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  • ryanraeharbuck

From Writer to Author

It's one thing to be a writer. It's another entirely different and complex thing to be an author.

Being an author implies that you've not only published your works, but you actually have people purchasing said works and telling others to do the same.

I dare not say that I have ever been good at marketing myself and my endeavors. I have been a teacher pursuing a controversial dream of embryonic stem cells. I have been a swimmer pursuing a less-controversial dream of making the Paralympic team. But, I never have been a writer pursuing myself.

This marketing scheme is difficult for me, because it is basically me marketing ME. It doesn't involve fundraisers to get to India or even to North Dakota-- it is just me. It is me wanting you to desperately grab a hold of my stories and my voice. It is me feeling so propelled by the desire to share my work. It is extremely scary.

So, as I sit with foreign butterflies dancing within me, I swallow my anxieties of marketing myself. Because I completely understand the facts and the math of it-- in order to have a good book that a lot of people read, I have to help to get people to read it.

I have started an Instagram account dedicated solely to my upcoming memoir, and I have even started "tweeting" daily-- and still feel completely lost by hundreds of thousands of posts dinging my way.

I have also reached out to several podcasts, looking to join them for a chat. And, lo-and-behold, I have 3 podcast interviews pending in the next couple months!

Having no clear practice at podcasting, I will certainly be winging it. But, I will be doing so with immense enthusiasm, as it is giving me such a fantastic opportunity to deepen the branches of those who have heard my stories.

Nonetheless, my excitement is softly strangled by my inherent sense of shyness and introversion. I completely thank my wheelchair for being the sole tangible force to tear me out of my shell and into the world of speaking engagements and stranger chit-chat.

With any luck, I will do okay and I will enjoy making connections with others that work towards sharing others' stories. But, here's a sharp disclaimer-- I will continue to market myself and this journey, and you will probably get sick of it.

Never mind that. Simply buy my book, write a heartfelt review, and tell all your friends to do the same. I hear it is all so simple. We will just have to see about that, once I can officially change my title from "writer" to "author."

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