I don’t blog like I used to. I don’t even write like I used to. That feverish, head down, nothing else matters until I get this story written type of writing. Used to fuel my weekdays and nights to exhaustion.
Somewhere along the line I came to the realization that I had pumped out those few first books for what I had hoped would be the final validation of my so-perceived talent; that the “world” would read my books and be so impressed with the fact that not only could I tell a good story, I’d learned how to publish a real, live, book all by myself (with the aid of book manufacturer for the paperbacks, of course), they’d beat a path to my door and buy my books by the boat load. By the time the fourth book – 2nd novel – was released, the validation – in terms of sales and recognition – hadn’t happened. My ego shut down my motivation. My Muse, try as He might, stopped being enough to get me to the laptop.
Seeing the crack in my resolve, life stepped in and brought me addictions to Facebook and a routine of daily TV shows. I tuned right out of the book-writing life and joined the zombie hoards. If I wasn’t scrolling, I was plopped in front of the TV staring at images of manufactured reality until bed time, only to get up the next day and repeat.
I kept blogging though because through it all, writing is in my DNA. The act of putting words to page be it wood pulp or electronic, is as much a part of living for me as breathing. But it certainly wasn’t on par with the blissful submission that comes from letting characters have their way with me as I channel their stories into being.
The awakening was slow. Understanding that I at the bottom of it all was a fear of rejection. In order to make the sales, to get the validation, my writing had to be read and critiqued. I needed to solicit blog post appearances, reviews, feedback, etc. I had to set up a table, do talks, go to conventions, meet many, many readers who had never heard of me before. I had to get my writing out into the world. UGH! I wanted no part of the potential, “you suck and here’s why” that I was sure would come from seeking a world-wide audience. There’s a lot of just plain drama in the indie writing community from what I’ve read / seen. Trolling by other authors, stealing, cut throat tactics to bully the competition. What the f@#$ people?
But damn it, I want to make a living writing and coaching. I knew I had to get my foundation solidly built so if and or when the rejection, trolling, and such happened, I’d be armored up and ready to either ignore or thrive through the onslaught. I turned off the TV, got off the social media merry-go-round and listed all the things I thought I’d need in order to 1. get my work as critique proof as possible (ha! can’t please everyone, but I can satisfy the pants off my ideal reader by producing an entertaining, error free work of art), 2. get my business solid (copyrights in place, a lawyer on speed dial), and 3. have a business and marketing plan that makes production and sales flow smoothly without having to babysit it 24/7.
I’m working on all three steps at one time because, well, I’m crazy. I’m 2/3rds of the way through a business course for creative entrepreneurs. It is amazing the changes in my mind set and actions I’ve taken since March. Speaking of which, this and my other two blogs / websites will be going away on July 18th. If you’d like to continue to get the randomness that is my blog posting, then please, click HERE and join the Leading Ladies (and men 😉 ) Book Club. That’s the tentative title for my business communique. I’ll be on tap to do a monthly email with exclusive content to include the first chapter of each book I write. The idea is to give people who may have never read my work before, the opportunity to “try before they buy”. I’m scared and hopeful at the same time, but I know that’s what turns me on to new writers. When I get a chance to taste their wares for little to no money, I’m more comfortable spending money on the actual book.
That reminds me, there’s an official website coming with a book store attached! I’ll have a one stop shop for ALL of my work, including the ebooks. No more clicking over to that site or the other. I’ll more than likely keep my Amazon page going for awhile longer, but I’ll be driving traffic – reviews, testimonials, etc. – to my website.
Now, for that soliciting critiques and reviews – I’m having all of my works re-edited. Once they’re done with the final polish, I’ll be soliciting reviews by bloggers I admire, and book review sites I follow. I also have a Beta Reader group – these are people who are new to my work and would like to read it for free in exchange for posting honest reviews on their social media. You’ll get the cover art in a thumbnail, a galley copy of the book to read, the links to use to direct people to my website, exclusive Beta Reader offers, and (coming soon) book related swag. If you’d like to join the Beta Readers, click HERE.
But about that writing. I gave up Facebook and TV, and began the drafts of four novels, only to fall back into zombiehood with Netflix and YouTube. Here recently Facebook rejoined the cast of distractions. Fortunately, since March of this year, I’ve been going at the business and marketing education and implementation in the same way as I used to write the novels – head down, ignoring the rest of the world. I’ve successfully completed a month long FB detox but the difficulty with quitting it cold turkey is that the business course has a support group on FB as does the company through which I’ve gotten a couple of facilitator licenses from – the licenses are a key component to the work I do in one of the three divisions through which I offer services.
Writing. Five novels now in draft mode. The stories are completely told in my head. I’m slowly getting them pieced together on virtual paper. Singing Scrivener’s praises right about now as I’m not the most organized writer in the world – pantsing is a bitch but I can’t seem to do it any other way. Once I get the foundation of the business and marketing operations complete, I will turn my focus to establishing a production calendar for the new work to enter into the world. In the meantime, I’m going to work with what I’ve got as if it were brand new. Seeing as how so few people bought / read the books the first time they were released, they can indeed be considered “new”. 😉
Whew, this is a long post. My apologies, and THANK YOU for sticking around to the bottom. I’m going to end now with a “there’s still work to be done” and a “stay tuned!”
I’ve got some writing to do 😉
Sending love and light,