Looking back over this blog, and seeing no rhyme or reason to my posts or steady entries, it’s time to ask myself if I should keep up with it. Everyone who is a writer says you need a blog, but I find myself overwhelmed with what to post on it. It’s like facing a thesis homework assignment, and writing shouldn’t be like this, should it? Not if you are doing something you love to do. But I did change the layout and color scheme and I think this look is more professional.
So now I ask myself if I am truly writer. Am I a writer if:
~ I don’t write every day?
~ I don’t write a blog entry at least once a week?
~ I switch genres and don’t just stick to the one I started with?
~ I have anxiety as to whether I can write at all?
~ I let life get in the way again?
Yes, I am still a writer, even those things keep me from writing. Or perhaps, I let them keep me from my writing path. Time for some brutal honesty—with myself, with my writing, with who I am.
A lot of my stories I started over 20 years ago, when I wrote a lot, was a member of RWA and started the Aloha Chapter of RWA in Hawaii in the late 1980s. I attended regular meetings in our writer’s group, enjoyed the critiques, and attended a conference or two. When I first started writing, I was in the Navy then got out, got married, had two kids and moved with my husband who was still in the Navy at the time. Sometimes I look back and wonder how I managed to write anything with two small kids, but I did; unfortunately, I had only finished one book.
Then, as the children got older, and I got back into working fulltime, eventually got a divorce (totally sucked), 9/11 hit (scary shit), jobs were scarce (ended up spending the money from my divorce to live on and on the verge of bankruptcy), I moved a lot (three times), life happened and my writing didn’t. So from about 2000 to about 2009, I didn’t write, but picked it back up again in 2010 while editing my niece’s book. That’s when I also found the world of Facebook, self-publishing and all the other multi-media platforms, and now I am overwhelmed again with just promoting myself and my writing.
All of these promoting platforms are a huge time suck, but a necessary evil if I want to market myself. But honestly, I seem to be only keeping up with them and my writing is suffering again. Everyone who is a writer says I need a backlist of at least three books—that it’s the magic ticket to getting readers and selling more books, and some say it is five books (just starting ten books plus doesn’t help, they have to be completed and published). But with these multi-media platforms to keep track of, my mind off bad reviews (I admit two stars certainly do hurt and I wrote back to the reviewers but they never received what I wrote to them—bad manners and all that), the Amazon review problems, the writing world in the news media (a gazillion links I’m not going to post here—you’ve all read them), self-publishing versus traditional publishing (a gazillion more links and a gazillion books from self-published writers on self-publishing), the indie world of bad books being published (the links are endless on this topic), the flukes like Amanda Hocking and E.L. James (what we all wish would happen to us), and bloggers being cute and snarky trying to sell you their online classes on writing and self-publishing (can you tell by now I read a lot) and life getting in the way, I’m not sure where to go from here.
This year, 2012, I went from working as a technical editor, writer, bookkeeper and research analyst, making the best money I ever have in my life (more than my husband per hour), to having no income at all because I am now an in-home care provider for my 76-year old mother. I also moved from Alaska back to Idaho, and seven months later another move within Idaho (a total of seven moves since 2001). I now have to deal with my husband working in North Dakota and the fact I only get to see him about every 2-3 months for 7-10 days because he works 12 hours days, 6+ days a week. Now that I am not working, I have to rely on him to pay not only his debt, but all of mine, and fund my fulltime writing career—some would call it an ideal writing setup—I get to stay home 24/7 and write. But I don't write when he is here. ;-)
But for some reason I can’t get into writing to finish my 20 year old stories and work on some new ones; I have created more in my mind and have even started some of them, but can’t seem to finish any. I even came up with a sci-fi novel while visiting my husband in ND and I don’t write sci-fi, and I came up with a paranormal novel I don’t read or write in. Anyone want to ghost write for me or partner with me to get all these books written? I might be serious here! Call me.
Stopping this here for now, but please do come back and see what else is going on in my writing. Interesting stuff and hints at what I am working on.