I know it’s been a while. I hope you still remember my name.
I’ve been a terrible blogger for the last few years. It’s been challenging to find time to write my novels, market my novels, teach others how to do that via YouTube and social media, and spend time with my family. Blogging had to be left behind.
But blogging poems and blogging about writing are how I got pulled away from journalism and onto this career path back in 2007. I started this blog as “Where the Butterflies Go,” you all commented on my poetry, encouraged me to turn the posts into a book, and … […]<<< a whole lot of stuff happened! and here I am today, a published author, with four novels, five poetry books, a screenplay book and a kids’ book of poems under her belt. I never could have imagined I’d still be doing this more than a decade later.
I don’t think I’d be here if I hadn’t started that blog and had such great feedback from you readers. Thank you.
I miss that interaction, don’t you? Social media certainly makes it easier to comment (no logging in…I’ll see what I can do about that btw) but you don’t always have the same “clan” coming back. I miss my bloggyland tribe.
I’ve learned so much since my first novel was published. Here are a few of those lessons:
1) Take risks. If you don’t risk, you don’t grow. I know it’s scary, especially for so many of us introverted artist types (surprise, yes, I’m in fact an introvert who had to come out of her shell through drama as a teenager when she realized that’s how artists grow). I have had such an interesting life because of a few brave moments.
2) You have to put yourself out there as an author. No one else, not even your publicist, knows your product like you do. You have to go to the book signings and the speaking engagements, tweet about stuff that really matters to you, and risk looking like a fool (see #1) if you want the right readers to find you. In time, many of those readers will become your friends. Cool right? It’s not all about making money…but…
3) You have to spend money to make money. I didn’t like this one very much. You mean you have to spend money to advertise that your heart and soul of a book is FREE for a few days? Yes, you do. You don’t have to do that until the end of time. Just until you gain a reader base. It sounds wrong, but it’s right. I didn’t start making a profit as an author until I started spending money directing traffic to my books.
4) Give back. I feel this one strongly. I like to encourage and teach aspiring authors, because I remember how maddening it can be to feel like you’re getting absolutely nowhere. I still have those days, trust me, but that’s because I’m trying new things every day (audiobooks, TV deals) so I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t work. There are tens of thousands of new authors out there who are struggling to find their audience in this ever-changing book industry. I just want to encourage them before they decide to call it quits. Speaking of calling it quits…
5) Don’t quit. Success if probably just around the corner, or at least the corner after that. Keep on going, dreaming, risking, believing. Don’t put a second mortgage on your home, mind you, please be smart about it, but do everything you can to get your book seen. You have to keep on going, especially if you have a strong “knowing” about it. If you know it’s supposed to be, it will be. It’s just a matter of time.
I’m so happy to be back. I’ll try to do this weekly!