Be Your Own Biggest Fan

Who is your book’s biggest fan? Your mom, your spouse?

It should be you. No one should ever love your book as much as you do. And you should always show it.

Don’t fuss about the details.

I know that there are things that you don’t like about your book. How do I know that? Because there are things that I don’t like about my book. A lot of them. I swear I went through that manuscript fourteen times, I was sure that I had gotten everything. Then I go through the book when it arrives, and of course, I found a typo!

But I try not to obsess. And I’m hardly going to go complaining about it or badgering my own book in public. No, that was a tirade that only my family heard.

I’m trying to let it go.

Don’t talk bad about your book.

Did you know that Stephen King doesn’t like Carrie? His own book! He says in On Writing that he only wrote it for his wife. He hates the main character and has no connection with her.

I felt betrayed when I read that. I loved Carrie so much I wore out a copy. And it downright hurt to find out that she was the least loved child. Now if he’d have said he hated the Dark Tower series I’d have been on board.

Don’t do this. I understand looking back at work you’ve written and realizing that it wasn’t your best. I’ve written some short stories that I wish I’d never put out. But I wrote them, and some people liked them. So I won’t insult someone by saying that I don’t like a story I wrote.

People will be as excited about your book as you are.

When I write a short story or publish a book, I get loud! It’s like I’m at a Pens game when the scrolling marque says ‘Make some Noise!’ I literally behave as though it’s the best news in the world.

I can’t expect anyone to be more excited about my book coming out than I am. Maybe someday when I have thousands of fans anxiously awaiting my next release. Not right now. Right now I have lukewarm interest at best. So I’ve got to be out there cheering on my book.

Talk it up all the time!

Which is why I talk about it all the time. I go to signings and talk about it. I tell the barista at my coffee shop that the book is coming out. I tell people at the Y, people I pass on the street! I absolutely think that this is news everyone needs!

Love your story first.

I wrote Broken Patterns for me. I wrote a fantasy story that I would want to read. The same for Station 86. I didn’t add in elements that I didn’t enjoy to please someone else or because I think it will help the book sell. I wrote the story that I wanted to write. Because if I’m not in love with the story, why the hell would anyone else be?


2 thoughts on “Be Your Own Biggest Fan

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  1. Can’t say that I agree with this one. While I appreciate the perspective, it really boils down to the style of writing one uses. I believe that my craft has improved which would mean that yesterday is just not up to today’s snuff. In that example alone I am ‘talking bad’ about the former book(s) I believe that I simply speaking truthfully about it, which, ultimately, is healthier.

    I love my older stories, I do not necessarily love the older books. I am proud of them because they are landmarks of the path I’m traveling and without them, I do not get to where I am.

    Lastly, I really can’t say that I am my biggest fan. That isn’t my job. I am tasked (self-appointed) with getting that story up and out. It’s a release, a stage, and a classroom. Someone is going to come along and love it more than you possibly can because if you loved it as much as they did, you run the risk of being able to deliver the story.


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