Saturday, 22 September 2012

What Have I Been Doing?

I hope everyone is enjoying  a lovely weekend. It's very chilly here in Cumbria but the sun is shining. I can definitely feel the transition to Autumn as the days become shorter and the dark nights creep in.

Apologies for being absent lately when I should have been here, prolifically writing away. Life in general is the cause. Not only has it kept me away from my blog but it has also distracted me from working on my novel. But as many of you know, that's just the way it is and it can be frustrating trying to achieve the elusive harmonious balance we strive for. I originally started my blog because as a writer I need a social platform. Then I looked around and wondered what exactly I should be doing here. Should I write about myself & my writing or should I review books? Well, I began with a mix of both.

I'm not what you could call a seasoned blogger or IT user, so like many other people, I have embarked upon a massive learning curve. To be truthful I'm still there, tethered fast and struggling to tear myself free although my bonds are loosening. Even my husband is surprised. At one time I had to ask him to help with anything that was more complex than pressing a button and opening a browser page. I couldn't be bothered to learn about such things until the dawn of 2012. Now I'm surprising myself. I know I'm not alone having met fellow writers/authors online and it's reassuring to know that.

Once upon a time a writer who was lucky enough to be published did not have to venture to this place, this busy land of social media. The publishers took care of it. But things have moved on as always and even if you have a traditional publisher, an author still has to meddle with a social platform. If you self-publish, well then you have to do it all. And this is no small undertaking. From my humble beginnings in Bloggers world and Facebook I have discovered armies of authors and witnessed their literary PR campaigns. It is a huge undertaking and hats off to all those who do this. There is one woman in particular who is amazing, my author & friend, P.T. Macias -I hope she's not annoyed that I mention her here, but she really is a PR machine, literally. Such people are amazing and have helped me to understand what it takes to be a successful author.

Writing is a full time occupation in itself. Once you throw your family into the mix (not literally, my children are quite safe I assure you), add in your blogging commitments, Twitter, Pinterest (get pinning everyone, you really do discover some amazing things), Goodreads-and the groups you join there -and Facebook, you'll be lucky if there's enough time in the day to feed yourself and escape from the computer. But you're not finished yet. Add in the author interviews, book reviews, any readings you're booked for, book launch events, keeping pace with your Amazon author's page & sales (got to love the 'likes' & tags), Smashwords etc, oh and don't forget your e-mail. The list really is endless. Finally, some authors also have full time jobs. Imagine!

So, I'm hoping to have given myself a head start. My novel is not yet complete and, fingers crossed, 2013 will by my year. It's odd or perhaps coincidence that 2013 is approaching because I've always had this feeling that 13 is lucky for me. Well, I suppose I'll soon find out. My writing has had its ups and downs but I think much of this has been down to my inexperience. Right now I'm at the beginning and it's still like that very first day in your first job feeling like a fish out of water.

So, with 2013 approaching (don't worry, I'm not going to shout that Christmas will soon be here) I have a social platform. Hurray! I'm using Twitter which is amazing because I really am clueless. Best of all, Facebook is shaping up a treat. I love Facebook even though I began hating it in the beginning. There are so many amazing people, writers like me, aspiring to be published and many authors. I've been invited to join groups of authors/writers and I now receive invites to events, many of which are online and I can usually attend. The events might be an authors book launch or an author interview. The interviews are great because you gain a new perspective and it fuels your motivation to reach your goal. It's also simply great to meet new people and contacts and to be able to interact. If nothing else it has the power to involve you and brighten up your day, especially if you're working all alone at home every other day.

My next new thing is Triberr. This I have recently joined and I'm still finding my way around. However, my goal is set for this weekend and that is to simply write, whenever I can. Must produce one more chapter and resist all temptation to dip my pen into my poetry book. It's barred and under a restraining order until more of the novel is written. And on that note I wish you all a fabulous weekend and a happy Autumn. Wrap up warm!