I am currently reading Kate White’s I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. There are bad books, okay books, good books and great books. But there is another kind of book and it’s the rarest.
White has a witty, sassy style. She is seamlessly intelligent and down-to-earth in her fiction. And guess what? Her nonfiction delivers more of the same.
I’ve never recommended a book I haven’t finished, but this one has me far too excited. Even if Ms. White devolves into dirty limericks for the rest of the book? I still feel I have spent my money well. There are some points she makes which I feel are especially poignant and applicable to writers.
Part of the reason I’m referring to her book in this blog (even though I’m not yet finished) is that I might just chicken out unless I jump in. I have come to the conclusion that…
Good Girls Don’t Become Best-Sellers
Before you throw digital knives at me, please hear me out. I’ve been doing this social media thing since MySpace was big. I have three books under my belt, 900 blogs, and thousands of hours of teaching. So I’ve been around long enough to at least make a very unscientific study of human behavior and I can tell you that men almost always have the advantage in the new publishing paradigm. They have the edge for the same reasons they gain the advantage in the workplace.
Those lessons our mothers and grandmothers passed on could be the very behaviors that have us standing in our own way. I feel this is particularly true for the writing profession since it is largely comprised of women over 30.
Women over 30 have lived long enough to see this world change more than it ever has in the entire course of human history. Who would have imagined we’d say things like, “I want a picture. Hold on while I get my phone!”
We were born into a world where women became nurses, not doctors and now we are finding our way in a world where a woman can finally be bold enough to run for president (not vice-president).
Many of the writers I work with believe they are struggling with branding because of the technology, but I don’t agree. I think women are finally in a position where we must choose. It is live or die. If we listen to our rearing we will lose and lose BIG.
We don’t like the new paradigm because we can’t hide behind an agent and wait meekly for outside approval. The new publishing paradigm lands us smack dab in the place we are most terrified.
What I am going to address can also help the men (the “Nice Guys”) and it does apply to younger women.
But us older gals?
I could kick myself for not seeing this earlier and it figures it would take a former Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine to help me see the light. I’m going riff with some of the ideas presented in Ms. White’s book and apply them to women in the world of publishing. We are taught to be Good Girls and is this having a devastating impact on our careers.
Then, since I hate whining and love solutions, we will throw out the rule books and explore what it is to be a “Bad Girl.”
#1 Good Girls Are Modest
It is unbecoming to brag, so we are modest and humble and we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
In the corporate world, men are more likely to own their accomplishments, whereas women tend to minimize their achievements. To paraphrase White:
If a man has four years of college French, he has no problem stating he is fluent. Women, on the other hand, will downplay their abilities. We say we have a “conversational grasp” of the language.
When it comes to writing, the second a man even starts a novel, he has business cards with “Author” as his title and he is securing a website. Women, on the other hand? Let’s pause that thought for a little test.
How many of you are aspiring writers? Raise your hand. No one will see.
Now, use that hand to smack yourself soundly and never call yourself that again.
Writers write. There is no try. There is no aspire. Aspiring is for wimps. It takes guts and blood to be a writer.
No one will take us seriously unless we do it first.
#2 Good Girls Need Permission
I cannot count how many writers (usually female) have written a novel, numerous novels and yet still refer to themselves as “aspiring writers.” They are waiting for permission to even use the title even though they have a blog and have written hundreds of thousands of words.
Men don’t do this. At least not in the same numbers. I can attest to that. I’ve met men whose writing was so bad they should have been banned from downloading Word until they took some grammar classes, but that didn’t stop them from having a marketing plan or hiring a PR person. They don’t hesitate to secure a domain, build a blog, or hire the best person to design their cover and if they can’t get an agent? They are more likely to self-publish without needing outside approval to do so.
#3 Good Girls Don’t Have Desires
So many of us gals are afraid to want something. Why is it so hard for us to admit we want something? To claim a certain life? Why do we feel such shame and a need to hide who we are and what we desire?
It is okay for a man to want
sex a promotion a raise to want to be a New York Times best-selling author, but for us? There is almost something dirty about wanting to write. Wanting to write and get PAID to write. Wanting to write and to…be famous for it.
Oh no! Kristen has gone TOO FAR! And there is only one punishment for lighting the grail-shaped beacon…
Dirty, naughty Zewt!
Spank us all!
If we are wives and mothers? The problem only compounds from there. I have a hard time expressing I want to go to the bathroom alone, how am I supposed to say I want to be
published a LEGEND?
#4 Good Girls Are Demure
As a social media expert for writers, do you know one of the biggest mistakes writers make in branding? They fail to use their names. They tweet as @fairywriter or @ILuvBooks or @dragongirl. They do all of this wonderful networking for months and years and yet it is almost all wasted effort. Why? Because unless I am going to change my name to Fairy Writer and slap that on a cover, that twitter handle is doing zilch nada nothing to build a brand.
Remember what a brand is?
A brand is when our name alone is a bankable asset. It is when a name alone has the power to drive sales.
When I get on social media and see writers using monikers, by and large it is women. Men do this too, but not in the same numbers. And, even if men use a moniker, the second I point out the fallacy, they are far more likely to change it. Women on the other hand are terrified of using their name and take way more convincing.
Men are also far more likely to start a blog. Women?
They have to have three angelic visions, four miraculous encounters and a committee of family members to tell them it would be okay to BLOG. Why is blogging so scary? IT IS FREAKING WRITING. It plays to a writer’s strengths, but I might as well ask writers to perform brain surgery from space with a Chia Pet and an egg beater.
What if people find out I like to write?
Don’t you think they should if you hope they will pay money to read your books?
#5 Good Girls Feel Comfortable Losing
Well, I tried and that’s all that counts.
We women are notorious for placing ourselves in no-win situations. Out of one side of our mouth we say we can’t be on social media because we don’t yet have a book for sale, but when we do have a book for sale? Oh, well I feel so awkward talking to people because they might think I am selling my book.
*bangs head on keyboard*
When a man publishes a book, he is there to win. He isn’t there to see his name in print. He is there to see his name in lights.
But us gals? We are notorious for settling. We feel awkward admitting we maybe kind of sort of would like to be number one. Men have no problem admitting they are on social media because they would like to sell books.
Okay, enough of the “Good Girl” stuff.
I hope I’ve made my point. Now *rubs hands* it is time for me to help you cultivate that inner Bad Girl.
If you want this dream, the first step is to know it is okay to want it. Many of you are moms, wives, and caretakers. Maybe you already have a great career and it is “selfish” to want to write. And I am here to say, YES. It is. And sometimes a little selfishness goes a long way. Men outpace us because they are better at being selfish.
We must learn to stuff a sock in the inner Good Girl’s mouth and channel that inner Bad Girl because she is dying to get out more. Being a Bad Girl doesn’t mean we aren’t still kind and gracious, but it does mean things are going to change.
#1 Bad Girls Do It Afraid
Nothing remarkable happens in the comfort zone. You are going to have to suck it up and writer up. Only sociopaths don’t feel fear. Fear is natural and normal but it gets in the way of greatness. I feel women are far more afraid of failure than men. We wait to be “perfect.” We can’t say anything until we have the perfect book. But perfect is the enemy of the good. Do it afraid.
Yes. You might fail. Odds are you WILL fail and good! Keep failing. It’s how we learn.
If we aren’t failing, we aren’t doing anything interesting.
So understand everything I am about to tell you is likely going to scare your pants off.
It’s okay, the erotica authors can lead the way 😀 .
Pay attention to that feeling because you will need to remember it. If something scares me (like writing this particular blog), likely I am onto something BIG. It is a sign I am heading in the right direction.
#2 Bad Girls OWN IT
Good, bad, ugly. We own what we do. I admit when I left sales and dreamed of becoming a writer, I wrote the world’s worst novel. It was being used in Guantanamo Bay to break terrorists until it was banned under the Hague Convention as torture.
But you know what? I finished a novel. I did something everyone says they want to do but then never actually do. I own the bad, but what’s been harder? Learning to own the GOOD.
It took weeks for me to put the emblem on this blog that I was named one of Writer’s Digest’s 100 Best Blogs. WHY? Because I am a work in progress, too 😀 .
#3 Bad Girls ASK FOR IT
How many writers are waiting for someone to deliver their big break into their lap? We go to conferences and practically throw up in our shoes at the thought of asking an agent if they’d like to hear about our book. WHY? It is their JOB. Agents don’t have a job without writers.
Ask for what you want. Guess what? All they can do is say no. But, they might just say, “Yes.”
When I wrote my second social media book, I had the terrifying task of finding blurbs. So, I took my own advice and did it afraid. I made a list of all my favorite authors and then…asked. Guess what? New York Times Best-Selling Author James Rollins said, “Yes.”
He already knew me and loved my book.
But I never would have known had I not dared to ASK. Bad girls don’t hear, “No.” We hear, “Not yet” 😉 .
#4 Bad Girls DO IT
We write. We blog. We tweet and by golly we slap our name on it while we are there. I get that the house is a mess, but guess what? It can wait. Most men aren’t waiting until the house is immaculate and all the laundry is done and the kids are all asleep to take time to write!
How many of us are getting up before dawn or staying up after midnight because our dream might just inconvenience someone else? Let them be inconvenienced for a change!
We ladies bend more than the karma sutra and that is okay, but if our husband actually has to watch the kids for an hour in the evening that is too much?
#5 Bad Girls Are In It to WIN IT
Again, I love, love, love Kate White’s book because it reminded me of so much I’d forgotten. Yes, I am a full-time author, blogger, and C.E.O. but I am also a mom and spend way too much time in yoga pants and covered in crumbs. It is easy to forget to be hungry. It is easy to lose our way unless we are vigilant to keep the path. It is easy to let other people’s opinions matter too much.
Lionesses do not lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.
Bad girls don’t whine. We don’t make excuses and we do not politely wait our turn. We understand life is short and we need to make our time here count.
Understand that this is an amazing world that is rich in bounty and there is enough to go around. Don’t let anyone diminish you. This is your dream. It isn’t your little hobby or your “thing” it is YOU. It is your dream and it is OKAY to WANT TO WIN.
This seems like such a simple thing, but I hope you see how pivotal this realization is. I can give you all the branding and blogging lessons in the world and it won’t help. We don’t have a technology problem, we have a confidence problem.
Vow today to make a change. Start by admitting you want the dream then, for the love of all that is chocolate, slap your NAME on it. No more hiding. I will find you on Twitter and pull your @FairyGurl wings off 😉 .
What are your thoughts? Do you see any “Good Girl” behaviors that have been undermining you? Do you have a hard time calling yourself a…writer? Do you have a hard time with the notion of social media because the thought of admitting you have a dream scares you spit-less? Have you bothered to get a domain name, a website? Blog? Are you afraid to ask for what you want? Do you put everyone and everything ahead of your writing? Are you waiting for permission? Do you feel like you are a poseur or a fake? Do you struggle with perfectionism?
I LOVE hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of OCTOBER, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel.
For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook.
I. Fucking. Love. You. best blog post yet. AMEN, SISTAH.
*sniffs* I love you too *sobs*
Couldn’t have said it better! 😀
I eat “aspiring writers” for fucking breakfast. OMG, that should be a blog title.
There are not enough words in the English language to describe how much I loved this post.
You are amazeballs.
Wow! What a blog! Write-up or whatever you call it. White’s book must have given you “wings”. God, do I ever like to be a “bad girl”…..I especially love “Lionesses don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep!” Kristen, you are GOOD in what you do!The kick in the you know what. Might as well say it out loud: “the kick in the ass…”
So love this! I found myself nodding enthusiastically as I was reading, great post.
Kristen, thank you for this big helping of fantastic, covered in AWSOMESAUCE! I would add that one way to help build confidence is not just more writing, but reading those authors you admire and instead of thinking, “oh my gosh, I could never write like this,” take the time to dissect the book, figure out how they did it and apply the lessons to your own work. If you want to play to win, you have to study the winners, what they do, what risks they take, and then get your game on. Thank you darling!
Rachel, your comment ought to be required reading for all “aspiring writers!” (And those of us who have been brave enough to OWN IT!) I’m setting aside books to dissect when I finish this MG trilogy and switch to Women’s Fiction.
Love this! I am such a good girl. I also have a tendency toward good girl characters – Boring! Time to unleash the inner bad girl. I’m also mentioning this on my blog – http://www.patriciamrobertson.com and facebook page.
Yes. Yes. and Yes. Thank you.
I was talking about this very topic today. I was raised with Southern grandmothers and I learned that a lady’s name should never be in the paper except for the announcement of her birth, marriage and death. I learned that it was vulgar to speak about money. I know which fork to use and how to correctly RSVP. I WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF LEARNING HOW TO ASK FOR A RAISE. Luckily, I am not dead yet. When I was younger, my plan was to work hard and wait for someone to notice. My plans have changed. (and I am going to go read that book now).
I should add that while I was talking about some of my regrets around doing the stereo-typical thing of not asking for attention, etc. – I did not articulate the issues nearly so well as you did in this post.
You are great to share the information of that book with us!! Thanks again for this blog and all that you do.
peggy m. pena
Okay Kristen. I did it. I just changed my Twitter name to my own!!! Just now! Because of you! I have two books out and have been invited to many book clubs, yet I still hesitate when someone asks me what I do. No more. I’m goin’ bad girl.
Thank you. xo
NAILED IT! And nailed me. I think I’ll toss the big girl panties and pull on the BAD girl panties. Red?
I’m not just a GOOD GIRL, I’m a SOUTHERN GOOD GIRL, and we are a twisted kind of “bless your heart” BAD! This blog made me want to totally quit practicing law…it is soooo boring…take off my gardening gloves, stop canning vegetables and fruits for an apocalypse and write! The good girl/bad girl thing goes on in the law profession, but I’ve always just let them call me sweetie and whipped their butts smiling. I needed your blog to remind me that I it is time to brush off those old bits of books I’ve started writing, and outlines, and march to the beat of the bad girl boom boom! Thanks for such a rousing blog today!!!
Totally agree with this. I’m already a “bad girl” most of the time – I just sometimes get lazy and slip into “good girl” mode because being a “bad girl” does not come naturally to me. I was the invisible girl all my life, until I fell in love with writing. Then something snapped in me and I knew I had to give it 110% because I’d found a dream I wanted bad enough to sacrifice for – so I sacrificed the “good girl” in me. 😛 I just wish I could get my best writing bud to do the same. She’s such a good girl, she’s practically a door mat and I feel terrible for her. I see her books and dreams suffering for it. No matter how hard I try to help her, she always goofs it up because she lets herself get in her own way. I don’t know how to make her see the light. I know I can’t *make* her do anything. The power has to come from inside HER. But damn if I don’t still try to help her along. She’s my BFF so I can’t just forget about her.
I needed that slap on the ass. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You made me laugh. You made me cry. You made me tell my doubting self to shut the ef up! You’re the best.
Now, where’d I put my Vodka Gimlet and my pen…
~ Tam Francis ~
Great post! It feels good to have left my good girl back in the dust.
Given that I possess certain aspects of anatomy that, depending on the forum, sometimes seem to render my opinion irrelevant, I’d like to hesitantly stick my oar in; first, entertaining, amusing and irreverent article; my favorite kind!
Second, though, much of what you said regarding “good” girls isn’t necessarily drawn down a gender split. Either that or I have the wrong “equipment,” alongside several other artists I know. It seems to me it’s not about being a “good” girl or a “bad” one, but being someone who’s got grit, determination and the belief that they are worth some effort over not.
From a broadly generalized point of view, most of those same aspects apply just as much to PTSD victims, social disorder sufferers, individuals with abusive or demeaning backgrounds and people who possess general beta or omega tendencies… who also, coincidentally and slightly ironically, are often those most drawn to expressing themselves through the arts (because they’re “safe,” they’re relatively internal, and do not require the cooperation or input of others much of the time). Overcoming those tendencies, becoming the alpha, overcoming those weaknesses, is something that’s applicable to just about everyone… not just women.
But that may only be my opinion. XD
But your opinion matters! I simply wrote it from a female perspective because I feel I have some authority there. I know men can fall into the “Nice Guy” category. My husband is that way. He is the omega man. Tall, manly, powerful, but also very gentle, sensitive and kind. He is SO NOT TYPE A and if I am often the pit bull biting people who run over him. Writing does have a fair share of more sensitive men which is great because they are often excellent writers. But, I am going off what I have witnessed, women are WAY more guilty of being passive. And it is WAY easier for me to teach men to brand. I don’t have to talk near as many off a ledge!
Thank you for being brave and representing our men in the face of all this estrogen!
Yes, all of this. One thing I’ve noticed in self-publishing: some women put their names in tiny print on their covers. Men use BIG, BOLD FONTS for their names. Ladies, make your names BIGGER! Increase the font size, or have your designer increase it. More. More. And then make it even bigger. I don’t want to squint to see your name. I really want to see who you are.
This is one case where size really does matter! 😉
– former “good girl”
I am so glad my cover artist is a man. My publisher allowed me a lot of leeway for the cover, so I described the type of picture I want for the cover. When he asked about the font for the title and author name, I told him to do what he wants, and my name is almost as noticeable as the title.
Huh, good point. I checked…my name isn’t as bit as the titles but it’s also not hiding
My cover artist is a bold woman who makes sure author names are completely visible on a thumbnail. Something I hadn’t thought about at first, but it is essential. 😀
Excellent observation. YES! We need to STOP IT!
Oh my hell, yes! This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Aside from writing, I’m also a cover designer and I can NOT stand to see people put their names in tiny, unreadable type on the cover. For goodness sake, YOU WROTE IT. OWN IT!
They used to call that being “spirited.” It was the same thing they said about horses… women and horses who were so bad they actually got some of what they wanted. 😀
I’ve got another one for you: Bad Girls don’t care who knows.
I struggled for years being afraid that people would see my flaws if I took this risk or that one. I finally figured out, PEOPLE SAW MY FLAWS ANYWAY.
Question is, do they see your flaws while you’re hiding, or as you blow past them?
LOVE IT! We need to compile a LIST! LOL! #WANABADGurl
Just published my first book and am navigating the world of being published and self-promoting — always worried about being “pushy” or “bragging”, and I needed to read this like I need caffeine in the morning. Thank you!!
Reblogged this on H.K. Rowe and commented:
Fantastic blog post!
Awesome post! I had to listen to Madonna’s “Bad Girl” because well it got it stuck in my head as I read… LOL!!
That said, perfectionism is my biggest obstacle!
I haven’t read the book you mentioned, but I’ve been working at living as a Bad Girl lately. Do it! Own it! Keep moving! Say thank you for compliments instead of downplaying them! It’s a struggle sometimes, but, hey, that’s a part of it, too!
After writing two books of poems (and enough for a couple more books) on strength and vulnerability, I’ve come to believe that Bad Girls understand the way to strength is to embrace the vulnerability that tells us not to risk putting our desires, our needs, our goals, our ambition on display!! Once we unleash that power… Oh, girl, do we ever find our bad selves…
My God, is this good! I love love love love love this blog. So authentic. I think a lot of work is involved in both writing and promotion, and most women dread the marketing jungle. But I apply the saying: If I do what I love, I don’t have to work a day in my life (well, I love my job too, but it’s related, so it’s easy to love). I like the writing and the marketing, NOT because I think too much of my quality, but because I KNOW my readers can profit from it. I write with love and respect (editing, polishing, all out of respect for the reader) and on core subjects that are relevant for real people, even though I write fiction. I guess going out there not with the purpose to sell, but give yourself as present is the way to go, but maybe that’s just hiding behind a term. So typically good girl, huh? And yes, I’m writing this after the kid fell asleep hahahahahaha
One thing I’ve noticed is female authors don’t want their books banned or have any controversy over it, some get pissed off over it. Whereas, male authors practically throw a party when one of their books get banned because they know the controversy will sell more books. This is why I plan on plan on sending my next book to a couple of well-known bombastic bloggers who are likely to be offended by the book. Free publicity.
I should also delete this comment before the book’s released in case it bites me in the ass.
Thank you. I’m using this with my students as they try to get internships. But I’m using it more on me. Question for you (since you LOVE to hear from us!): My Twitter handle is rshorton b/c my name: ReneeSchaferHorton seems so long. My website is my name and, unfortunately, my blog is NOT my name, although my name is in the URL. Should I change blog name to my name and twitter handle to @reneeschaferhorton?
It depends on what will be on the front of your book. Remember we (readers) look for things based off last name. So am I going to find you via “Horton” or “Schafer-Horton”?If you need both because we are searching under S and not H, what about @RSchaferHorton? Once we click, we can SEE your name is Renee (my middle name, btw) 😀 . This keeps it short enough to not take up the tweet but to keep your name the prime focus. As far as the blog, put your NAME on it. At least the name that will be printed on the front of your books. Also, you should be blogging on your website. I blog here because I did all the dumb crap so you don’t have to 😛 .
Awesome post. I am horrible at promoting myself, so I’m aiming to get better at that!
Reblogged this on Nancy Segovia and commented:
I AM A BAD, BAD GIRL, and always have been!
Great post–so inspiring! You had me at the Holy Grail reference. My new mantra is “bad girls do it afraid,” and I hereby vow to never use the term “aspiring writer” again.
I am a bad, bad girl and always have been, but this blog needed to be written because there are a lot of good girls out there too.
Reblogged this on Esme Took's Blog and commented:
This article doesn’t just apply to women writers – it applies to women everywhere!
Reblogged this on Mona Karel Author and commented:
I think too many of us have been too polite for our own good. Guess I’m gonna toss out the Big Girl Panties and get some Bad Girl Panties.
Red? Purple? Flames???
Great blog, Kristen!! And thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check it out!!
“Lionesses do not lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.”
I hope it’s okay to reblog this, because this was a really great article. I had to smack myself in the head because I raised my hand as an “aspiring writer”. When people ask what I do, I meekly tell them I’m a writer, and then instead of enthusiastically telling them the elevator pitch for my novel (when they ask what I’m writing), I mutter something about it’s not finished yet. Never again!
Ladies and Gentlemen, perfect your elevator pitch and be proud enough to shout it to the heavens!
Loved this, I just started re-thinking the whole name thing and brand building. As a blogger continuing to learn and grow, I am guilty of not using my name. I feel like I just got a swift kick in the ass and a wake up call. Thank you
Bloggers (to an extent) get some more leeway. Think Pioneer Woman or The Bloggess. But eventually if you want to put out books you will have to brand your NAME, too so the sooner the better! Fabulous to meet you and am following you in Twitter!
I think I’ve been a ‘good girl’ for far too long! The problem is when trying to please everybody, you feel like you’re going nowhere. We should learn to accept that it’s alright to be selfish sometimes in order to think about ourselves for a change. Thanks for such a timely post Kristen.
Reblogged this on Susan Faw and commented:
Awesome advice from Kristen Lamb
There is nothing else out there, Kristen, like your blog. Thanks for kicking it up a notch for us all.I WANT THIS!!! DO YOU ALL HERE ME? REPEAT AFTER ME, WE WANT THIS! 🙂
Awww, ((HUGS)). I appreciate that a lot. Lord knows I wrote a lot of crap in the beginning, but the spam bots didn’t seem to complain 😀 .
You said this! I mean, I haven’t written anything in a while, dealing with a regular 9-5 and going to school for my PhD. But, I am planning to participate in NanoWriMo. I want to write a self-help book or a new novel. I am deciding, but I feel that good girls do need to get permission. Love your blog as always!
I loved this post! I was that Good Girl for so long and it actually took my husband saying “Until you really believe you can realise your dream of being published, it won’t happen.” And you know what? I ditched those Good Girl traits and started calling myself a writer and requesting hubby take the kids while I write for a couple of hours. I changed the entire way I approached my beliefs about writing and myself. Guess what? A few months after that I landed an agent and not long after that a three book deal with an international publisher! Switching your self view really can change your world and I love that you’ve blogged about this Kristen. Thank you!
Great article! I’m tweeting it b/c this is good info (even for guys), you are an excellent writer and because unleashing my inner bad girl hilariously freaked out my guy friends. ?
The great thing about the secure male is he has NO PROBLEM letting out his inner BAD GIRL, LOL! (((HUGS)) And thank you!
Reblogged this on Kat Drennan – Author and commented:
for any of you who’ve been told the odds are against you…
I am guilty of so much of this. Mostly I’m guilty of putting everything before my writing. Including laundry. Who does that? I keep my book a secret from my family. Why? It’s good. It has almost 50 five star reviews and it’s still new. It’s time for me to come out. Hold me.
Here is my dillema. I have a blog, but I rarely put anything on it. The reason for this is that people are offended by everything so I have a hard time figuring out what is appropriate to build up my brand versus drag it down to lowest gates of hell.
Eh, yeah. That can be tricky. I recommend my book for help on that, but feel free to read my last posts on branding because I talk a lot about content. What content do people like? What stands out (in a good way)? I have a step-by-step plan in my book for helping you start your blog and find content that is uniquely YOU. Trust me it is seven bucks well spent. It will save you a TON of hassle and headache doing stuff WRONG.
This seems to me not so much a good/bad divide as a weak/strong divide.
Culture makes a difference though: in New Zealand self-promotion is mercilessly punished regardless of gender. We have a reputation for beheading tall poppies. Car salesmen are seen as annoyingly pushy if they do more than acknowledge your presence and maybe ask if you’d like some assistance.
I guess it all boils down to being honest about who you are and what you want, rather than either claiming to be “all that and a bag of chips”, or being totally self-effacing.
Reblogged this on MDellert-dot-Com and commented:
As much as this is about women writers of literature (and I don’t claim there aren’t special hurdles there), so much of this applies to anyone. I may not be a good girl OR a bad girl, but I do it afraid just the same. Thanks for this!
Love our Bad Gurl GUYS! ((HUGS)) Thank you!
Cheers! Keep up the good advice!
Am in love with this post – this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear (read?), and it’s nice to finally get some real, legit, useable advise instead of the same old “just follow your heart” crap…. **slow claps it out**
Wow – just what I needed to hear exactly when I needed to hear it! Not only am I printing and sharing this, but I am going to buy that book, too. I’m at that horrible phase where I’m wondering if I’ll EVER get published and I’m filled with doubts. But gosh darn it, I want to be a LEGEND! And I will be – thanks for the kick in the pants to get me back to work chasing my goal of being a romance writer!
Kristen thanks so much for waking me up! I have been a good girl in hiding and even though I have blogs and I have self-published 2 books, I still am reluctant to call myself and Author or a Writer. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about creating a Facebook page for myself as an author but have succumbed to the good girl voice in my head. Any using my name? Oh boy, let’s not go there…(covers face in shame)! Great food for thought as usual. THANK YOU!
Awesome!!! Thank you so much. Now, to leave behind my southern traditional roots… 🙂
One thing I always worry about is safety. Most of the time when I blog (art, not writing) I live under a pen name because I’m afraid of random strangers on the internet getting too much information on me. I recently pushed past this and started a blog under my actual name. It’s scary! What if they find me?!
Vaguely related: I’ve spent my whole life painting. The last 4 years I devoted to miniature painting, to the exclusion of almost everything else except work and writing. I’d put up tutorials, step-by-step painting, etc. Every time I offered critique or feedback to others, I doubted that I had the right to interfere, except that I knew what they needed to change and I wanted to help them. I resisted the urge to stay quiet because they asked for ways to improve. Yet every time I posted, I knew they’d realize I knew nothing, nothing at all about painting! 🙂 The hardest thing is not the writing or the painting, but the self-confidence to excel. Success is like a forbidden fruit!
Excellent post! My reason for not having a blog – I don’t want people – strangers – knowing about me. Well, DUH! I have writing credentials – a 4 star review from RT on one book, a GRW Maggie finalist on another. But have I advertised? Nope. Not. One. Bit. It would be too LOUD. Thank you for pointing out that I need to be LOUD and PROUD and ME.
I’m slowly working my way out of my good girl tendencies. I do have my name on things, at least. And my husband is the reason I had a domain purchased long before I was ready to put up a website.
Thanks for this post. I’m going to bookmark it and keep it to reread when I need a kick in the booty.
Wow. That was the kick in the pants I needed. I have published my first book but I want more than just my book available in e-book (even though I love my publisher). I always thought I was being greedy wanting more. I should be thankful to have a publisher at all. But I do want it all. I want my book in K’mart and at the airport. Thanks for this timely post.
You own this, Kristen, and I OWN MY WRITER STATUS! Most of the time, anyway. 🙂 My desires are Type A, but my upbringing is definitely to be a Good Girl. And my problem is that there are things I want as much as I want my writing, so while I’m comfortable calling myself a writer around friends and strangers, I’m not so comfortable in myself when thinking of other writers – I’m not giving it my all and they seem to be, therefore it’s not as valid?? Stupid, but it’s easing off with each short story and book. Here’s to becoming a Bad Girl and owning all of it, all of the time!
Reblogged this on AM Justice Journeys Through Time and commented:
Kristin Lamb roars like a lion in this blog post about owning success!
I’ve never been a good girl. Hence, nobody in my family reads anything I write. They don’t even push the “like” button under my posts or comments. I’m the Amazing Invisible Author. (Is it just Irish families that try to instill in any girl child that she shouldn’t “Get above herself” or “Put on airs”? Much to their frustration, I never got the message. Glad to see other women affirming each other’s talents. Clare Sweeney http://aroundzuzusbarn.wordpress.com
My biggest issue is definitely asking people for help. I’m “doing it” as far as writing the books and having the social properties needed, but I’m always afraid of bugging people for reviews or blurbs or help in other ways, so I sit back and think “Something will give at some point. Luck has to be on my side someday.” But I need to keep making my own luck. So right here, right now, I vow, with my next first-in-series book, Zombie Juice, I won’t rush to publish it. I will ask and ask and ask for reviews. I will send out requests for blurbs to some of my favorite authors. And I will give the book the absolute best chance I can, despite the fear of rejection.
Reblogged this on Renee Hammond and commented:
Get your inner bad girl on…Kristen Lamb offers insight into how your ‘inner good girl’ may be holding you back from reaching your dreams. This blog post not only relates to women in the writing industry, but across the board…be who you want to be, and scream it from the building tops!
Reblogged this on authorkdrose and commented:
Read this, male or female.
SO timely LOL. Love it! Synchronicity…against my better judgment I tweeted my real writing self just last night in 2 tweets.
K.D. Rose ?@KDRose1 · Oct 5
Tone and style
when I write to be published
are there to rip your throat out.
Can you deal with that?
Should I phrase it artfully? #writing
K.D. Rose ?@KDRose1 · Oct 5
Real writing is uncompromising.
It does not submit to tone and style.
Alive words are there for one purpose:
To take your breath away. #art
A very broad comment on malekind, and while I have better things than to whine about this, ponder if the sexes were switched, the outcry about That?Man, woman, there are confident bulls and hesitant people in both sexes. It’s outlook and perspective, not sex that determines one’s confidence and writing and publishing ability.
True, but I like the guys to speak for themselves. I can only authentically attest to the female experience and the only reason I DID write this is I’ve been around long enough to note real differences in the genders. Like any sweeping statement it isn’t wholly true everywhere, but there IS enough to notice.
Preach it sistah!
I seldom comment but I had to for this. Your observations are spot on and I’m guilty of all of them at some point or another. Slowly breaking the good girl shell to get shit done!
I reblogged on Dysfunctionalwomansdigest.com because I am a total Bad Girl! I am also an encourager who needed your encouragement; often I am nervous about posting what I am really thinking and doing because of the conflict between Good Girl vs. Bad Girl. Thanks for the shove!
This is awesome. I can see at least some of this in 90% of the women writers I know, including myself at times. Asking for help has always been the worst–since I feel like I ask too much and should be able to do it myself. But I’m getting better. I’ve been working on all of these things the past couple of years. Just before launching my first book, I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago that talks about some of this and how I had to learn not to believe the lies about women I’d been taught my whole life. Still learning, but I’m determined. Onward and upward!
Kristin, this is an outstanding post. Wow, just what I needed to light a fire under my ass…oops. Probably not the proper thing to say. Wait a minute! That’s just what a bad girl might say! Maybe there’s hope for me yet. Seriously, a very candid and much needed point of view. Thanks
(It’s all about owning your own. I used to run frommm attention as if it were a sin. Now I don’t. It will affect my blogs.
Reblogged this on Amy Quinton.
So much of this translates to women working in any field. I love this! Commented and sharing on my social media. It’s time to put my Bad Girlz panties on and stop apologizing for chasing my dreams.
Oh my gosh!! You wrote this just for me!!! I am so on the good girl side !!! I don’t even want to tell my family I’m a writer!! For goodness sake I have been blogging for almost 2 years, I could say I’m a writer!! Not yet a great one, but this hobby of mine is writing.. might as well admit it!! I don’t do Twitter, but if I did, I probably would be the fairy girl you would find!! Hehe.. Thanks, vicki
Reblogged this on Mystery and Romance and commented:
Here’s to a new beginning!
When I get like this, my husband disappears for a week to a hotel room in an undisclosed city.
Seriously, great advice as always! I am so pumped up, I feel like eating raw meat and tying a strip of my ripped shirt around my four head. Grrr…
Reblogged this on Anna Dobritt — Author and commented:
This is excellent and spot on!
Kristen, you’re rockin’ it all the way to becoming #1 on Writers Digest’s list of best blogs. I hear Eye of the Tiger playing in the background. 🙂 My favorite line in this whole post? ” I will find you on Twitter and pull your @FairyGurl wings off.” Giggling over this one.
Reblogged this on R. L. Martinez and commented:
This is pretty epic!
This is AMAZING. I am so psyched by this post. Feelin’ the power 😉 Thank you for this awesome empowerment (encouragement sounded like too weak of a word)!
Preach it, gal! Tell it like it is! Kristin, I’m a sixty-nine-year-old woman about about to write my first novel rough draft during NaNoWriMo. I got the first ideas for this novel half my lifetime ago. Your post is exactly what I needed to read. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!
I love this! I’m going to share in my writing group.
Thank you….. I needed to hear this. You convinced me to drop the moniker and start a true author’s blog. Yesterday, I started “Taara Datta Donley’s” blog and published rough drafts of two chapters from a story I’m writing. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Reblogged this on A Writing Mama's Journal and commented:
Another amazing post by Kristen Lamb……
Wow!! Fast paced and packed with goodies… i felt like i was watching a thriller and at the same time being fed awesome pointers! no time for popcorns and cokes… this is a feast!!! Thank You so much!
This is the truth, from beginning to end. I ditched my good girl self long ago, but every once in a while she pops by for coffee and a scone and I have to hustle her out of my house, before she extends her stay and camps out in the spare bedroom. No time for that nonsense when you have huge writing goals to achieve.
Reblogged this on Southern Charm Book Blog and commented:
Read This Now!!! Own It!
This is Amazing!!! I don’t have a book that I have written, but know one author who could use feedback if my name pops 😛 This blog post however would be chiseled into a large stone and made into a centerpiece for all authors to have to read. You are Amazeballs, and now you get to own it!
As I read this I found myself peppered throughout this post. I knew all these things to be true and I have spent the last year fighting for my dream to be a writer within my own home. Standing up and not cowering in the demands of the family was a hard road but I kicked the good girl to the curb while I allowed my bad girl to surface to face the onslaught of the non approvers.
I love every word that was posted, and believe every one needs to not only read the words here but practice them on a daily basis. Having the courage to be the bad girl is freeing and necessary in order to be the person that you are wired to be.
Thank you for reminding me that it is ok to fight, to stand up and to dream.
Kade Cook, Writer
Thank you. I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee yet, but I needed this slap in the face reminder. Years ago, when I was a fresh-faced feminist college grad ready to take on the world, I bought a copy of Kate’s first book like this (Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead… But Gutsy Girls Do: Nine Secrets Every Career Woman Must Know ). I ate it up, using it as fuel to fight against my ingrained good girl ways. And it worked…for a while… Now 15+ years later, I’ve reverted to my good girl ways–I’m a kindly librarian, mom, and wife who feels meek and embarrassed when I mention I’ve also written some books. Everyone looks at me like it’s a silly hobby. And I LET them. Kate’s book is on my reading queue. Time to trade in my Aerosols flats for virtual stilettos or combat boots so I can kick some butt. Thanks, Kristen!
I read that book in the 90s as well. I seriously needed a kick in the butt as well. It’s too easy to just “be nice” and soon you find you are invisible. I suppose the good thing we can get out of all of this is that it’s like anything else. A habit. Which means we can get back in gear! Great to meet you!
Reblogged this on Tricia Drammeh and commented:
How can I NOT reblog this? It must have been written just for me! There is so much truth here.
This is true, not just for publishing or writing but for life. Thanks for posting this!!!
Reblogged this on Crazy Little Redneck Goth and commented:
Kristen Lamb is an amazing woman. And I love how she tells it like it is.
Thank you, Kristen, so much. I can’t even articulate…just, thank you.
FANTASTIC from start to finish. Bonus points for the Monty Python reference. 😀
I’m a trans guy, so grew up socialised as female and I am STILL trying to deprogram myself from that as both a human being in general and as a writer. (Not an aspiring writer, but an ACTUAL WRITER.) This subject could well be a blog post in the making. Thanks for the inspiration!
I loved reading this! It just confirmed what I believe and how I approach this industry. I just realized early on, “That I don’t really care if nobody else believes…” (Stole that from ‘Fight Song’), I am a writer/author, I want to see my name in print, and Yes dammit, I do want the ‘another gripping read from New York Best Selling Author Inge Saunders’. *grin* #BadGrilForLife
Yes, it’s about damn time. Let’s embrace this thing we’ve fought for and run with it like a quarterback on the twenty yard line!
Reblogged this on Indie Lifer and commented:
To all the good girls out there who need to get bad, you must read Kristen Lamb’s “Good Girls Don’t Become Best-Sellers—Channeling Your Inner “Bad Girl” to Reach Your Dreams.”
This is fantastic…and not just in regards to writing. Thank you. I have work to do!
I actually got goosebumps reading this. I’ll admit it, I’m a total chicken shit when it comes to my work. (See, even there, I felt weird calling it my ‘work’). I recently had a woman contact me about possibly taking my blog post and turning them into a book. She has a shop in the next town over and would love to sell them. What a great opportunity! So what did I do? Nothing. I need a good girl exorcism. “The power of Writers Compels you!” Maybe I should start with revealing my last name isn’t Whims. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Kristen! Now I gotta order that book.
I laughed out LOUD! “The Power of PROSE COMPELS YOU!” How about that? *giggles*
Ha! And perhaps instead of Holy Water I could be sprinkled with pencil shavings? I think we may have the beginnings of a great cult!
That was amazing. This crosses all work environments, but being an author, it’s how I live my life. Yup, only have 2 books published, but have a brand and am proud to use it! I am going to share the shit out of this! Thanks!
I never considered myself much of the good girl, but, after reading this, I could stand to be a badder bad girl. Thanks for this. Really needed to see it today.
Great post! What is it about our generation of women? I’ve done bad girl writing and I’m now trying good girl writing. Alas, I’m either not bad enough or good enough. 🙁
Reblogged this on The Magic Quill Blog and commented:
Excellent Advice for the Ladies!
Reblogged at The Magic Quill. This is, by far, THE best blog I’ve read all year. Thank you.
I freaking love everything about this!!! And as a writer of erotic romance, your comment that the erotica authors can lead the way made me laugh out loud. Your words to not let anyone diminish you truly hit home, because although I have published three books, one of which made the Amazon bestseller list, some people close to me still consider writing my “hobby.” You’ve inspired me to claim my inner bad girl!
What a fabulous post. That whole good girl thing was me spot on several years ago when I starting my writing career. Since then, I’ve switched to being more aggressive and have self-published four full length novels in one year plus I have a novella coming out in November within a box set with the Bluestocking Belles. I enjoy having control of my own destiny and if I fail then fine…I fail. But I must be doing something right considering the reviews I’m getting. People may hate me for constantly posting to groups on Facebook, but if it gets me a few more sales, then so be it. I appreciate all your good advice and will share on Facebook. Now that you’ve given me a good kick in the pants and got me motivated, I’m off to write!
You just summed up everything that’s holding me back. Thank you! I’ve reblogged at Journeys with Jana – http://janarichards.blogspot.com/2015/10/good-girls-dont-become-best-sellers-by.html
Love It! My anxieties have been kicking up lately because I am finally stepping up to the plate. This post has helped ease some of those fears:) Reblogged from lynnthompsonbooks.com. And emailed to a friend of mine who is going through a whirlwind of new opportunities right now! She’s more of a “bad girl” than I am!
Loved this post! I think everyone should read it! I’ve had the experience of stating my big dreams and my positive writing attitude and had people look at me like I was crazy – like somehow I was invalidating *them* by even thinking I could have a writing career or something. Now I just keep my big dreams/positive attitude to myself more often.
What a great inspiring post! Bleck! I fall into the girl girl category. I need to get my bad on!
This is so empowering! Thank you!
I am literally applauding you. Shouting “that’s so me” at my computer as I read this post. Even my kids try to sing my praises to strangers and I stop them!?! WTF? I have had some of my BEST life moments and finally-not-afraid-to-jump-in-with-both-feet successes as a BAD GIRL! Hooray for you, for this blog, and HOORAY FOR US!!!
Wow. Just wow. I knew this about myself. I just never thought about it affecting so many others, guess I thought it was one of those ‘just me’ cases until I read your post, Kristen. I was raised by my semi-strict dad primarily, but in my teen years my maternal grandma managed to inject two cents into my brain, and I haven’t been able to eject it since. Her stuck words? “Sex belongs in the bedroom–behind closed doors.” My gosh, how I hate that in my head! It gets in the way of even the most innocent story scenes that go beyond the waist. LOL
Good girls don’t show their ass (she meant that visually as well as metaphorically, because I was a smartass in Daisy Dukes– and that’s what showing your ass means in the south-USA). Showing my ass would be, in this instance, putting my name out there, putting ME out there, by damn what anyone thinks or says. Donning those DDs and going for it, fear or not. I’m still working on it. 🙂
Trackbacked and reblogged http://calisarhose.com/2015/10/07/good-girl-vs-bad-girl-kristenlamb-branding-mfrwauthor/
Here’s one I don’t get: You go to a conference so you can pitch your book to an agent or editor but first need to take a class on how not to be afraid to do that. What? Look at it this way: You’re hiring someone to represent you or to create a product for you using your raw material (manuscript). If it’s not a good fit, you move on. Or pick yourself and indie publish.
I love the post, Kristen. Keep up the good work.
Damn! This is exactly what I needed to read this morning! Thank you from my heart, Kristen! I started out bad girl strong and made good things happen, but this made me realize that lately I’m missing that writer bad girl part of me! And I blog about Self-Reliance! No more excuses! You’ve inspired a blog and I’ll definitely link back to this one to help get this message out to all my writer chicks! Write on!
I definitely needed to hear this right now, for my writing, and for my career. Thanks. I don’t think I’ll don the term #badgirl professionally, but it helps to know that I have authority in my field. I actually know stuff.
As a caveat, I find that the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know much…
LOL! Yeah, we were worried about tweeting it and snagging to porn bots. But it IS still fun 😀 .
Well said. Wise words of encouragement to all women writers. Best of luck to all of you toiling away to make yourself known (from one male writer)
Thank you so much for this – I NEEDED to read it!
I’ve read the comparison of men and women before in the publishing world. This post is a good, swift kick in the ass that we all need!
Reblogged this on Donna Jean McDunn and commented:
This was written for women writers and anyone else who has a dream and worries that pursuing that dream might inconvenience someone else, read this and learn!
BALLS. We all need to grow our ladyballs nice and big and swim ’em around like a fucking boss. Hells yes. That’s it. I’m starting my book. Woooo!
So needed this.
Reblogged this on between the coffee bean and tea leaf and commented:
It has been a while that I have not laughed out loud when reading a blog post. Incredibly inspiring 🙂
Reblogged this on Susan A. Royal.
An awesome article. I’m 65 years old, was raised in the South, and have always been considered a “goody-two shoes”. I’ve always worked at a job that was in the “male” world. (manufacturing, then law enforcement) I have been that woman who did not know how to speak up for herself, and only in the last 5 years, have I been able to “promote” myself. I have a contract with The Wild Rose Press, A CONTRACT, and still have trouble saying, “I’m a writer.” I believe age has a great deal to do with my hesitancy. Not because I think I’m too old to write, but it is so much more difficult to change your personality after so long. Thank the Lord, I found a man who put me first. Who got behind me and shoved me to the forefront and filled me with bravery. Now my only regret is that it didn’t happen sooner. Thanks for putting this out there. So ALL women, young and old, can grow from reading your words.
I was terrified to read this. Thank you !! I’m crying ugly tears, exorcising the good girl out of me. Being a good girl hasn’t gotten me anything that I truly want out of life. This post is everything I needed to hear at this turning point in my personal and professional life. Thank you, Kristen.
Awwww, that is wonderful to hear. Please let me know how things go. It is really wonderful to get those “AHA!” moments.
Great word as always! Thank you for putting into words things our guts have been speaking to us for a long time! Stepin UP!
This post provided a much needed kick in the pants! I’ve often said I don’t have the personality to promote myself or my books well, and you’ve put into words what I’ve struggled to explain. Thanks for giving me a starting place for finding my inner bad girl!
Right on! How true! Thank you!
Thank you for this! So many of us have had it drilled into us to always put others before ourselves. It goes along with what you’re saying about not inconveniencing anyone. We should be respectful and kind, yes, but why is it considered virtuous to put ourselves last? One of the most eye-opening things anyone ever told me was that modelling that behaviour for our kids, or others, is just a way of saying we aren’t as important and we’re okay with that. It’s not okay to perpetuate this “lifestyle”. We all deserve it all!
Thanks for saving me from being a GOOD GIRL. No longer. Excellent post–I’m a lioness going after an agent!!
Go you! Just be gentle with their throat 😉 .
Thank you … I love this post and really needed to hear it today. I’m still in the early stages of my writing career and often have to remind myself that ‘I am a Writer!’ So get back to it and push forward. Cheers 🙂
Loved it! All of it. Thanks for the tough love and brutal honesty. I don’t have a traditional “blog,” (does that make me a good girl or a bad girl) but I have two Facebook Pages I will link back to your blog. (Does this mean I get three entries?? Will it help if I toot my own horn and say I was a finalist in the WFWA Rising Star Contest? 😉 My personal page is an attempt to begin building a platform as a writer. My Triathlon Mom, https://www.facebook.com/triathlonmama, is my platform as a corporate-sponsored triathlete. So I’m learning. Baby steps . . .
I argued with this at first, saying, “My problem isn’t that I’m a good girl, my problem is that I don’t have enough TIME!” But maybe I’d be able to make more time if I channel my inner bad girl. I linked to this on my latest blog post, http://www.sheilabaranoski.com/the-four-agreements-and-unschooling-part-one/
Great article, funny, witty and very true (did a lot of that slapping you advised 🙂 ).
I am currently fighting against the good girl, i do hate her. Thank you for the right words. I will be going on.
She has a place, we just let her drive waaaay too much 😀
Good motivation. It never hurts to be reminded of things I already know and to know I am not alone.
Boy, did this show up in my inbox at the right time. Thanks, Kristen.
I think you are awesome. If only I could have that confidence. I’m a wife, and a mother. I worked in Special Education and now stay at home and take care of my mother-in-law. I have a four book novella series written and four children’s books all on amazon. I have two novels on their way and one being written.
My husband does my editing. I do okay behind a computer, but I am scared to voice my opinion anywhere else. I have a blog, two web pages, twitter, Facebook and google+. I use create space to publish my work. I have gone to a few book signings and I attende two book clubs. I write different genres but my favorite is romance writing. I write under Andrea Renee Smith. Thanks for caring.
Reblogged this on S. G. Basu and commented:
An awesome post by Kristen Lamb on owning up. A MUST read for girls and women, regardless of their professions. Also a great read for all those “nice guys” I know.
Wow…fantastic blog post, Kristen! It hit me right between the eyes. I’ve done “some” of the things that should be done (website, Twitter, Facebook, indie pubbed 2 books) but having had the courage to walk (this) far on water I looked down and lost my courage. Your post has given me the courage to lift my head…and dare to DO again! Thanks!
Amazing post! Even those who are supposed to be like my book and and want to sell it smacked me down for getting above myself as a “debut writer”. And you know what? My contemporary romance is *great*. So there! I’m going to link to this on AndreaSommers.com (Look! It’s my name! I’ve got that part down!) THANK YOU.
Loved it so much I had to blog about it! Really made me think a lot about my own life, career and why I do the things I do.
Reblogged this on The 960 Writers and commented:
It is OKAY to want to WIN! I need to put that on a poster.
It’s funny, but I was thinking just the other day how the writing world seems to be dominated by young, fearless women. Most of the blogs I read are written by women; most of the comments are as well. A preponderance of craft and advice books and articles are by women. It’s my impression, without any facts behind it, that there are far more women self-publishing than there are men. So it’s interesting to see your post here from the opposite perspective. For awhile I was almost wishing I were a fearless young woman. And now, thanks to your post, I realize I’m half-way there. Acknowledgement is the first step toward recovery, so: My name is Steve and I am a Good Girl.
While that may not apply to all aspects of my life, it does to “this writing thing.” Regarding Good Girl quality #4, I did use my name for my blog, but only because I read your book first. I really didn’t want to. But Good Girl qualities 1, 2, 3, and 5 are me to a T. For a 117% introvert, social media is hard — I’ve got sweat down to my beltloops just writing this comment. Last year I put a little book of short stories on the Kindle store and I’ve not told any of my friends about it. None of my family knows about it either, except for my wife, who discovered it three months after it went up. Modest, without desire, needing permission, comfortable losing? Yes and not really, maybe, I don’t know, and like other Good Girls, fighting those things every day.
So yes, as you suggest, male writers can be Good Girls, too. Thank you for bringing this topic up and putting a name to it and for encouraging ALL your readers to become Bad Girls.
I love this posted and a better outlook for us women who have a passion for writing. ?
I started my blog two weeks ago and will now proudly call myself a writer, thank you for this post!
Thanks for giving me permission to stop cooking and cleaning and focus on my writing. Oh wait, there’s that permission thing again. Seriously, you’ve given this ‘author’ a lot to think about. Thank you. You’re awesome.
OMG! Did I need to read this?! Last year, I started a blog and one of my childhood friends wrote a lovely complement on my FB page complimenting my humor and writing. A church acquaintance who had read my post, as well, corrected my friend and said, “She’s not a gifted writer, but a gifted story teller”. My FB friend was upset and “hurt for me”. I, however, graciously said that the church friend was “right” – that I was indeed a “gifted story teller”, not a gifted writer. After reading your article, I’ve decided that I’m going back to my original description of myself – I’m a writer-a writer of humorous life experiences. Thank you! 🙂
Yes! Confidence! I am learning, but it is so hard. I’ve owned that I am a writer. I’ve pushed my boundaries and faced fears. My biggest problem is that my ‘good girl’ is afraid of annoying the people in my life by saying too many times: Hey, don’t forget I have a book for sale!. I’m already worrying about how I’m going to say: Hey, I have another one! I’ll have to be bold and brave when the time comes. Thank you so much for writing this article. Yours will be the voice in my head, prodding me to go beyond my comfort zone—at least until my own voice learns to speak the right words to get me where I need to be.
Thank you! You are Awesomely Inspiring! Yes – we are afraid. Some of are afraid to succeed. I go to conferences, win writing contests, and agents ask for full manuscripts. And you know what I do? I say, I just have to work on it a little bit more (it’s not perfect yet) and I never ever send it to them.
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
You are so right. Thank you for this. It hit so close to home, it may be mortal. But it’s time to put on the bad girl pants and get out there.
I needed to read this right at this moment in time. I’ve had a blog, a twitter page and web domain for my book for over a year. The only thing I haven’t done is send in my book. Finished most of book 2 and 3 while I’ve waited to get the nerve to send in book one. It sounds crazy, I know, but I guess I’m a perfectionist and afraid of failure (so I just keep writing)… Like you said, Kristen, what is the worst that could happen? They say no. Time to take the plunge and just send it in and not look back. Thank you for the amazing post. Warm regards, Kat Kent, Writer.
Reblogged this on writersback and commented:
Amazing post by Kristen Lamb, “Good Girls Don’t Become Best-Sellers.” The trick is to not give a darn about what anyone thinks and go for it, like we did when we were children, fearless.
Just wondering, should I switch my twitter page around to leaplings@KatKent? Right now, its KatKent@leaplings.
Thank you SO SO SO much for this!!!! I really needed all of it, but especially the part about it not being just a hobby or your “thing” – I have been pursuing my dream by writing hard core off & on, as the mood/ideas strike, but now I’m gonna OWN the act of writing – I’m not just an aspiring author, I’m gonna DO it!!!! I will be a bad girl & achieve my dreams!!
I’m ready to go froth and kick ass!
I am serious, I NEEDED to hear this. I was literally just thinking about this today while I was updating my google + profiles. I was thinking to myself “Wow, I’m not even published, but I call myself an author/writer. I wonder if people think i’m crazy.” But I have spent about a year or so scouring the internet on how to create an audience/platform and I am utilizing every tip I can. One of those was to start a blog. I thought about waiting until I have a book deal, but guess what, my book is done, and I fully plan to publish so why not START NOW. I think about a famous saying in theater that goes along the lines of You are a Director because you call yourself a director. Your don’t wait around for other people. I think that was the most terrifying part of this process, was actually calling myself an author before being published.
Thank you for this post!
“Don’t let anyone diminish you. This is your dream. It isn’t your little hobby or your “thing” it is YOU. It is your dream and it is OKAY to WANT TO WIN.”
Love it! I released my debut novel in June. I still squirm when I self-promote, and hate to ask for help from others because I don’t want to be a “bother.” Most of my friends are supportive now, but it’s been a road to get there. For a long time before I published, I got the polite nods and smiles in response to my little hobby. Now those women are in awe of my determination to realize my dream. It’s been an interesting and rewarding journey that continues every day, but I still struggle with my ladylike need to not want to stand out too much.
It’s good to be bad. 🙂
Reblogged this on A place to express … digest … relax and read … a place to escape and breathe. and commented:
A wonderful blog post by Kristen Lamb empowering women writers!
It does take blood and guts to be a writer and even more to share said writing with the world. Oh my! I loved every word of this post. You really got me thinking about the silent messages and maybe even sometimes blatant messages we receive as women. It’s time to break that cycle!
What have we done to our daughters? I wrote a post about women apologizing, minimizing their successes, treading too lightly. Still, I’m guilty of this at times. I’m using my own name and admitting here that I WANT IT ALL. Kick-ass post – thanks!
This is the truest thing. Thank you so much for sharing—universal, and inspiring!
Love! Love! Love this post!
Great great post. I just read a similar one by JA Allen on writing with swagger:
Now I’m all fired up. If you need me, I’ll be over on Twitter trying to change my lame-o moniker.
I love this, and I could picture myself doing many of these things as I read. I’m a super confident and take charge woman in my work place. I make no excuses and strive to be the best, but I don’t apply that to my writing. I find myself looking for positive feedback to prove to myself that I can do this. I have to stop that NOW.
Reblogged this on Linda O'Connor, Author.
I love this post – not only because it applies to writing, but to life! You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there – be confident – and pursue what you love! Great message 🙂
Ah, Kristen, you said what most of have been thinking and were afraid to voice. I, at least, started out using my FULL name on my blog and now my books. With all social media, I use my full name, plus a picture. **Gasp**. However, all the other points are still true and I need to work on those.
I read an interesting quote from AA (no, I’m not a member, 😉 ).
Humility means not making comparisons. You are neither superior or inferior to anyone else. That made a huge impact on me.
I raise my coffee mug in salute to us all. Now back to that story…
Reblogged this on .
Reblogged this on itsjoysworld.net and commented:
It’s a bad girls world….Halestorm
I love this blog. Empower everyone we are women hear us roar. My favorite band Halestorm has a song Bad Girls World and it fits perfectly with this blog.
This is painfully accurate! My 4 year old grand-daughter is an active member of the bad-girls club at her school. (True story) I desperately try to get her to cross over to the good-girls. Well look whose been schooled! Bad girls look out there is a new member in town! ?
Rebooted on American Writers Exposed
Oh jeez I’m going back to bed! Thanks spellcheck-? reblogged
LOL. I dig being rebooted!
Hands down, this is your best post this year! What a swift kick to the pants. Needed it. Going to channel my inner bad girl!
THANK YOU, thank you, thank you! I needed this validation, which proves I am a good girl. Piss.. I’m gonna go bad for the good of my writing…(see, I used the word ‘piss’- I’m trying :o)
Well, now! Guess I’m going to have to read the book you just read (have to go look it up again) and keep the attitude rolling. I “do” use my name, so that’s one star in the middle of my forehead! 🙂 Great, “bad” advice, gal 🙂 Lo
My family tried their damnedest to drum that good-girl shit into me and it just made me badder than ever. I’m BAD. And I’m a writer. But I’m not a bad writer.
I do struggle with perfectionism, though.
Feeling empowered 🙂 might need to repeatedly re-read your blog post a few more times…
Reblogged this on Emily Arden, author and commented:
Right, no more goody-two-shoes for me. Kristen slams home some great points in this article, and suddenly I’m thinking about being a ‘bad girl’ author.
God, I love your stuff. You’re witty, funny, and damn spot on. You’re the only blog I read anymore. I need to read Good Girls Don’t Become Best Sellers. In fact, I’m gonna go slap myself with some chocolate right now.
Well said, Kristen. I’ve shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for you. Keep on trucking!
Ms. Lamb, this is EXACTLY the conundrum I’m experiencing at the moment. To supplement my income until I can make it as a “real writer,” I’ve been doing cyber-journalism for Inquisitr and Slant. Both “request and require,” as Lois McMaster Bujold would say, that I then shamelessly, relentlessly, plug my articles on social media and it feels so immodest to toot my own horn like that. But … you’ve just given me permission. https://mrssusanmacdonald.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/incestuous-and-ouroborean/
Best Post Ever!!!
Oh, well I feel so awkward talking to people because they might think I am selling my book. <<< I relate to that sentence so hard it hurts. I have such a hard time talking to book bloggers because of that. It's not easy to get over either. I need constant kicks in the pants.