I must admit, being an author is pretty awkward!
The book was launched this week, as many of you know. But then again, many also don’t know, because I’ve been absolutely terrible about spreading the word. That is my flaw #1 as an author: I am afraid. I tremble at the thought of anything that resembles self-promotion in any way. Instead, I expect everyone I know to read my mind and to ask me about my book so I don’t have to be the one to bring it up in conversation. Anyone who doesn’t read my mind in this way, I assume would not be interested in reading my book.
I even had a book signing! I was told a little bit beforehand about what this would be like for an unknown author. Basically, I would be sitting at a table with my pen and stack of books, and people passing by would try their best to avoid eye contact. Well, my event was part of the medical school graduation festivities, sponsored by a local health foundation, and took place at an art gallery; each of these organizations brought in guests who obviously took a special interest in the art of healing. There were three other medical students showcasing their works of art as well, so we all had families and friends in attendance. Notwithstanding the unusually safe and supportive environment, I still at times had the experience described above.
What I find so dreadful about this new experience is the constant guilt about “selling something,” EVEN THOUGH I’m donating all of the proceeds to charity and I won’t see a penny of it myself! I have loved writing and sharing my stories over the past two years, and I am extremely proud of having accomplished one of my lifelong dreams of writing a book. It was a tremendous amount of work compared to writing blog posts. But suddenly, I’ve turned from an awesome writer to a saleswoman. Seems a little counter-productive, doesn’t it?
Let me just say I’m really glad that I have a real job where I earn a living by showing up and doing what I’ve agreed to do. If my life were to depend on me selling my writing, I’m confident that I would just starve to death.