I Have a Confession to Make…

…I’m actually not in a state of constant freak-out. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had (and will continue to have) all the same worries about time management, publisher expectations and so on that Lisa Schulman expressed so well in Monday’s post, but I’ve been experiencing a weird thing in recent days – a weird thing called confidence. (or is it overconfidence?)

Overconfidence Demotivator

Is this me? IT TOTALLY IS, ISN'T IT?

You might be one of those people who think confidence isn’t weird, and I’m tempted to make a snarky comment about how that makes you dead to me, but that would be silly considering my current state of mind. I’m feeling strangely optimistic about Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities, not because I think it’s guaranteed to top the bestseller charts and be made into a box-office smash by Steven Spielberg, but because I think it’s actually a pretty good book.

There’s a way in which it feels terribly risky to say that, as if the universe will rise up in furious anger and smite me without pity for my absurdly high self-regard. Silence, you arrogant little toad! Some of this is surely rooted in the twisted workings of my own psychology, of course – my mildly pathological people-pleasing behaviors, my vast insecurities about how I’m perceived by others, and other equally unattractive psychological traits. It’s really a miracle that I’m not under my desk in a fetal position right this very moment.

There’s no doubt that in these days of hyper-connectivity and untrammeled information distribution, it’s easy to be perceived as a smug donkeybutt, and even easier to be publicly, thoroughly reprimanded for it. But maybe that’s okay? Or maybe I’m wrong, and people won’t think I’m a preening idiot just because I feel good about my book’s prospects. Maybe I’m just being paranoid! Oh no, will people think I’m a paranoid idiot?

I’m feeling okay, though. That’s not to say I feel abundantly informed on how to go about marketing Geeks while still maintaining enough time to write the next book (or two, or three) – I usually feel like I have just barely enough time to write the books in the first place, let alone engage in a fever-pitch homegrown marketing campaign.

What I do feel very strongly is that I should try and hold on to my current social media philosophy and apply it to the post-launch marketing blitz, whatever that ends up looking like: do the stuff I like doing; do it as much as it feels reasonable to do; allow myself to stop doing any part of it that feels unenjoyable, counter-productive or bad in any other way; and never prioritize it over writing the next book.

Of course I haven’t had any real conversations with my publisher about this stuff, and I know that I’ll start hearing about it at some point. Maybe they’ll assign me a publicist or throw a “manual of publicity” sorta thing at me, or otherwise push me to get cracking in a non-Mike’s-social-media-philosophy way, which is fine – I’m a team player, know what I’m saying? But stuff is already happening, yo! I’ve heard through the grapevine that my editor has talked me up at SCBWI events; I’ve got a great cover, and the interior illustrations are apparently in progress; and I should hear about copyedits any day now. It feels like there’s a lot going on, and more to come, so maybe I’m not freaked out because I’m, you know, distracted.

Hey look, a bunny rabbit…



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14 responses to “I Have a Confession to Make…

  1. Natalie Dias Lorenzi

    Oh, Mike–you *should* feel confident! Having only read an earlier version of your story in manuscript form, I can confidently say that your book will be a huge hit–it’s got heart, adventure, and humor. I can’t wait to get my copy!


    • Mike Jung

      Thanks Natalie! It’s funny to think about all that’s happened since you read that draft – I signed with Joan, got the book deal with Arthur, joined EMU’s Debuts…it’s been a really fun trip. 🙂


  2. Cynthia Levinson

    As I said on Facebook: confidence–what a novel (ahem) idea for a writer! Thanks for the reminder that we don’t have to shuffle our feet and stare at them while we’re doing it. This is a morale boost for all of us.


    • Mike Jung

      Aw, thanks Cynthia! I shuffle and stare at my feet with the best of them, but yeah, I think it’s good (and maybe even important) to experience and express positive feelings about our own work once in a while.


  3. beckylevine

    You love your book. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with that; in fact, I really believe it’s a pretty solid indicator that we will love it, too. Especially because I keep getting books from your social-media recommendations and loving them (Just finished IMAGINARY GIRLS–Wow!).

    And, I just have to say: “Interior illustrations.” Oh, man, that’s another reason I want to get back to writing MG!


    • Mike Jung

      Thanks Becky! IMAGINARY GIRLS is a total stunner, yes. And I’m VERY excited about the illustrations, they’re being done by Mike Maihack, who also illustrated the cover. 🙂


  4. You should love your book – I assume that’s why you wrote it! The title alone is awesome. Can’t wait to read it!

    Good luck and congrats!


  5. You too, Mike? You mean your whole stand-up routine is just an act?
    Seriously, you are in such good hands with your sensational super spectacular publisher, and you have made so many friends, you might just lay back and grab the remote control. (Pun intended.)


    • Mike Jung

      I have the best publisher an author could ask for, and the best friends too. 🙂 Oh, and the stand-up routine isn’t an ACT so much as it is a facet of my personality that’s more submerged in person than it is in the virtual world. And thanks Mirka!


  6. Michelle Ray

    Confidence is good.


  7. I’m feeling very confident in your confidence, Mike. Be careful, though. I find that confidence is a fickle mistress. Usually she abandons me completely the moment someone says, “you misspelled a word in the second paragraph.”

    I’m spending a lot of time right now debating whether or not I want to have Google alerts activated when my book is published, or whether I will dare read the reviews. I know that when I get the teaching evaluations from students, I can get twenty nine that say I’m the best teacher ever, and one that says, “her class was boring,” and that’s the one that sticks. Ugh! If you’ve figured out how to keep the confidence from running away at the least sign of trouble, tell me your secret before the reviews start!


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