IWSG for August 2014

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is the wonderful idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh.


The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. Sometimes all it takes is one kind word to boost someone’s confidence.

In June I joined this group for the first time. I had every intention of posting in July, however my internet was down. For weeks. I’m back for August. I can’t believe today is the first Wednesday in August.

confessions (3)So what’s my insecurity this month? There are so many, but I’ll write about the big one. In September I’m launching my third novel, Confessions From A Coffee Shop. Each launch gets a tad bit easier since I kinda know what I’m doing (not really, but I feel better writing that). It’s not just the wondering if people will want to read it and then wondering if they’ll like it.

It’s all the prep work, including asking for help. I’m putting together a book tour starting September 9th through the 30th. I always feel awkward writing emails asking bloggers to host an interview, guest post, excerpt, review, or a book spotlight. Most bloggers always jump in and are enthusiastic and that makes it easier, but I still feel awkward. I don’t know why, since when I receive an email asking for help I’m always excited and honored to be included. Authors are a friendly and supportive lot.

However, I was always the shyest one in my class. The one who refused to raise my hand to ask for help. And as an adult I still slip into that category. I’m working on that shyness and being a writer has forced me out into the open on many occassions. If I want people to read my novels I have to publish them. It’s never easy to hit the publish button. Each time my hand shakes a little. But I do it.

And I’m learning to ask for help with promotion. It still feels weird, but maybe by my tenth launch it won’t. That might be overly optimistic. Only time will tell.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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58 Responses to IWSG for August 2014

  1. I hated asking for help too. But I think going into journalism was a big help. When you have to ring people up cold and have to ask if you can visit and interview them for an obituary about their dead partner, approach people in the street for a vox pop, interview politicians and entertainment stars, it sort of knocks the shyness out of you. ‘Shy bairns get nowt,’ is a popular saying.

    I think it’s great you are doing your own book tour and I’m sure it will be a success. The book tour will be one of the question areas I’ll be asking you about…

  2. Colline says:

    Asking for help would be hard for me too and you are being very brave to do so – and for the third time. Maybe, too, a little nervousness is good as it keeps you on your toes. I am thinking about an actor who goes on stage for example: if they do not feel a bit nervous, their performance does suffer.

    • TBM says:

      I’m always amazed to find out how many actors are shy. They are really brave to chase their dreams even though it’s completely out of their comfort zone.

  3. Beth Ann says:

    I would imagine I would be the same way—-I always “do” for myself and to have to ask others to help is not as easy as it sounds. But in your case it is very easy to do what we can to get the word out there about your books. Very easy. So ask away and don’t feel awkward.

  4. Roxy Moreau says:

    I’m coming up to that point myself with my debut novel, it’s exciting and terrifying! I’m scared of all the rejections from potential reviewers etc but it’s also exhilarating.

    Over time you’ll build up a network of people to help who which’ll ease the stress 🙂 Generally speaking fellow authors are lovely people so I’m sure you’ll do fine.

    • TBM says:

      I love how supportive authors are and keep me in mind when you do release your novel. I love helping and it’s fun to work with someone who’s debuting a novel. Best of luck!

  5. Geoff W says:

    I’m with you. Even if I did write a novel I doubt I’d ask people to do anything for it! It’s weird asking people to do something that you’re like I know it’s good, but I don’t want to impose upon you! (And I LOVE That it’s reflected in your novel ;-D)

  6. The worst a person can say is no, right? And in this amazing community the answer is rarely no, and if it is, there’s a darn good reason for it. Here’s to all our writing friends and the cheese they bring!

  7. I can relate. Asking for help feels wrong. Which is weird. Waiting for someone to offer is wrong. We have to get over that. Others need help sometimes too. The worse they can say is NO. Better than not answering at all. Happy IWSG, TB.

  8. I was always the shyest in my class too. And I never raised my hand! I agree that writing and blogging has helped me get over that some, but it’s still hard.
    Excited for your new release!

    • TBM says:

      Every year my teachers would tell my parents that I needed to speak up more and every year I did my best to melt into my seat whenever it was time to volunteer. Once I did raise my hand to ask a question and my teacher almost fainted from shock.

  9. cleemckenzie says:

    I hope it does get easier for you. I have to say, it hasn’t for me. I fidget something fierce before, during and after. Good luck and have a great launch. I know you will.

    • TBM says:

      I doubt the nerves will ever go away. Releasing a novel is such a personal thing. And then asking for help … so overwhelming sometimes.

  10. Awesome!
    Yeah, it still feels weird to me. I’d rather ask someone to do it for me than be the one trying to do the promoting on my own though. The community is helpful, which makes it so much easier.

  11. Congratulations on your upcoming release! I love the cover! I was so shy in school and to this day, I don’t like speaking in front of crowds. I get these horrible red splotches on my neck.

    • TBM says:

      When I was in grad school I had to teach and I was fine doing that. I could teach in the morning but then when I was a student on the other side of the desk, I turned shy as can be again. It was odd.

      • Must be an authority thing… 🙂 Kudos to you, I could never get up in front of students and teach. My palms are sweaty thinking about it.

      • TBM says:

        I didn’t think I could do it but couldn’t decline since I accepted the scholarship. However, after my first class I knew that I loved teaching. I miss it a little.

  12. The Guat says:

    Dude I think all writers at the beginning feel a little weird asking for help because it depends on your comfort zone and your relationship with the people you’re asking, but it seems to me that the WP community is pretty eager to help out, especially the writers because we’re all out there trying to make it and when we have an opportunity to help someone get closer duuuuuuude we are so on it. Wishing you luck on your launch and good shoutout to the IWSG.

  13. Kim says:

    I can echo what everyone else said about also feeling weir about asking for help. I think it’s a normal part of our psyches. But I’d also reiterate what everyone said about it being a small step in the overall process, and the worst they can say is no. Good luck!

  14. You should ALWAYS ask! There are so many times I learn about a blog tour after it’s underway and I would have participated if I’d known about it. I would love to participate by interviewing you or posting a guest blog from you. You can email me here:


  15. I was just like you, so timid. Still am. Online it’s a little easier, but I know how you’re feeling. I can help in any way. Have a good week! 🙂

  16. Yes, I too am shy… *laughs long and loud at that one*

    You should always be willing to ask for what you want. Like the other night I wanted to Goof to dress up for our anniversary. He balked at first, but a tranquilizer dart and frying pan to the head later, I got him in that french maid outfit.

  17. Just hit the button to help with the tour. Yes, we writers’ are a friendly supportive bunch. Happy anniversary!

  18. Congratulations on your upcoming release! I’m wondering reading through the comments, if us writers are not all the shy ones at school! I’ll look out for your tweets about the launch on twitter…

    • TBM says:

      Yes I was a little surprised by all the shy hands in the air on this post, but it makes sense. Writers spend a lot of time alone. Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the twitter help!

  19. Wishing you the best of luck with your book promotion! I can totally relate to feeling nervous asking others to help spread the word. But-like you, I always enjoy helping other authors spread the word. 🙂

  20. I also feel weird asking for help, so I look for the comments of people offering help and I also set up my Google spreadsheets.

    I can’t remember if I signed for the tour. I’d like to be included.

  21. emaginette says:

    Being shy can be painful. What helped me, not saying you must do this, was letting myself be proud of what I’ve done. Proud enough to post it on my blog. Proud enough to share with a few friends. I didn’t brag. Just made a factual statement. The reaction was eye opening, warm, fuzzy and very nice.

    Your publisher needs your support. Try not to let them do it alone. Do what you did here and just state that you need volunteers for a cover reveal, for the blog tour or reviewers. You may only get a few, but trust me when I say there are people out there dying to help–if you let them.

    Good luck. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I really appreciate your advice and I completely agree. It’s important to feel proud and acknowledge the accomplishment. Thanks so much for the boost of confidence.

  22. Sherry Ellis says:

    I hate asking for help, too, but the blogging community is very willing to help, because many of us are authors like you!

  23. Cher Green says:

    I don’t have too much trouble asking for help through emails. It’s the face to face which gets me where I’ll just try my best to do it on my own. I just dropped you an email with an offer of hosting. Best of luck with your book launch. 🙂

  24. I’d be happy to let you guest post on my blog to promote your new novel.

  25. I know what you mean — I don’t like asking for help either. I figure my work should sink or swim on its own, and the web is already clogged by cover reveals, book release blog-hops, and “buy my book” spam. There’s got to be another way for us to reach our readers, and I’m trying to figure that out…

  26. Kourtney Heintz says:

    I often find when I talk about what is scaring me, it becomes less scary. Sounds like a great group to join. 🙂

  27. cheriereich says:

    Yep, I was that type of kid too. I always had to figure out things myself because I was too shy to ask for help. We authors are a friendly bunch, so it does get easier.

  28. TBM, I believe in asking. If I get “no” for an answer, that’s okay. Go ahead and ask with the intention of receiving and see what happens. You will receive! My continued best wishes for your book.

  29. As someone who’s incredibly shy, I can completely relate to this. It’s never easy asking for help, no matter how supportive people are!

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