Today we are answering a listener-submitted question: How did you get "brave enough" to talk publicly about being a romance author?
This question was posted by Morgan Starling Writes on an Instagram post back in Feb 2022, in which she said, “I'm hesitant to post pictures of my face on here because of my "day job", so to speak. But at the same time, it feels like there's no balance to the interaction with those whose faces I do get to see! How do you, fellow smut writers or readers, go about it? Did you start out anonymously, too? Was there a point at which you decided: 'Now I'm brave enough'? I just started listening to the podcast of Sagan. It's really cool and she has a beautiful voice. Wonder what she'd have to say about this - Sagan?”
In this episode, I share my answer to that question, PLUS some key questions I recommend asking yourself (this is me putting on my Life Coach hat!)
WIN BOOKMARKS featuring Sagan’s novels when you publish a review of any of her books between now and April 30, 2023!
All you need to do is write and publish a review of any of her books on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, etc (any book platforms of your choice), and then email hello[at]saganmorrow[dot]com with the link and your mailing address — and then Sagan will mail you bookmarks!
Resources & links mentioned in this episode:
Let’s chat about this episode:
Hello and welcome to the indie author weekly podcast, where you get to hear about the behind the scenes journey of my adventures as an indie author. I'm your host Sagan Morrow, and since 2016, I have written and published seven rom coms and the polyamorous passion series, plus several business books for solopreneurs.
Today, we are answering a listener submitted question, how did you get brave enough to talk publicly about being a romance author?
So this question is from Morgan Sterling writes, and she shared it on Instagram, in a post on her feed back in February 2022. And at the time, I said, Ooh, I think that I should turn this into a podcast episode and she said, Yes, that would be awesome. Of course, we have been on hiatus for the past year. So now we are finally answering this question. Thank you so much, Morgan for your patience.
So at the time, Morgan wrote on her Instagram post her caption was this.
I'm hesitant to post pictures of my face on here. Because of my day job, so to speak. But at the same time, it feels like there's no balance to the interaction with those whose faces I do get to see. How do you fellow smart writers or readers go about it? Did you start out anonymously too? Was there a point at which you decided, now I am brave enough. I just started listening to the podcast of Sagan. It's really cool. And she has a beautiful voice. I wonder what she'd have to say about this? Sagan?
Now after I replied to Morgan's comment, with my thoughts on this, which I'm about to share with you in just a moment, she then went on to say, I just love your voice. It's my new favorite podcast, and that says a lot. I think I might get to the point where I'm ready to share it with the world. But given the fact that I am an artist in a rather conservative field, I'm not quite there at the moment. Of course, lots of friends know what I'm up to so it's not like I'm lonely in this endeavor.
First of all, thank you so much, Morgan. That really it really means a lot and I'm always so happy to hear when the work that I'm doing here is really helpful for you all. Okay, so I want to share with you what my response was on that Instagram post my response to her question. And then I also have some other thoughts that I want to elaborate on in this episode. So here's what I told Morgan in response to this question. For me, it made sense to go public with being a romance novelist. Right from the start, for really two reasons. First, it felt like way too much work and effort for me to try to hide it.
Like simply I was just like, I don't want to do that. I did not. I did not want to go through the hassle of needing to create new websites or new social media accounts, all of these types of things in order to to have anonymity with it.
The second thing that it came down to is that what I wanted was for all of us to be able to normalize this stuff, right? And to help make things a lot easier for other writers and readers. That is what I want for our community. That is what I want for the world, right? I want basically everything that I do in life and business is really about embracing who we are at our core and having the the freedom and the opportunity to step into that to really do what we want, what we truly desire to be able to be that to do and be all the things that we genuinely want to get to know what it is that we actually want and be able to step into that. This is what I do as a coach, this is what I do. This is how I live my life. This is how I operate my business. This is these are topics that my characters are often experiencing in my novels, all of these types of things. So for me, this was almost this was essentially one of my values is that sort of authenticity and transparency with it.
Now, there are a lot of other factors at play here. This is very important to mention that make it less or more risky for a person to talk about these types of things, right. So this could be in terms of employment, your health, supportive your family are the people in your personal life, where you live in the world, right? Like all of these different types of things are of course, going to be at play here. For me personally, the risk was very, very low. The risk was very low, because I do have my own business so I didn't have to worry about employment factors. I did not have to worry about my family, the people in my personal life.
I knew that they would be supportive of me writing romance novels. There were so many factors on that personal level that made it super low risk for me. So it was actually quite an easy decision to be very transparent about being a romance novelist and to not have any anonymity with it.
This is a very personal decision. Whether you choose to be anonymous, or whether you choose to associate your name or your face with it is a very personal decision. It does not need to be rushed and there is no one right way to go about doing this. Being being you know associating your face and your name with your work is not any better than doing it anonymously. Both of them are great. Okay, both of them are great.
Now, the coach in me has some additional thoughts on this that I would like for us to explore a little bit. Okay, so I am an internationally board certified success and life coach. That is essentially my day job right? If we think of my current author career as a little bit more of a hybrid hobby slash side hustle, the coach is what I what I do for a living right and the work that I do in a coaching capacity is very much about unpacking internal bottlenecks because there's enough external systemic issues for us to all to have to deal with. So I help people unpack internal bottlenecks. We work through things such as people pleasing fears of failure and success, perfectionism, impostor syndrome, procrastination, all of these different types of things. So if I put my coach hat on, then I have a few questions for you to think about. Right. So if you are sort of trying to decide whether to be anonymous or whether to share your, your name and your face, to associate that with your romance novels, then I have a few things for us to kind of go through that you can explore to determine what might be a really good fit for you. All right. If you have some discomfort around the idea of publicly sharing your name and your photos along with your romance novels, there are many different factors at play. The most important question is really this everything else aside? Do you want to be anonymous?
Everything else aside, do you want to be anonymous? That is the starting point. That is what it comes down to. Because again, one is not better than the other. It just comes back to do you actually want to be anonymous or not anonymous? Which of those do you want?
That is the starting point. After that, we can dig into five further questions. So if you're thinking to yourself, you know what I want to be able to share my face or my name and associate them with this work that I'm doing if I'm a reader or writer of of, you know, erotica or romance, whatever it happens to be, but I have some discomfort. If that's the case, then here are five questions to kind of explore. Number one what are the consequences of sharing your face or your real name? What are the consequences of doing that when it comes to your day job?
I asked this question because it is worth exploring. Are you afraid of what people will think? Are you worried about them judging you? And that kind of thing? Is that the vulnerability and the visibility piece that causes you discomfort? Or is there a very real possibility that your job could be in jeopardy if you do it?
Those are two very different things. Right. So that is the first question to to kind of look into
question number two is the same question but applied to your personal life. So what are the consequences if your loved ones if your family or your your friends know about what you are writing and reading?
What are the consequences there? Again, there is a difference between kind of being a little bit apprehensive or worried about judgments and that kind of thing, versus if if harm will come from it, right if you know that they will not be supportive and or anything like that, like those are those are very, very different things. And so, depending on what road you take depends on what those consequences are if they are more internal type of bottlenecks or external pieces. Those are those are very different things. All right.
So those are the first two questions. The third question is, how is it benefiting you to be anonymous?
Do you find that anonymity gives you more freedom in writing exactly what you want?
So if you're kind of thinking, like I don't really know if I care whether my face or my name are associated with this or not, but it feels like I have it's much more liberating. I have much more freedom being anonymous because I'm just not worried at all what other people are thinking, then that's, that's a benefit to being anonymous, right.
Question number four, what are the consequences of being anonymous? So for example, if you love the idea of doing book tours and book signings and that kind of thing, then being anonymous might feel like, oh, and then I can't be able to do those types of things. Right. So that might be that could potentially be a consequence. And question number five, what are the possible benefits of shedding anonymity?
What are some of the good things that could come out of that?
So after exploring these five questions, you can start to determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks for either being anonymous or not. And again, there could be safety at play here. So these are these are very important questions to take into consideration, and is going to be entirely different from one person to the next. There is no good or bad answer. There is no right or wrong here. This is just about being able to differentiate between internal versus external sorts of obstacles and also getting at the root of what you really want in order to decide and determine how best to move forward.
So I hope this helps and again, at the end of the day, there is no one right answer here. It is a very personal decision. It does not need to be rushed. You can take your time sorting through all of this. And if you have underlying discomfort, if there's a lot of shame or fears about judgment and that kind of thing, then that is something I would recommend unpacking and processing so that you can then make that decision from a place of what you genuinely want. From your life. Because if those sort of concerns about judgment, if you're experiencing some shame, or you have fears and things like that, if those are the things that are kind of holding you back, then you aren't, then you're probably going to also struggle to even determine what you actually want until you unpack those things and are able to process them. And we can also work on this together. So you can book a one on one coaching session with me at Sagan morrow.com/coaching. I am happy to work through these types of questions and explore things a lot deeper and really help you to unpack and process all these different things and to work through any again fears of judgment or any shame or any discomfort that you might have with shedding anonymity. So I will pop that link in the show notes. Again that Sagan morrow.com/coaching All right, before we close out our episode for today, I wanted to remind you about our bookmark giveaway. So I announced this in our previous episode. I have a ton of bookmarks that are associated with my books that I've written my novels that I've written, and I need some space in my office so I'm doing a little giveaway.
All you need to do is post a review of any of my books or all of them. That would be amazing. between now and April 30 2023. You can post that review on Amazon or Goodreads or Kobo whichever whichever book platform you want or several of them That again would be amazing. And then email me hello at Sagan morrow.com to let me know that you've reviewed them which platform you've done it on and your mailing address so that I can mail you some bookmarks and that you can receive them in the mail.
These are available while supplies last but I do have a lot of books that are a lot of bookmarks. So I really don't think that we're going to run out.
So again, they're they're available while supplies last. But I really don't think that we're going to run out of them. I've got a lot to give away and I would really love to give them away.
Okay, that my friends is a wrap for today's episode of indie author weekly access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources F Sagan morrow.com/podcast and share your thoughts on this episode on Twitter or Instagram. My handle is at Sagan lives. Please take two minutes to read and review and do author weekly on Apple podcasts. Or if you're watching this episode on YouTube, subscribe to my channel and give this video the thumbs up. Thank you so much for tuning in and I will see you next week. For another episode of indie author weekly