I promised I would come back and do a second post about imposter syndrome and what I wish I'd done differently to get ready before someone offered to publish my book. I'm back and finally ready to fulfill that promise!
I discussed some of this in the first post, but it's important for me to mention that almost all of this is going to be about things I knew I should have done and still didn't actually do. I did quite a bit of research while I was writing the book and even more while I was querying. I'm sure there are other things I could have missed that were on someone else's checklist but that's not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about insecurity and how it makes it so incredibly hard to get out of your own way.
There are absolutely things I feel l did correctly while I was writing and querying my book. A lot of them required me to dig deep and go outside my comfort zone and I'm proud of these things, even if I think I could ultimately have done better.
I researched genre expectations and querying tips. I made friends with other writers, including some that were already published and willing to help me when I got stuck. I found beta readers for my work. I developed a presence on social media (mostly Twitter) and started trying to get followers that were interested in my writing. I created a website and a sign-up form for my newsletter.
I'm socially anxious and technologically challenged, so some of these were really hard for me. I had to make myself tackle those challenges because I knew it was important to set myself up for success.
So, what about the things I wish I'd done differently? First, I would have started this blog sooner. It's a writing based form of expression so it doesn't have the same challenges as other steps I could have taken, so the regret on this one is a little sharper than the rest.
Second, I would have done more with the other social media sites I set up. I created accounts on TikTok and Instagram, but I never did much with it. Trying to come up with content for visual media is not my strongest area and I was intimidated. Honestly, I'm still intimidated, but I'm trying harder. I don't think it's necessary to be on every social media site, but I want to have one primary (Twitter) and at least one secondary. If I can't get comfortable on both sites, I'd be happy with just managing to successfully use one of them.
If I had tackled this learning curve sooner, it would have worked out better for me. The publishing announcement for my book would have reached more people and ultimately that's the real purpose of doing all this. It is hard for me to tackle my tech struggles and body image issues but I'm going to have to do it eventually so I wish I hadn't waited.
The biggest hurdle is recognizing your own struggles and being willing to meet those challenges. I was successful at doing that in some ways and less successful in others. Imposter syndrome can really stop you from doing your best and leave you wishing you'd done more. The areas I was most successful in avoiding that outcome where the ones where I swallowed my my pride and asked for help. If you're struggling and you know there are things you could be doing to promote your writing but you're too frightened to do it, reach out to someone and ask for assistance. Ask me if you're not sure who else to ask! It's better than letting your doubts prevent you from achieving your dreams.