Actor/Writer- How They Relate, Plus A New Release

Post written and copyright by Doris McCraw







As most readers of this post know I have researched the women doctors in Colorado prior to 1900 for some time now. During that time, I have also been pursuing other avenues of creativity. Since the release of my most recent work of fiction “Home for His Heart” is due on July 17,  I thought I would let you all know what’s been going on and why I felt the need to add another piece of pie to my plate.

Everything I attempt is really related. Although I had a mystery short story published about twelve years ago, I had not attempted historical romance. I spend a lot of time researching the past, so it seemed like a logical progression. But having written the piece and gone through the edits, the nervousness has set in.  Will readers like it? Did I tell the story well, and so on.

So many have been incredibly encouraging and it’s done a lot to bolster my confidence. It’s also allowed me to reconsider and compare this new venture with my past experiences.

I have performed in public for well over fifty years. I started when I was two and half. There is no worry about walking in front of five or five thousand. The comfort in my talent sees me through. I even have ‘groupies’ who come to see me  in the Murder Mysteries (improvisational at that) and when I am Helen (Hunt) Jackson, Katharine Lee Bates or the other historical personages real and fictional.

Murder Mystery Dead Body?
Murder Mystery Dead Body?

Why is it that I can do this, yet worry about my writing? I have performed longer, but I think it goes deeper. I’ve great confidence in my abilities when it comes to being on stage or writing a murder mystery script.  If I extrapolate out, I should have the confidence that my writing is also good.

Now here is the clincher: When performing you do the best you can at that moment and don’t worry about whether folks like you or not. That is when the great performances happen. I also think that happens when you write the story you want to tell. Now I just have to convince myself ( and I am already working on that) that I don’t have to please everyone, I just tell the best story I can and the readers who will like my work will eventually find me, with a bit of promotion of course.

Here is to the great performances and the stories we have to tell!

Cover for Home For His Heart
Cover for Home For His Heart





Can Sam find the courage to face his fear and save Clara when her past catches up to her?



HOME FOR HIS HEART by Doris McCraw,  Prairie Rose Publications due July 17, 2014

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Below is the link to my non-fiction piece on the first state film commissioner in the United States included in this book.

“Film & Photography on the Front Range” : the stories of the people who made film and photograph history on the Colorado Front Range. You can purchase online at:



23 thoughts on “Actor/Writer- How They Relate, Plus A New Release

  1. Doris, I admire anyone who can get up in front of a crowd and perform. Piano recitals used to petrify me, although I always performed well–I just HATED them. Later on, my husband and I performed in our own little two piece band, playing guitars and singing together–again, I would almost physically get sick before we went up on the stage.

    So writing, for me, is a way of being able to let my “creative self” out there, and I’ve found that over the years, even the rejections have become funny at this point. The best thing is, I can look back to those early years now, myself, and say, “OH, yes. I see why they rejected THAT one!” So growing is a huge part of the process.

    Your HOME FOR HIS HEART will find its own audience, just like the other stories to come (and I’m sure you’ll have plenty more!) and in a few years this anxiety you have about your writing will diminish to nothing.

    Congratulations on HOME FOR HIS HEART! I’m so glad you sent it to Prairie Rose!
    Hugs, dear friend!


    1. Cheryl,

      I have been one lucky lady in my life. Your support has been invaluable. I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world with such great friends both online and next to me. Without great parents and friends I realize I would not have had the great life of creativity I’ve had.

      And those piano and voice recitals for me were just plain fun…but I did worry about doing a good job. (Smile) Doris


  2. Doris, I’m so excited for you. Love the cover. I know it will be a great book. We all think those thoughts about if people will like our books or not, but in the end, we are usually pleasantly surprised. Congrats. Cher’ley


    1. Cher’ley,

      Thank you for your kinds words and support. I feel very blessed to be a part of some wonderfully supportive people. I look forward to being ‘pleasantly’ surprised.

      The cover was designed my Livia Washburn at PRP and I am so happy folks are liking it. Doris


  3. Reblogged this on L.LEANDER BOOKS and commented:
    Do you have insecurities about your writing? Author Doris McCraw has written an insightful post on Writing Wranglers and Warriors today that discusses this problem. Be sure to read it – Doris has a new book coming out!


  4. You are not alone, Doris. I have been doing public speaking and performing most of my life and I don’t get ruffled or nervous. I just practice and do my best. I think it’s a totally different thing when you are writing. It’s your deepest thoughts put on paper that you hope readers will like. There’s a little bit of yourself in every book; the trick is not to ever take negative criticism personally. That negative criticism can help you be a better writer by showing you where you went wrong, and it can also help you stand strong. You’re an excellent writer and Home For His Heart will touch the people it needs to, and gain a different following, perhaps than another book. That only adds more followers to your writing! I am one of the worst worriers when it comes to putting my writing out there, but slowly I’ve gained confidence in the fact that I do my best and that’s all I can do. People will either like my writing or not and however much I worry about it isn’t going to change the outcome. I have reblogged this post because I think it relates to all writers and performers. Best of luck on your new book – you are one talented person and I am so glad to know you!


    1. Linda,

      I was also thinking of you when writing this post, for I knew you also performed for the public. Your words of support bring tears to my eyes and relief to my mind. Thank you. Doris


  5. I’ve also performed in public, theater when I was younger and hundreds upon hundreds of presentations to groups large and small through my consulting career. Didn’t phase me a bit. I also teach classes and make/sell silver, copper, and bronze jewelry without any problems. My book and short story are an entirely different matter. I think they are more personal to me and I some how feel more exposed. I am a bundle of nerves at a book signing but if I were selling jewelry, I wouldn’t think a thing of it. That’s how it is for me, anyway. Great post.


    1. Erin,

      You got it, but I do think when I put the writing in perspective of all the other things I do, it does help. Still, you are correct, it is a part of yourself.



  6. Great post, Doris!
    I think you’ve said it perfectly. When we are confident in what we do, others opinions matter less. Confidence takes time and experience. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
    Good luck with your new release!!


  7. As a teacher, I suppose I ‘kind of’ performed every day, but in front of adults is a much bigger issue for me. Your confidence has probably transferred a lot more than you think, Doris. I’m sure it boils down to the passion of writing, and you’ve certainly got that with your doctor posts. Congratulations and best wishes for your new book! (Please email me for a promo slot on my blog 🙂 )


    1. Nancy,

      Thank you for the kind words and offer. When I have the link, you will hear from me. Thank you so much.

      I do think passion does play a big part in what we spend our energy on. I also love the idea of challenging myself, hence the foray into western historical romance. Who would have thought?



  8. I think one difference … when you’re in a movie or theatre audience, you’re not typically thinking: “I can play that character better than this actress.” I’m now running my chapters of Assassins’ Lair through the Online Writing Workshop of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror seeking reviews by fellow writers. The most recent review was heavily critical of chapter 3, telling me it was paced way too slow and the characters were way too nonchalant after an assassination attempt. Now personally I thought my characters were behaving as I would expect them too. I know the reviewer through other reviews we’ve done of our work through the years and I respect her, so I will consider her words. At the same time, a late friend of mine, Bill Bradford, once told me after he looked at reviews of Emperor’s Mistress that many of the writers are telling us that they think they could write the scene better. That’s one major difference … many readers will think to themselves: “Boy, I could write that chapter better than her.” One time I took a book from a library and when I began reading … a reader had actually in pen rewritten some of the sentences in the first few pages. I just don’t see a theater-goer thinking they could do a portrayal better than the actress (unless it’s a fellow actress Lol).


  9. Mike,

    Actually some do think they can do better, especially if it is badly done. Not often but sometimes. Still there is a valid point to what you say. It seems to be human nature to always think you can do something better, even if it is not what the originator intended.

    (I have ushered many a show, along with directing etc. and audiences are brutal if the actor doesn’t give them the show they expect…sigh) Doris


  10. Good post and while it may seem contrary that you have fear over one and not the other, I think it is different to launch a book than launch your own appearance. A book is like a child to me, personal and permanent, available to scrutinize and comment on forever. And I never did like people criticizing my children! It is much more scary I think.


  11. Congratulations on the new release, Doris, and great post! I’m never been much of a performer, though I have sung in public a few times and I’ve taught. I always get nervous, but releasing my first novel was a whole new level of nervous. I’ve told myself the same things you say in your post. Yes, the book will find its audience–with some promotional help.


    1. Stephanie,

      Thank you. It is exciting. I am using my pen name…to differentiate from my nonfiction, so a bit of anonymity but it is still me. Doris


  12. Congrats on the new book. I think one problem with a book is that it’s too much like school. Will the teacher like it? Will he give it a bad grade? Will people laugh? And it’s out there permanently for all to see. At least on stage, it’s only a limited audience for one night. If you blow it, you can do better the next time.


    1. Kate,
      I do think you may be on to something there. Perhaps books could be likened to movies…they are with you forever.
      Thank you for the congrats. It has been a journey, but fun. Doris


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