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05 April 2017

How'd You Get So Full Of Yourself? | IWSG



The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It's a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there's an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they're struggling with what to say.

Since we have limited internet access, I have no idea what this month's question prompt is so I made up one of my own:

"How can you eat, considering how full you are of yourself?"

Check out how people have answered this month's question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list here. If you want to see how I answered the question, have a look below.

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Image via The Graphics Fairy

Simon the Time Traveling Cat rolled over on his back. "Hey, lady. My belly needs scratching," he growled.

"Simon, I'm right in the middle of making cookies. I don't have time to pet your belly," I said as I stirred chocolate chips into the cookie dough.

Simon jumped up onto the counter and stared into the bowl. "Yuck. Why do you humans eat these things?"

"What a stupid question," I said as I started to scoop balls of dough onto the cookie sheet. "We humans need cookies when things aren't going well."

"Oh no, not this again," he said. "You're always whining about something. Maybe you should take up jogging or something when you're stressed out. Or pet my belly instead. That would be relaxing for you."

"But, Simon, you don't understand..." I said as I tried to pick gray cat fur off of the cookie dough.

"Stop right there, lady," Simon interrupted as he flicked his tail back and forth, getting even more fur everywhere. "You know good and well that unless it involves milk, cat food, scratches behind my ears and time travel, I'm really not interested. That's why I invited Esme over. She can listen to you whine."

"You did what?! You know I can't stand Esme. She's such a busybody. Those life coaches are always interfering in things that don't concern them." As I shooed Simon off of the counter, I knocked the bowl over onto the floor. 

"Now, look what's happened!" I wiped the tears off of my face and sighed.

"Just like a human, always crying over spilled milk. Speaking of milk, get me a saucer of the stuff." Simon jumped over to the settee and pushed my pen off of the table. He turned to me, narrowed his eyes and said, "Come on lady, snap to it! We don't have all day. She'll be here any minute."

"Yoo hoo, is anyone home?" Esme peeked her head down the companionway and spotted me in the galley. "Oh, there you are, dear," she said as she made her way down below and sat next to Simon. She sniffed the air. "Are those cookies I smell? How delightful." 

She took her colorful sunhat off, put it on the table and gave Simon a few scratches behind the ears. "Better get them out of the oven before they burn. And do you mind bringing me a glass of milk? Cookies always taste better with milk."

"Yeah, don't forget about the milk, lady," Simon added as he leaned into Esme's hand for more scratches.

I plopped a plate of cookies, a glass of milk and a saucer of milk down on the table. 

Esme grabbed a cookie and mumbled between bites, "Simon says that you feel like you might be getting a bit full of yourself. How do you feel about that?"

Questions, questions, questions. If she wasn't demanding cookies, Esme was always asking obnoxious questions. I glared at Simon. "Full of myself? Is that what you've been telling people?"

Simon slurped up the last of his milk. "Honestly, I don't know how you manage to eat, considering how full of yourself you are." He stared pointedly at his empty saucer. I ignored him.

"Well, dear. What do you think about what Simon said?" Esme asked as she grabbed another cookie.

I decided it would be easier to answer her questions. The sooner she was satisfied with my answers the sooner she'd be out of here. And maybe, just maybe, there might be some cookies left for me. 

"It's not that I'm full of myself. It's just that I've had to do all of this self-promotion and marketing for the IWSG anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, that's going to be published next month. It feels so weird to do things like write an author bio for the publisher, put up a profile on Amazon, ask people to support our Thunderclap campaign and blog tour, you know, that kind of thing."

I grabbed the last cookie before Esme could. She looked at me and didn't say a word. I wasn't sure if that was because she was hoping I would give the cookie to her or if it was one of her life coach Jedi mind tricks where you become so uncomfortable with the silence that you keep talking.

Simon looked at me too, slowly blinking his eyes, but it was clear what he wanted. Another saucer of milk.

I ate my cookie quickly and then blurted out, "Fine, you win, Esme. I'll keep talking. It's just so embarrassing. No one wants to hear about me or the anthology. People are going to think I'm bragging or, worse yet, that I'm some big egomaniac that constantly needs to be in the limelight."

Simon walked sedately across the table, jumped into my lap and sunk his claws into my legs. "Lady, enough about you. You answered Esme's question. No more of this life coaching mumbo-jumbo. Get me some milk, pronto." 

Esme looked at the empty plate. "Do you have any more cookies?"

I pointed at the bowl on the floor. "Nope, the rest of the cookie dough is ruined."

"Well in that case, I better get going. I've got other clients to see." Esme grabbed her hat off the table and climbed up the ladder into the cockpit. She turned and looked down at me. "I think you've made great progress, dear. I'll pop by next week and will continue our coaching session. Maybe some oatmeal raisin cookies next time though?"

****

Before you go, considering how full I am of myself, here's a shameless plug for the IWSG anthology,  <<Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life>>. It will be published on May 2nd, but you can pre-order a copy from these online retailers:

Amazon (US) 
Amazon (UK)
Amazon (Canada)
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

If you want to help us spread the word, please consider participating in our Thunderclap campaign or blog tour.




What about you - do you ever worry that people will think you're bragging? If you're an author, do you have any insecurities about self-promotion or tips for overcoming them?

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30 comments:

  1. Those two at the same time are trouble. Maybe it would be easier to just buy the cookies.
    Welcome to the world of being an author. Fun, isn't it?

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    1. Wow and I thought writing was hard. Turns out the stuff you have to do after you complete a manuscript is hard too.

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  2. I struggle with marketing and promotion, too. I was raised to not brag, and I think somewhere along the line I confused bragging with being confident and proud of myself and my accomplishments. But we need to be our own biggest fan and believe in ourselves. Easier said than done, though, I know. Sigh.

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    1. Glad to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with this too.

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  3. I don't care for Esme either. I wouldn't let her have any of my cookies. Just saying.

    I never worry about what people think about me. It's really none of my business. It's none of their business what I think about them either. Works for me.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Esme really needs to mind her own business and buy her own cookies :-)

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  4. Oh and I have a friend that says cat hair is a condiment. I like that. ☺

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  5. Fun post, CC! Although you made me wish I had a warm chocolate chip cookie right now to go with my coffee. You have my complete sympathy about lack of internet connections. I've been traveling for months, and I'm always trying to find a way to get on line. I'm home now, so that's good. I don't think you're bragging at all, but I'm on the shy side about promoting myself, so I can understand how you feel. Personally, I think it's awesome that your writing is in the anthology. Happy writing in April! btw, I think Simon and Esme are both a little demanding! LOL

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    1. I think Simon should move in with Esme - they'd get along great :-)

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  6. LOL! Simon is as bad as Rocko. Fur in everything.

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    1. I cat sat for some friends many months ago and I'm still finding cat hair from time to time. I think they do it just to prove a point :-)

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  7. As always, my favorite stop on the IWSG blog hop is here! And cookies. While I haven't had to really market myself (or an anthology, well done again), I can understand the difficulty, feeling like there is something arrogant or self serving in it all. Truth- You earned every accolade and should be pleased. Lap that up, and make me some of those cookies.

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  8. Brilliant way to promote the anthology. Love it! Of course, you always have such great stories that I'm sure your anthology piece is fabulous. =)

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  9. I love your stories. Look forward to them each month. Tooting my own horn isn't easy. As I get further into my career, it's becoming easier. Practice works, too.

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    1. That's good to know that it gets easier.

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  10. That's the thing. I hate being the center of attention and am always surprised when people comment on my blog. To go out of my way to say, look at me, is almost more than I can take.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Me too - I'm always surprised when people comment on my blog too.

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  11. Another great story and wonderful approach to the monthly IWSG question, which was about the A-Z challenge. It would have been easy to focus on the real question and tell your readers about your A-Z Nancy Drew story last year, with some links, but you went the creative way, as always! :-) Love it!

    I totally understand your feeling about the self-promotion. I would have a hard time with it myself (as probably all first-time authors), but, all this less fun and uncomfortable stuff means one thing: you are a PUBLISHED WRITER! Yay!! :-) Just keep that thought in the back of your head, when posting yet another blurb, bio or pitch.

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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    1. I actually didn't know the question because we've been without internet access for a while so I'm glad that making my own question up worked out okay. Thanks for all the support :-)

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  12. Self promotion is tough. I fret about saying corny dumb things on facebook posts. I'm trying to get over the fear as I am not one who likes to voice my thoughts out loud without stirring a great deal over it. Fun post Ellen!

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    1. It's good to know that I'm in great company when it comes to worrying about these types of things.

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  13. I always love your special brand of entertainment, which has doubled as a promo post, Ellen!
    You're a smart lady!
    Writer In Transit

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  14. I hate self-promotion. For other authors, I'll scream to the top of my lungs. But for myself? I'd rather crawl under a rock. Strange, isn't it?

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    1. It is strange, isn't it? But I guess we're always hard on ourselves.

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  15. I think a lot of writers are introverts, so yes, self-promotion can be difficult! You are in good company! Oh dear, I did feel sad that most of the cookie batter went to waste.

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    1. I think you nailed it with the introvert thing. I know that's one of the issues for me.

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