Yesterday I pushed my own boundaries.
Doesn't that sound big and bold and scary? It was, a little, but it was also a whole lot of fun. For the first time, I took part in one of those Facebook author promo parties. It was held by friend Marissa Campbell to celebrate the cover reveal for her new book Avelynn, a historic romance set in the Dark Ages. In it, a Saxon noblewoman tangles with a Viking warrior, and how could that be anything but fun?!
|Isn't this GORGEOUS!?|
But getting back to my boundaries, Marissa invited several authors to take part in her party. She featured each of us for an hour, and we got to answer questions and make jokes and promo our work. And while I was terrified, or at least very, very nervous, it was a blast.
In a totally random way, someone pretty famous helped me get my head in the right place for the party. I'll tell you more about who and how in a bit. In other news, last week I was also asked to help judge a regional RWA contest, and to be a slush reader for NestPitch, a web-based query contest.
They say things happen in threes...
I was presented with three opportunities to go a little outside my comfort zone, and decided to act on all of them. In case you're worried about whether this fits in my business plan (because I know that's the first thing that came to your mind), they do, in the sense that one of my themes is to increase visibility. While I hadn't bullet-pointed these specific activities when I created the goals associated with that theme, I'm happy to work them in.
Pushing boundaries can be scary, but here's the thing. (This is where the famous person helped me.) Fear of the unknown can limit you if you let it. The trick is learning to trust. Last week, in getting ready for another blog post, I stumbled over this TED talk by musician Amanda Palmer. (She's married to Neil Gaiman, so she sort of has the writer thing covered.) She mostly talked about how she learned to survive as a struggling musician by asking for help, but the subtext was about the transaction, the trust, the amazing thing that happens when you let go of your fear and open yourself up to other people.
I did my best to bring that attitude to Marissa's Facebook party.
Trust is not my natural state. I'm a writer. I'm an introvert. I'd rather hang out in my cave and put words on the page than get out there and talk to people who might not like me. But I'm trying to let Ms. Palmer's spirit inform mine. I won't be asking people to buy my books - hell, selling books is not entirely the point. Connecting with people is.