyone is at work and school, but they text me all day long. So, I guess I'll continue writing whenever I can.

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  9. My town isn't into science fiction, so I rarely sell anything. They saw you and met you. That's a good thing. In this business it can mean everything. Keep going!

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    1. Thanks! Maybe that's my problem too. A town not into science fiction. Yeah, that sounds good. ;)

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  10. Actually, I don't think people really understood me until I came out as a writer. lol I had to work hard for that title, and educating those closest to me of what that meant. I think I'm finally getting through to them. =)

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    1. Whoo hoo! That's a nice change, isn't it?

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  11. The questions... I feel like I should thank so many random people in my life for all the questions I have asked them in pursuit of my fiction writing...

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    1. It's wonderful when you can draw from other's knowledge and experience! Most people just look at me like I'm crazy. LOL

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  12. It's gratifying to know I'm not the only one!

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  13. Sorry you didn't sell any books. My friend sat at a street fair one year, in the heat, and realized by the end of the day that people aren't coming there to buy books. They were there for the food and crafty stuff. Wasn't the right venue for you.
    I've walked by authors, too, and sometimes I feel like I just can't support everyone.

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    1. This is true. I know I'd love to buy all my friends books, even if I don't read what they write, but we just can't. Thanks!

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  14. Oh, writers. We are really bizarre creatures, aren't we?

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  15. I had an event like that in April - thankfully, the bookstore owner was totally friendly and made my day with great conversation. Still, I went home and cried, and then made my husband take me out to a movie - because I was celebrating getting myself out there even with no sales.
    BTW - I love your letter. I laughed at most of the items and recognized myself in all of them.

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    1. Glad I could bring a smile to you today!

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  16. That's a long list. Consider yourself forgiven. I'm sorry about the books. I'm sure next will be better :-)

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  17. We all have lists like that. My husband has spent many nights by himself while I wrote.

    I've been to events where I didn't sell a single book. But I always looked at it as an opportunity. No matter what, even the strike outs lead to a hit somewhere, whether it be later sales, a connection made, or another book event.

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    1. That's what I'm hoping! Alex and I talked about a "Spouse or Significant Other of a Writer" support group. Sounds like it might be as crowded as this one. ;)

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  18. So sorry about not selling any books. Hopefully some of those folks will get the ebook!
    When I get really into something, it does affect relationships. Mostly in that I just straight up ignore them haha

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    1. Haha! I used to be so social. Lunch dates, play dates when the kids were little. I almost never stayed home. Then I started writing. When did I start ignoring my friends??

      Thanks, I keep hoping for some kindle sales. :)

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  19. Sorry that the Farmer's Market was a bust. And I can sssooo relate to that letter. There's been many a time where my sons would pin my arms, try to pry my Chromebook away & say stop writing. Other times they're my biggest support, asking me what's happening in my story now.

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    1. Your sons sound like my mom. The whole time I was growing up she'd have to do something similar to pull me out of the book I was reading. If I had a dime for every time I heard, "I've been calling you for 15 minutes!"

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  20. Sorry no sales at the farmer's market. Maybe next time will make up for it?

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  21. I was recently at a small book fair and I wouldn't have sold a thing if my daughters friends didn't happen by. I recently read about one of the authors at my publishers who sold 54 books at a signing, I was flabbergasted. And it's those type of sales that make me happy for him and depresses me.

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    1. The most I ever sold was 30 copies at a signing, but that was my first book with all my best friends there. After that it seemed like my average was 2 with an occasional good day of 10.

      You never know how it will go. The weird thing is I've done better at craft fairs and the farmer's market in the past than actual book signings. *shrugs* Next time!

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  22. I've done farmer's markets with my crafts and books and not sold anything. It happens. People are there for the food, so you get over looked.

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  23. Charity, maybe next time you will have better sales. I think for these farmer's markets its the food people are looking to buy.


    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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  24. Hey Charity!

    I nodded a lot at your list... but don't forget at least you were out there at the market, with your book in hand.

    Your hard work will be rewarded :)

    I'm calling it :)

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  25. I think all of us writers are guilty of most of that list! And don't worry about the farmer's market. We win some, we lose some, but it's always a victory when we show up and do our best.

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  26. Ouch! not a single book is hard. But, you were out there doing it, so there's that at least. I'm still in the standby phase, at some point, I'll launch and get to have the same "fun" !

    On the plus side, you've been through it and you know right where it hurts so next time, you'll be prepared for it.

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  27. Aw man. Sorry to hear that. But it sounds like you had a good time and got to spend some bonding moments with your daughter. So that's good. :)

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  28. I appreciate your letter, and could write one of those myself. Sorry about not selling any books, but you never know what impression you left. I once talked to a lady for thirty minutes at a book event, but she left without buying. She later contacted me and bought my entire series. Plus, you aren't just sitting at home wishing books would sell. You're out there.

    My IWSG Post

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  29. I'm so sorry that you didn't sell any books at the Farmer's Market.
    At least you are doing something - getting out there and exposing your books to the world! You also dished out lots of bookmarks, so you never know what sales may result from there...

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