Things that gave me courage to come out as a writer – Featuring Kristin Garrett

As my launch day inched closer, several people commented, “you must be so excited,” which I was, but I was also terrified. It is one thing to spend the last several months (or years) toiling away on a novel in one’s spare time, but it is quite another to actually let other people read it, and strangers at that. Releasing a second novel isn’t any easier than the first. If anything it can be even more nerve inducing. What if the first was a fluke? People now have expectations. What if I can’t meet them?

The easy way to get around this fear is to simply hide behind a pen name and never tell anyone you actually published a novel. This will also ensure you receive minimal bad reviews, mostly because your novel isn’t read. The better way, though, is to take advantage of the writing community.  I have been blogging for two years now (I know – where does the time go?), and have met some of the most spectacularly supportive fellow writers. They have played and integral part in promoting my work, and I am thrilled to now be in a position to return the favor.

One of those writers is Kristin Elise Garrett, whose novel, She Hopped Over the Wall, also launched this week. When I first ‘met’ Kristin, I did what every sensible person would do, I reviewed her About Me page, and was struck by her words, “I think it is a brave thing for one to put themselves out there with their thoughts, feelings, imagination, and everything else that comes along with good writing.  It can be an emotional, financial, and professional risk.” Brave indeed. Knowing how difficult it had been for me, I just had to ask what gave her the courage to take that risk.

Coming a writer.

Things that gave me courage to come out as a writer – by Kristin Garrett

  • I stopped caring what everybody thought. If you want to be good at anything you have to ignore unconstructive criticism. There will always be a fly buzzing in your ear telling you that you’re not good enough. Most of those people are just jealous or they would be reading a writer who is good enough (which is you). Sometimes these people will even be your friends, family, coworkers, whatever. Personally I don’t give bad reviews. If something sucks I quit reading and move on. I don’t have time to be moaning about everyone else’s writing because I’m too busy writing my own work.
  • I learned you cannot please everyone so just please yourself. Who cares if no one reads you? I found some lovely bloggers whose books I enjoyed more than some best-selling novels. Not everyone is going to like what you write. When you start writing for other people, writing for fame, or writing for stats, that’s when you become miserable. Nothing will ever be enough.
  • I can do whatever I want. My blog has no theme. One day it’s dramatic fiction, another day it’s satirical humor, what I ate last weekend, it’s mine and I can do whatever I want.
  • There has to be more to life than paying bills and dying. I don’t know where that phrase came from but I saw it on Pinterest and it’s true. I like my day job and I like my life but the only thing that really invigorates me is writing. It doesn’t mean I need to quit the rest of my life to “become a full-time writer.” I just wrote a novel in two months and I work 50+ hours a week. I can do both. If it ever comes to someone paying me then I’m not going to say no…
  • It could be my calling. It would be bold of me to say it is my calling. But I don’t know until I try. I could be missing out on the best that life has to offer if I don’t put finger to keyboard. I seldom know what I’m writing in advance. It’s like real life; you make plans, you walk outside, your favorite restaurant is closed, you go to another, you plan on the park but it rains, etc. When I write, my characters do something unexpected and then I change course. Those rascals.
  • I stopped thinking of it as a job. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I have a day job that I get paid for. No one is going to fire me because of a faulty plot.
  • Nobody is going to die if your writing is terrible. Unless it’s a character that has reached an unfortunate turn for the worst.

Follow Kristin’s adventure at or on Twitter @kristins_blog

20 thoughts on “Things that gave me courage to come out as a writer – Featuring Kristin Garrett

  1. Hahaha love the caveat on that last point. No one will die … except if you kill off a character.

    Honestly, being a writer is terrifying. One of the reasons it took me so damn long to publish Chasing Nonconformity (5 years!) is I couldn’t shake the notion that people liking the first book was a fluke, and that the sequel would flop and everyone would hate it. So I took my sweet time going over it with a fine-toothed comb to make sure it was as good as it could possibly be. I think it turned out well, but damn … not the easiest process to go through.

    Even now, after two books published, when someone asks me what I do, I’ll tell them my lame day job. As if writing two books doesn’t qualify me to introduce myself as a writer/author. A few months ago I posted my book for free on a website called IMGUR, and introduced myself as an author. One of the first comments I got was “you can’t just publish a book and call yourself an author. Authors are successful writers, like Steven King or George RR Martin.” I knew he was wrong, of course, but that didn’t shake the nagging feeling he was right.

    Self-confidence. It’s something I definitely have to work on — and something that a lot of other writers have to as well, I think. Except maybe Kristin — sounds like she’s got the self-confidence thing pretty much down 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for allowing me to be your guest! I need to learn a thing or two about blog guest introductions from you. What a fabulous way to start my morning!


  3. Kristen is right – you can’t worry about what other people think – particularly people close to you. I’ve had friends give me their favorite books to read which I couldn’t get into – so I never tried to interest them in what I was writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a great article, I agree with the concept of writing to please yourself its what I am trying.

    I’ve not been brave enough to call myself a writer yet, it’s bad enough the reaction I get when you mention I am writing a book in my spare time.

    On an unconnected point I have just realised that I have never taken a look at any of your books something I’m going to rectify one I have finished writing the disjointed and wafferly post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree about the second novel. For me, it took a couple of years just to figure out what to write about. I had many ideas, but wanted to choose something totally different (male protagonist vs. female, first-person instead of third, trippy sci-fi story vs. thriller). It has been a long, slow process and I am at least a year away from completion. Hope yours is every bit as well received as the first!


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