Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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May 1, 2017

Do You Get "Accolade Angst?"

My debut launches tomorrow. TOMORROW!!! ‘Scuse me a sec while I breathe into this paper bag.

Okay, I’m back. I’m better. I’ve got this.

I’m ready for launch day … I’ve written the guest posts, I’ve sent out the giveaway copies, I’ve updated my website. What I’m not ready for, though, is the congratulations. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Over the last few months, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of friends who’ve asked about the book, congratulated me, and wanted to hear how excited I am.

I am excited. I am, really. And I’m not.

Before you write me off as a total nut, hear me out … When I worked in the corporate world, every project was part of the job. It was always satisfying to see the final ad or brochure but they were drops in the bucket (I know, cliché). I’d take out a copy, leaf through it (okay, okay, I’d also smell it), then file it and move on to the next project. No one asked if I was excited and no one congratulated me.

Writing a brochure is nothing like writing a novel. Brochures don’t take years to write, revise, and publish. They’re not products of your heart and imagination. So no, I’m not comparing them that way.

But here’s where I find myself struggling – writing is my job. And as such, I’m expected to write that book just like I was expected to write the brochure.

I’m torn between the me that’s hugging this pretty hardcover book with my name on it and wanting to show it to everyone I see, and the me that gave the book a hug and a sniff, leafed through it, and put it on the shelf.

I’m torn between wanting to take the time to enjoy the moment, the feeling of this accomplishment, and the need to put it behind me and focus on the next deadlines.

Author friends keep reminding me to enjoy this time, that debuts only happen once. I know they’re right. But I also don’t quite know how to do that. Granted, I’ve never been one who was comfortable in the spotlight. I’m much happier as the behind-the-scenes-get-it-done type. That’s part of my problem now – either way you slice it, I am in the spotlight as the author. My job as a writer isn’t just to write the book. And that means I have to not only be proud of my hardcover accomplishment, I have to be proud of the soft me.

So here I am, the day before my book comes out. Part of me is relieved that the anticipation is almost over. Tomorrow it will belong to readers. The focus will shift from the excitement of a new release to the anxiety over sales.

But today, it’s still mine. And after a strict talking-to with myself, I’ve decided that today will be a no-guilt day. Today, I’m not going to worry about what’s next. Today, I’m going to sit on the couch with my book and allow myself to be proud of my accomplishment.

(Anyone want to put bets on how long I can do that?) 🙂

We always finish WITS posts with a question, something to generate discussion. I’m not sure what to ask you guys. Instead, I’d like to issue a challenge for anyone else who, like me, has a hard time looking people in the eye when they congratulate you … go to the closest mirror (this works better if you’re not in a public place – trust me!) and congratulate yourself. Whether it’s for a new release or sending out a query or finishing the first draft, those are huge milestones.

Oh wait, I do know what to ask. 🙂

What are you proud of yourself for today? 

 *     *     *     *

About Orly

Orly Konig is an escapee from the corporate world, where she spent roughly sixteen (cough) years working in the space industry. Now she spends her days chatting up imaginary friends, drinking entirely too much coffee, and negotiating writing space around two over-fed cats. She is a co-founder and past president of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and a member of the Tall Poppy WritersShe is rep’d by Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary Agency LLC.

Orly’s debut, The Distance Home, will be released by Forge on May 2, 2017.

You can find her on on FacebookInstagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, or on her website, www.orlykonig.com.

54 comments on “Do You Get "Accolade Angst?"”

  1. I've got my pom-poms out for tomorrow, Orly. The internet is going to be sick of you by the time I'm done!

    You know me, the Pollyanna extrovert. But I have to admit, I have the same problem with accolades as you do. Probably people don't see my inward wince, but it's there, every time. How can you love and hate something at the same time?

    Something I'm proud of? Every book I've put out, with my name on it. You will be too - SOON!!!!

    I've so enjoyed going through the process with you. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

  2. Congratulations, Orly! I'm proud that I got an early read of your amazing novel! I'm so excited for you. Wishing you much success, my talented friend!

    1. You've been such a wonderful friend and supporter, Lori. Thank you!!!!

    1. And I think that's what I'm most proud of. 🙂
      Thanks, Christa!

  3. First, I will add to the chorus and shout, "CONGRATULATIONS!" Second, we are readying our debut for publication this summer and this is me, to a "T". Of course I want people to read and like it, but I've never been good at blowing my own horn or accepting praise. Thank you for this and the suggestion.

    1. The nice thing with the writing community is that there are so many folks who want to cheer for you. I'll be at the front of the line cheering for you!

      Now, repeat after me, "I can do this. It's okay. Pass the wine." Wait ... maybe not the last one. At least not at 8 am. 😉

    2. I'm right with you S.A! I tend to duck and cover at praise.

      Maybe in a previous lifetime I was a slave who whispered to the conquering Roman, "All glory is fleeting," but it is hard for me to blow my own horn or accept praise.

      We're going to have to get better at both of those this summer.

  4. Congratulations on your new novel being launched tomorrow! I see it already up on Amazon with that date on it. All the best with the sales too.

    Three weeks ago I first the first draft of my second novel. It's a mystery/Crime novel. 102,000 words. I'm in second draft rewrites, right now. Months of editing to go but I'm learning a lot in the process.

    I designed a mock up cover (not the real one) just to inspire me to keep going. It's working!!! So, I'm proud of that too.

  5. Haha, that sounds like me letting go of my wedding day and just enjoying it! No idea how my launch day would be, I'm only on chapter 7 of my first draft... But let me just congratulate you! 😉

    1. Oh yes!! I was okay on my wedding day actually but the bridal showers were painful. 🙂
      Keep writing!!!!
      And thanks. 🙂

  6. Maybe it would help to flip this and think of why people are congratulating you. They are expressing admiration, a vicarious thrill for something they haven't done, or reliving a similar moment in their lives. Your debut has created a bonfire they can't walk past; they want to toss in a log. Fan the flame. Warm themselves by the fire that right now, is you.

    Let them! Play nice and reflect back the joy they perceive. I know it's in there somewhere!! You need these people and if in return you make them feel good, they will keep spreading the word about your love and enthusiasm for what you do.

    It's performance time! The quickest way to end the show is to let them know that their keen attention and applause--both expected in our culture--has made you uncomfortable. Smile book love from every pore in your body and say THANK YOU!!

    Let's practice: Congratulations Orly! Your book looks awesome and I'm so proud of you! You want me to feel good about this exchange, so you say:

    1. Oh, it's easy to smile and say thank you. Harder to fight back the tears at the amazing generosity of everyone. 🙂

  7. You should be so proud of your book baby! It is fantastic and so are you. Now enjoy this time, eye twitch and all.

    1. I'm rocking this eye twitch!
      But at least with you in my corner, only one eye is twitching. 🙂
      Thanks, Ella!! <3

  8. It will be SO awesome, Orly! I finished your book last night (sorry for the delay) and thoroughly enjoyed it! I feel your pain. I'm an extrovert but do NOT like the spotlight as I tend to say and do stupid things to deflect the attention from me, as if they expect me to do tricks or something.
    Yes, you have to just enjoy your day and remind yourself of all you've accomplished in getting to your book-baby-birthday.
    I won't even get into all the writing lives you've changed thanks to your hard work with WFWA! Wishing you relaxing breathes, lots of coffee, some cat cuddling, horseback riding, and an all-around fantastic day tomorrow! (And yes, I'll be featuring you and your book baby on my blog tomorrow too.) YAY for you!!!!

    1. Oh my god, Jill, I have these images of the two of us in pink tutus twirling and curtsying. 🙂

  9. There are aspects to birthing a book baby that I never would have thought of until I started following you on your journey. Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts and struggles with us, as well as your accomplishments. I'm excited for the world to read your debut because I think it's fantastic, and I know the hard work you put into becoming a published author. I love to see great things happen to great people! One of the things I'm proud of today is knowing you! Another thing I'm proud of is that I am part of a wonderful writing community that you helped to create. I've had a tough few years, and I might not be writing if it wasn't for the support of our WFWA tribe. And now I'm almost done with the R&R for one of my dream agents!

  10. Congrats, Orly. Writing a book is not an adventure you will soon forget; it's a journey of the heart, soul, and mind. Best of luck with your release! Will share across social media and download. With you in spirit, Linda. 🙂

    1. I'm hugging but the cats are getting jealous. 🙂
      Thanks, Christina!!!

  11. Orly...As a fellow introvert, I completely understand your conflicting emotions. As I worked on the draft of my WIP, the only people who knew I was writing was my husband, my son and my close writing friend/critique partner/soul sister. I wanted to avoid all the questions...and yes, the looks...from people in general who don't understand writing is putting your heart on display for the world to see. And I was proud when I finished that draft because I have several writing friends who have bits and pieces of novels in drawers, never fnished. I held my breath when I sent the revised copy out to my beta readers. Now that I have gotten their critiques, how weird is it that I find it easier to accept the issues that need to be resolved than the praise they gave me??

    So, I will add my congratulations. Celebrate this debut eve in whatever way is most comfortable for you. I pre-ordered your book on Amazon and am looking forward to its arrival on my Kindle tomorrow. Good luck and happy debut!!

    1. Isn't it interesting how we do that? I'm exactly the same ... I skim over the praise and go straight for what can be improved. 🙂

      And thank you, thank you!!!!!!!

    1. Oh Barb!! Thank you!!
      And yes, you'll be here and I'll be cheering for you! 🙂

  12. Congratulations! Hip hip hooray! Truly! But I see why you're torn. You're a professional, and you have a professional's mentality. Bravo for that, too, because that's what's going to sustain you. Good luck--may the response to your book surpass all your dreams.

  13. Very insightful. Is it a male/female thing, maybe? I feel the same way. Probably more so, since I'm self-pubbed, so I tend to feel that way even when I get some nice form of external validation. On the other hand, this is an attitude that goes beautifully with continuing to move along and get the job done, no matter what happens or doesn't happen out there in an uncertain marketplace. And THAT is what I am most proud of.

  14. Congratulations!

    I ordered business cards to hand out at a writer's conference I'm attending in two weeks. Ordering them and going to the conference is a commitment, right?.


    1. YAY for business cards! And double yay for going to the conference!!! Good for you.

  15. Congratulations, Orly! And when people say that to you in person, smile and say, "Thank you."

  16. YAY! I'm so excited for you.

    I agree about brochures. I mean, the time my client sent me 30 copies of a B2B brochure--insect sprays for contractors--for my files. "No applause. Just send the check, please."

    But a DEBUT! I want to be you. <3

  17. You've worked hard for your success, Orly. These good feelings are the non-money paycheck that you so richly deserve. Save them or spend them, it's all good.

  18. Orly, your posts have already sold me on your writing. I printed out "Lightening Collectors" and pinned it on my wall at work. I'm going to march right down to the bookstore, (yes we still have a few) and buy your book.

  19. Congratulations. I love reading your posts and I know you will do well.I am still in infancy stage but people like you keep me going. This is a great site.

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