Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blogging from the ABYSS

Here we are at December again. The culminating month of the year and a time for both contemplation and celebration.

This year saw the publication of my second verse novel, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, which has received some lovely critical notices including a star from PW and selection by the Junior Library Guild. Recently, I was delighted to learn that it's been shortlisted for the Pacific Northwest Book Awards. Can I take any credit for this? Well, I did write the book, of course but, in terms of promotion, I have done far less than I did for AUDITION.
This is a photo of salmon swimming upstream,
taken near my home this fall.
Read to the end of the post and you'll get it :)

1.  MOTHERHOOD. This year my youngest started at a new elementary school, my eight-grader has been applying to different high schools, my senior is applying to college and my eldest is a college sophomore. Can you say complex family logistics and massive needs for "mom time"? Yep, I've been busy with the kids.
2. FACING FACTS. After coordinating a cross-country bookstore tour AND an epic blog tour for AUDITION, I have concluded that as a fledgling author who is not also a reality television star, chef, or dog trainer, there is little I can do to push unit sales of my books in any cost-and-time-effective way. (CAVEAT: The AUDITION book tour, called Stages on Pages, regardless of organization, time and travel costs, was an opportunity to make amazing writer friends I have to this day so it was worth it all the same and I'd recommend authors try it at least once.)
3. LIMITS. Without massive effort, constant giveaways and the generation of a great deal of newly-written content, my blog, FB and Twitter follow stats have pretty well plateaued (sp?). At this point, I feel a strong need to conserve my writing energy for a number of fiction projects that are exciting me beyond belief. I AM WRITING STORIES. In support of this decision, you can search the webs for articles about blogger burnout, the pros and cons of social media for authors, and agents reminding writers to focus on producing their very best work.

Yet, I continue to blog, albeit less than before, because I love keeping this online account of my writing journey and occasionally celebrating the work of other writers. I hope some folks out there in the virtual abyss stumble onto my blog and find it useful. I suppose what I most want to convey here is the VALUE of this writing life, no matter the financial outcome, no matter that sometimes we hunch over the keyboard feeling like we're accomplishing little more than salmon struggling upstream. Readers, however you got here, please know that the stories you tell MATTER and that IN YOUR belief in the act of writing as a vital component of the act of living, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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