Wednesday, July 17, 2019

My Cheerleader

Every writer needs a cheerleader. Chances are, unless your name is Baldacci, King, or Steele you aren’t writing for money or fame. Sometimes you need a cheerleader to encourage you to persevere. Like when you spend all day at an author event and sell one book. Like when you read your published novel for the first time and discover ten typos.

My husband, Carl, is my cheerleader. Does he perform jumps and cartwheels? No. Does he shout and clap when I publish a new novel? No. So, how does he perform his role as cheerleader, you ask? In silence, of course. That’s right. He gives me the gift of silence so I can retreat into my fictional worlds of scenes, characters, and dialogues. When the door to my writing space is closed, Carl knows his life is in danger if he dares to enter. Writing is a solitary profession that requires … well … solitude.

There are so many other ways my husband cheers me on as a writer. Since he’s a techno-geek of the highest order, I rely on him to keep my computer, tablet, and credit card reader running smoothly. Without him reminding me, I’d never think to update my devices. I barely remember to charge them. I don’t have enough fingers to count the times I’ve texted or called him from a book show to say, “Help, I can’t get on the internet” or “Help, I don’t remember how to access PayPal” or “Help, my hotspot isn’t working” or “Help, I forgot my password.” He’s always there to talk me through a problem. 

Granted, sometimes Carl's reminder of “I’ve showed you how to do that a million times” makes me feel stupid, but how can he understand that my mind is too full of outlining, plotting, grammar, syntax, tense, synonyms, elevator speeches, proofreading, revising, and meeting deadlines to remember how to process a credit card purchase? If he could climb inside my head, he’d see what a crazy mess it is in there.

It’s hard for me to promote myself as an author. It feels like childish bragging. Yet self-promotion is what we authors must do to market our books. We must create and maintain an author platform. Jane Friedman, one of the world’s leading English-language publishers, defines author platform as the “ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.” If I want to sell my books, I must create an author platform for each book I write and promote it through a website,  blog site, social media, email blasts, local author events, and book signings. Marketing is another full-time job, it seems.

My cheerleader tells everyone he meets that his wife is a published author and that they should read my novels and blog posts. In fact, he introduces himself as Mr. Cindy Freeman. As a former rocket scientist/systems analyst, Carl is secure enough in himself to promote his wife without feeling a threat to his self-esteem.

My cheerleader helps me with launches—book launches, not the rocket variety—also inventory, bookkeeping, and taxes, to satisfy the IRS. Did I mention he does the grocery shopping and cooking? With a cheerleader like him, who needs cheers, jumps, and cartwheels?  

Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories and three published novels: Unrevealed, The Dark Room and I Want to Go Home. Website:; Facebook page: Her books are available from or