Swoon Author Tiffany Pitcock: Publishing Confessional – Promotion and Anxiety

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eight years old. I still remember being in Mrs. Ireland’s third-grade class, writing stories in my notebook instead of learning my multiplication tables. I remember promising my best friend Kasey I’d dedicate my first book to her (which sixteen years later I did). I was prepared. I knew what I was going to do and nothing was going to get in my way.

Then I met my constant best friend and worst enemy: my anxiety disorder. My personality grew around my anxiety like a tree grows around an obstacle. I highly doubt there’s a single part of me that isn’t influenced by it. Actually, I have no idea who I am without it.

But I thought, hey, there’s no way that will impact my dream. Writers are introverted and shy, right? That’s what the movies say!

Boy, was I wrong.

I knew being published came with a lot of things. I knew writing was difficult, that editing was hard. I knew that stories change and scenes I loved would be cut. I was prepared. What wasn't I prepared for? Self-promotion.

No one ever told me that a large part of being an author is self-promotion. Looking back, it seems obvious.

This is where anxiety and the dream clash. I know some people with anxiety disorders find solace online, but that doesn’t work for me. If anything, my anxiety is worse online. These are conversations where I am unseen, unwanted. I feel like my Twitter is just an unwanted presence shouting into the void. That anytime I reply to someone that I am just unwanted and annoying. But I want to be involved. I want to be friends.

It’s the same offline, as well. It’s hard for me to find the line between self-promotion and bragging, so I don’t say anything at all. People ask me what I do, and I don’t tell them. I feel like anything concerning my book is being conceited. It’s deeply rooted and extremely hard for me to break.

Out of everything, actually talking about my book has been the most difficult part of the publishing process for me. I’m battling past seven layers of anxiety every time I even mention it.

I’m slowly getting better. I’m taking baby steps. At first, my anxiety about talking about my book gave me more anxiety, but I’m getting past it. A lot of authors feel this way, not just me. I’m learning that it’s not conceited to be proud of what you’ve done, that it’s not bragging to promote your work.

Publishing has helped me put myself out there, and not just creatively. I’ve made great connections and great friends throughout this process, and I’m steadily starting to feel less anxious about it. I reply to tweets, and I email people first. I ask questions and state my opinion. Slowly but surely, the anxiety monster is surrendering to the dream.

Out of all the changes I expected about publishing a book, conquering my anxiety wasn’t one of them. It’s just a super awesome bonus.    

About the author - Tiffany Pitcock

24. Writer. Reader. Sarcastic. I was born and raised in Arkansas, which isn't terribly exciting. I've wanted to be a ...

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4 comments on "Swoon Author Tiffany Pitcock: Publishing Confessional – Promotion and Anxiety"

J. E. Warren on Aug. 9, 2017, 4:42 a.m. said:

J. E. Warren

Thank you for writing this. Honestly, I don't think this is talked about enough. I know that I've felt so much anxiety regarding my writing and own publishing journey (just the thought of having to read aloud or gasp, doing any kind of in-person book promo makes my palms sweat!).

I only told close family and friends a week before my book came out :)

I always wondered what it must be like for the Swoon Authors chosen to be published and if you have to be super confident enough to do promo and social media etc?

Good luck with your new release and thank you for sharing :)

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Maple Twiggs on Aug. 4, 2017, 1:12 a.m. said:

Maple Twiggs

"Hello darkness, my old friend" - is the lyric line that always pops into my head when I feel overwhelmed by my anxiety and depression. I also have great difficulty self-promoting and I think this post was very important and relevant for a lot of us. I read it and then thought about it for a whole day so I had to comment. Thank you for writing this! Now I'm going to re-read it and then go listen to the Yuri! On Ice theme song for anti-anxiety motivation. I recommend that song to others who also want to live their lives as cave hermits, but also want to be published authors. #conflictedandanxious

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Michelle K. Pickett on Aug. 2, 2017, 10:38 a.m. said:

Michelle K. Pickett

Your post touched me deeply. I have social anxiety, so did my father and now my son. So, much of what you said in your post had me nodding and saying, "Yes! That!" Self-promotion is extremely hard for anyone, I think. But it does seem so much easier for some than others. I'll write all day. I'll edit until my eyes roll back into my head and not complain (mainly because I like editing, but whatever. :)). Cut my favorite scene? Yeah, I may whine a little to my husband about it, but, in the end: snip, snip. The scene will disappear. But marketing? Marketing isn't my strongest area. It probably never will be. But, like you, baby steps.

Thank you for being so open in your post. So many people (not just authors) don't talk about GAD or SAD. And so many who don't have anxiety disorders don't understand them. The only way to bridge that gap is to talk candidly with each other. You've done that today and from one author with anxiety to another...that's a HUGE step forward.

Good luck with your release. I can't wait to read it. Yours and Katy's are supposed to be delivered today!!

"The Stock"

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Simonne Jacqueline on Aug. 2, 2017, 9:55 a.m. said:

Simonne Jacqueline

I relate to this so much...I haven't even told people I've written anything, let alone tell them what my book is called, where they can read it etc. For me, a lot of the anxiety comes from the fact that when people read what you wrote, it's like they're seeing what goes on inside your head, and I'm terrified of being judged for it. I worry people won't understand that what I write isn't my idea of what is a good life, but what is a good story. I'm glad you've been able to make progress! Thanks for sharing! x

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