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Facing Fears and Winning! Or At Least Not Losing.

Keeping My Promises

So, I promised I would blog twice a month, and I’d say January was an epic fail. I got in the one post about making 2014 my bitch, and proceeded to work on it, all the while ignoring the blog! What have I been doing you ask? Well, I’ve written two short stories in my new series, Cock&Tails, and I’m finishing a third (all for an April 1st release!). Also, I’m working on a second series of short stories called, The Cull, with the first three of those releasing shortly after. I have started a newsletter, and if you haven’t joined, it’s not too late to subscribe!!  I hope to get started on edits for Breathing Into Fire  for Ellora’s Cave soon, and I will let you all know the moment I have a release date. Also, I am part of a collection called Bedtime Stories coming soon to Changeling Press.

Ellora's Cave, Male/Male, gay, erotic, romance, fiction, dragon, dragons, phoenix

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I have been facing my fears, and let me tell you, it hasn’t been fucking easy! Every day I have to chase the demon away. I can’t seem to get the voice in the back of my head that tells me I’m not good enough to leave me the hell alone. But still, I carry on. I made a promise to two of my besties that I would not be my own worst enemy. Even if I can’t keep my promises to myself sometimes, there is no way I’m letting either of those two classy ladies down.

For example, I have been posting to my author page every day. I find a picture of a guy I consider really hot, and I post away. I worry. I worry I’m being annoying, that somehow I’m going to be reported to the annoyance police and they are going to take away my hot guy posting visa. When I get like this, I remember my promise to Dakota Cassidy, who said, “Darling, you must post every day!” and I replied with, “I will. I promise.” So, I post. If a trial happens, you all may be called as witnesses for the defense.

Another example, I have been making promotional cards and posting them to various groups and to my author page and personal page, all the while the guilt and shame of tooting my own horn is running rampant on my psyche. I was taught that if you did something well, people would notice, otherwise, you should keep your mouth shut and be satisfied with doing a good job. Well, I’ve been in the publishing world since 2005, and not tooting my horn has earned me bubkiss. Regardless, it still makes me feel weird when I put it out there, like I’m doing something dirty. Surprisingly, I’m always excited to see other authors’ promotions, but I think that has more to do with the high value I place on them (and the lack of value I sometimes place on me). I love them! I want to feel that way about my promotional stuff.

gay, male/male, MM, erotic, contemporary, romance, love, sports bar, Renee George

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So, back to the point, I was putting out these promotional cards on these different groups, and all the while, I’m moaning and whining on the phone to Michele Bardsley, who says something that totally made me rethink HOW I think about self-promotion. She said to me, “Don’t think of it as promoting yourself or tooting your own horn, think of it as inviting readers to check out your work.” Simple as that! All of a sudden, I’m looking at these cards as an invitation, and kind of “Welcome to my world-please come in a look around-make yourself at home-I love the company-Invitation”! Thinking about promoting in this way, makes it so much easier to keep my promise to her that I will keep myself in the mix, and that I won’t crawl into my cave and hibernate because of my fears.

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

I’ve had some really great people rally around me this past month. My bestie Emma Ray Garrett, who reads for me (and is tough to win over) and has been loving the new work. I’ve gotten a few new beta readers—Katherine Johnson, Barb Hicks, Gregory Payne, and Mark Boyer—who have given me some valuable feedback. And last but certainly not least, my friend, Maryam Salim, who has been so helpful and supportive of my new path. I love you all so much, I can’t even express properly.

Oh, and all my FB friends, like Dawn Montgomery, Ditter Kellen, Patricia A. Rasey, Selena Illyria, Patrice Michelle, Dana Lorraine, Milly Taiden, Eve Vaughn, Cynnara Tregarth, Loren Lawmaster, Joelle Casteel, and many more who have shared my promo with their friends… Bless you! You all make me feel less like a boob.

2014 May Not Be In Love With Me Yet, But We’re Fooling Around

I’ve been making deadlines people! And deadlines imposed by me, something I’ve never been good at. I may hate disappointing other people, but I’ve been a constant source of frustration for myself.  Procrastination problem handled: Check.

Every day that I pretend I’m good enough, that I’m likeable, and people aren’t getting annoyed by me, brings me closer to believing. Fear of not being good enough and not being liked handled: Check, check.

There is really something to be said for the whole “fake it until you make it” cliché. So keep an eye out while I stumble through, occasionally tripping over my own clumsy feet and tongue. I’ve got my eye on you 2014. You’re not my bitch yet, but I can see you starting to submit.