For many of us, sharing your art with the world can be a bit scary. Many creatives (myself included) are natural introverts, observing the world, then sneaking back to our notebooks to make something of what we've seen. We all handle this natural ability in different ways, and in today's Writing In My Car, novelist Adam Santo shares his experience.
Adam is the author of Temperature: Dead and Rising. What is this novel about, you ask? When Sally Mertill is driving a carload of her friends back to Green Mountain Falls after visiting Pike's Peak they'll careen off the side of the mountain. With no guardrails it's not surprising there are no survivors. And yet within two days a not altogether bad fellow named Bocnic Drewings will call upon the metal drawer where her body awaits autopsy, open it, and lead her on the adventure of a lifetime; well, that's if she'd have survived the accident. The powers that be have chosen Sally to become undead and she's the only other person time eternal who's been given the power to raise the dead; and control them. When leaders of rival undead clans find out, they either want to control or destroy her, which makes Sally staying undead a bit of a challenge.
The funny part about the writing experience, for me, is the shyness. It is fine to people-watch and to find ideas hidden in everyday life, however, does that come from being an introvert? Not wanting to interact with the ones around or the world at large? Could be. So many little things in life draw ideas up in each of us to use. Whether it is writing, drawing, making movies and shows, creating a bestselling toy for children, or the next presentation to the board of directors (ok, those last two might be stretching it) shows what we notice in the world without consciously knowing these strangers will one day become a part of your creative genius.
At some point in a person’s life they feel the need to write a book. Be it their own manuscript or fixing someone else’s novel to give it the added flare it apparently lacked. It’s not a bad thing to think writing would be easy – it is hard when you create a world these make-believe characters will live in. What is harder still? Publishing said work yourself.
Once the book was completed I felt I had done something great and I still do. What I did not know was how I could sell it. Sure, there are plenty of sites out there explaining how to sell it but for myself it meant stepping outside of the house to do it.
I have found out the hard way that writing ended up being the easy thing to do. It is the promoting that still kills me. I have never enjoyed standing before a crowd to speak, never mind having to “pimp” my novel at the same time. You want to know something? I had a hard time explaining the simple concept of my book to my wife and she was an audience of one!
I have been asked to be a guest columnist here (Thank you Rachel) to my utter reluctance expressed early on to her. Don’t take these words wrong. The reluctance came from writing outside my box; something not related to my manuscripts. This is the first time I have been asked to take on such an endeavor. The thing to remember is that you will fail at something given enough time and that’s alright. I think that last sentence summed it up about how I feel each time a letter on the keyboard is pressed.
My comfort zone at being a secluded gnome is broken. Because of this I have agreed to speak at book club meeting for Friends of the Library that meet once a month and invite authors as guest speakers, such as myself.
Adversity will be present at every turn if you let it. This is a mighty first step against it, which will lead to the speaking engagement scheduled for the end of February 2011. We will see how strong I am after that encounter. I am told it normally is a small crowd of six or eight people. All I can suggest to anyone is “just try it”. The reward comes from doing something you’re not used to instead of be concerned about failing before you start. Enjoy life with flare.
Thanks for sharing, Adam! Please pop over to Adam's blog for more of his musings and book reviews.