This month I’m featuring another outstanding author friend, Maggie Friedenberg, who has her first novel coming out on June 3, Holding Pattern! Yes, June is huge for both her and I, as The Visitor is coming out June 1! She’s been such a support in the writing community online and I’m thrilled to read her words, both here and in her book. Anyone facing challenges will benefit from her answers below. I know they made me feel as if I’m not alone in my thinking at times.
What would you tell yourself 5 years ago about facing the challenge of publishing?
I would tell myself: expect everything to take at least twice as long as you think it will. Setbacks, frustrations, rejections, self-doubt, and wanting to give up are all part of the process. But keep believing in your story. And remember little 5-year-old you, sitting in front of the stacks in the library, falling in love with books. She would be so proud of you now.
How do you cope with disappointment or setbacks?
I give myself time and space to be upset, but I try not to let myself wallow in it alone. I have a fantastic group of writing friends who have supported me along my publishing journey, listened to me cry, held space for me, and helped me when I needed it. I wouldn’t have made it this far without them.
What gives you energy and joy?
My biggest creative energy boost happens when I’m able to really get into the zone with my writing, where it feels like the story is telling itself through me (instead of me making it up as I go). Also, having some time alone. Reading a good book, or watching a good series or movie. And, of course, coffee. I get joy from spending time with my family, being near the water – especially the ocean, traveling, delicious food, and all my favorite nerdy things, like Star Wars.
How do you quiet your inner critic? (the voice of internal negativity)
It’s definitely not easy. I’m a recovering perfectionist, and my inner critic can be very loud. I have to remind myself that nobody’s perfect and that almost everyone struggles with feeling not good enough. I wrote a book! Many people say they want to write a book someday, or have one they never finish. I thought I’d be working on mine forever. But I finished it, and that’s a huge accomplishment. So I remind myself of that, and of all the things in my life I’ve worked hard on and am proud of.
What is your next project or goal? If it is a book, tell us about it and when you hope to publish it.
Right now I’m working on a new book. I just started writing it a few weeks ago, so the idea is very fresh, but I’m writing about two of the minor characters from my first novel and what happens to them several years after the events of that book. I’d always thought of Holding Pattern as a standalone, but it turns out these characters have a story that needs to be told, too. I’m hoping to publish it in 2023. Additionally, two of my short fiction works are being published in an anthology called The Courageous Creative, published by Indie It Press, due out later this year.
Don’t you also feel heard? I especially love the term “recovering perfectionist.” No wonder we are friends! Now, see below for preordering Holding Pattern. You will want it immediately on June 3!
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