Being a writer is tough. I’ve written stories and whatnot most of my life, but my journey to write and publish books began nearly four years ago. When I started, my biggest concern was figuring out how to turn my ideas into a story long enough to be considered ‘a book’. I spent hour after hour reading, writing, editing and reviewing works by other people, having my own works critiqued and all of it was rewarding but exhausting. But I loved to write and the dream of publishing kept me going.
Speed ahead to today. I've three books written, one of which is published (The Purple Morrow), have three others in progress and plenty of short stories in my portfolio. I’ve been busy. But that’s not all. Everyone knows that writing a book is only the beginning. An author must have a platform, must be integrated in social media to connect with readers and other professionals in the market. You have to have a business plan, must devote hours to this thing that might have started out as a hobby but has now become a realizable Dream. This is the hard part. It’s the stuff that sucks your energy dry, takes away from the time needed to write, and in some cases, even drains away some—or all--of the excitement of even being a writer.
So this is where I’ve been these last few weeks. When The Purple Morrow came out, the days of being an ‘aspiring author’ ended and I became a ‘published author’. Money is now involved because I have copies of my book to sell. I have to get out into the community and connect with local merchants, you know, build a local reputation for myself. This is a career I’m trying to build, after all, one that will hopefully thrive online as well as in the ‘real world.’ It’s great and fun, yet it’s also daunting.
One morning, I awoke in a panic. I’d been off my marketing/promotional game for a few weeks and suddenly didn't know what my game plan was anymore. My head swirled with all the blog posts about what I SHOULD be doing, but I was paralyzed by the sheer enormity of it all—I was overwhelmed. For me, when that happens I know it’s either time to Act or to Bail. I chose to Act. I started by emailing some contacts I’d been procrastinating.
That led me on to something else. There was a certain book store I’d been trying to get a hold of but hadn't been able to find the number to. Then, my mother left me an excited message: she’d been to the bookstore and told the owner about my book and he was interested in selling it on consignment. Being a little shy to make a cold call, I’d put it off. A few days later I emailed him but got no answer, probably because of Christmas. So this morning, I bucked up and called. What an amazing surprise! This wonderful, cheerful woman answered, and guess what? At that exact moment, she’d just opened my email to read! 30 minutes later, I’d dressed, packed up the kids and was driving 40 minutes to the book store.
Now, why’s this important? Talking with her and seeing how excited she was about the book reignited my own excitement about what I was doing and why I did it. It reminded me of the anticipation of holding a brand new book in my hand and not being able to wait to dig into it. Then my kids got into it.
“Mom, in your next book, can you write about a lizard?” asked my 7-year-old.
I smiled and said, “Baby, the last story you helped me with had a dragon. That’s sorta like a lizard.”
But the joy I saw in my kids’ eyes and smiles touched me. They were proud to talk to the book store clerk about my books and stories, so much so that they wanted to help with the upcoming ones. On the way home, my 9-year-old started making up a story (for me) about—yes, a dragon--and before I knew it, he was up to chapter 5! It was a great story filled with knights and volcanoes and a kind, old dragon sitting atop a massive pile of gold. I just smiled to myself as I drove and realized that this was my true writing life. Writing is more than following a business plan, or trying to find the best marketing strategies, or getting frustrated about not being able to find inspiration for a project. It’s the impact my stories have on other people, the positive feedback I get from a reader, the excitement I hear in a person’s voice when they ask about the sequel. It’s the imagination triggered in my children when they are given the confidence to dream because of what I have chosen to do. Writing really can touch people’s lives.
How about you? Have you had a similar experience? Has all the running around gotten the best of you, and how did you manage to overcome it? What does writing mean to you?
Dyane Forde’s love of writing began with an early interest in reading and of words in general. She was always amazed at how linking words together in different ways had unexpected and pleasing results on others. People enjoyed what she created! This sparked a life-long desire to write all types of things, from short stories, novels, flash fiction, poetry…she enjoys trying genres and forms of writing which are different from what she’s used to; every story or book represents new joys and challenges. Dyane views writing as an amazing and intimate communication tool, meaning that it becomes a means through which she seeks to connect with others on a level deeper than intellect.
Dyane is a social worker by profession. Learning to see the world through other people’s eyes as well as sharing in their pain has influenced and enriched her as a person, as well as her writing. She is also a wife, and mother to two children, a cat named JackJack and a dog named Sparky.
She can be reached at her writing blog at www.droppedpebbles.wordpress.com, where her other writing projects, and information and samples of her upcoming books can be found.
Please write! Dyane loves to hear from her readers.
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The Rovers had been sent to decimate the Southernlands. Instead, they awoke its savior.
Ten years have passed since the Rover army tore through the Southernlands, leaving behind a trail of devastation and death. Most believed the attacks were random acts of brutality. The wise, however, knew the truth: the Rovers sought to destroy the one thing powerful enough to thwart their conquest. They were searching for the Papilion.
A new commander, bent on completing the mission left unfinished by his predecessors, leads the Rovers back into the Southernlands. Fierce and determined, he comes armed with a precious artifact and a secret purpose.
While the Southernlands reel under the new terror, the Purple Morrow, a harbinger of hope, appears to Jeru, an unsuspecting and solitary clan hunter. Finding himself enmeshed in a series of incredible events beyond his control, Jeru is compelled to take the first steps towards discovering his ultimate destiny.