The Thing I Hate About Writing Books

Writing is the simple part

Writing the book is the simple part. You come up with an idea when half-asleep or when distracted by something else, surreptitiously write the first draft while others do more normal activities, suffer from writer’s block, get an alpha reader who tells you what’s wrong, go through the developmental edit only to dissolve into despair, get some beta readers who tell you what’s wrong, despair over the book some more, edit until your mind is thoroughly sick of writing, and then publish. (I can only address self-publishing; traditionally published people have extra hoops to run through.)

Promoting myself: A Baby Boomer No-No

First, I should explain how I feel about bragging about myself: I am a Baby Boomer — a young one, but a Baby Boomer. I am also female. These two points are relevant in explaining how I simply loathe self-promotion.

The status of females in the 60s and 70s was that society expected women to be internally perfect at educational pursuits but externally mediocre. To win first place in the spelling bee, but hope nobody noticed. (With traditionally male pursuits, society expected women to be obvious failures.)

Repeat after me, Boomer women: “Oh, it’s nothing.” “I’m really not that good.” “I was just lucky this time.”

This big roadblock

Photo by John Guccione on

So with promoting my book, I feel a literal crawling feeling, a resistance to putting the book out there as often as people suggest I should. The book isn’t good enough. People won’t find it interesting. I can’t make it look interesting. I don’t want to shove it down their throats. Sound familiar?

I’ve tried a few methods — promoting here, on Twitter, on Facebook pages. There are several methods I’m just scared of — Bookbub and Goodreads, for example. There are so many places I fear working with. Can someone walk me through this?

If I have anyone out there working through internal perfection/external mediocrity, please let me know!

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