What’s Holding You Back?
Guest Blogger: Joanne Kraft
“Hi, I’m Barrett” He reached his hand out, “You need some help?”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Joanne Kraft. I live in the area and have a parenting book that’s going to be released through my publisher in a few weeks: Just Too Busy—Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. I want to make sure the Borders in my hometown has copies on hand before my book launch party.” I smiled, handing him one of the 1,000 colorful marketing postcards my pub house had sent me.
Walking over to a computer, Barrett found my book and confirmed that they already knew about it and even shared where it was going to be placed in their store. “General parenting section, right over there.” He pointed. He went on to explain how they were willing to accommodate a local writer; book signings, book placement in the store, etc.
While hip-bookstore-guy was midsentence, I had this pressing feeling to ask him a question. “Are you a writer?” I asked.
Looking surprised he answered, “Yes, actually I am.” We went on to talk about favorite authors; his was John Irving. He shared the type of writing he loved, and told me about his manuscript left undone and forgotten, a tombstone somewhere on his Mac at home representing his dead work.
“So, what are you waiting for?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” He replied.
“Barrett, you work here around millions of books and sell other writers’ work, some of which I’m guessing you’re not all that impressed with – it must be like living out some Twilight Zone-writer-hell.”
He laughed. “Yeah, actually it is difficult. I’m shocked at what sells sometimes.” He reminisced. “I have thought about taking out my manuscript and working on it again, maybe while my daughter is asleep, but then I think that maybe I need to go back to college and get an accelerated writing degree and…”
Forgetting my manners, I interrupted, “Look at me.” I smiled, recapturing his attention. “I have diagnosed your problem. You suffer from analysis paralysis!”
Looking down and focusing on some unseen object, he agreed. “Yes, I think you’re right. What am I waiting for?”
For the next few minutes we laughed and talked the way writers do, the love of the written word a deep common bond to share. We talked about his manuscript and all the excuses he uses to leave it hidden on his hard drive. I like to think (at least, I hope!) that after our talk, maybe he got inspired to pull it out again. At least to take a look.
So, what about you? What are you waiting for?
- Do you suffer from analysis paralysis? Do you overanalyze every writer-blog, fiction technique, and social marketing plan? Stop watching everyone else and take the plunge!
- What is holding you back from your next publishing step? Is your greatest fear a magazine article, query letter, or book proposal? Every published author has experienced the anxiety of all of the above, with one difference: They follow through, despite the fears.
- What tombstones of your work are lying forgotten on your hard drive, or tucked away in a filing cabinet somewhere? Is it time to take them out, dust them off and give them another look?
Joanne Kraft is an author and speaker whose passion is to encourage women through laughter. A mom of four children, she has heard and seen it all! She’s married to an amazing man who shares her love of coffee shops and Taco Bell Enchiritos without onions. Joanne has been published by In Touch, Today’s Christian Woman, ParentLife, Kyria, and P31 Woman magazines. She works as a 911 Dispatcher in Sacramento County, California.