For the past 69 days, I have been a published author. Here’s what I’ve learned in that time…

  1. Clicking ‘publish’ on that Amazon screen, sending my writing out into the world, meant way more to me than it did to anyone else in the world. I received lots of lovely messages on Facebook, a couple of sales… I was hoping for some flowers, perhaps some champagne. I should have bought my own champagne!! People are busy with their own lives. Real stuff, like deaths and illnesses, relationship and money struggles.
  2. Ready or not, it was out there for everyone to read, or not. The manuscript needed the attention of a good editor but I sent it out there, knowing it wasn’t finished. The pressure of having to produce something was real. As a visual artist, I understand that we can keep fiddling with our work ad infinitum. The old saying that no work of art is ever finished, merely abandoned is a trick, a lie. It’s something we tell ourselves to stop the voices in our heads from being so mean about our art. Most art and this goes double for writing, can be re-visited but letting it go is good too.
  3. Point 2 notwithstanding, the BEST part about self-publishing is that I can (and have) re-visited my cover, blurb, keywords, and manuscript numerous times. I’m still re-writing and fixing errors with my sister’s help. I have often wondered if I should simply ‘unpublish’ the book and re-release, but I’ll leave it out there.
  4. A one-star review doesn’t actually kill you, but it can put a major dent in sales. Readers have no idea how helpful positive reviews are and how harmful poor reviews are. Sure my manuscript still needs a bit of work in places, but my own brush with a ‘1-star killer’ was more about my incorrect keywords and categories – My book is ChickLit, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, perhaps even a saga – it most certainly is NOT a Time Travel Romance, even though I originally thought it was.
  5. People will tell you it’s wonderful but won’t write a review. It’s a thing. Better get used to it.
  6. Clicking publish on a novel isn’t a big deal. Doing it ten or twenty times and making a living from it is the goal, the first one is practice. A start. Keep going.
  7. Narrow the focus, find a niche. But have a passion project, too. I love to write some crazy stuff, but if people want to read pretty stories about Paris, then I am more than happy to write them.
  8. Daily writing is the way to write a book. And another. (No Sh*t Sherlock)
  9. Writing is the easy part; marketing is the horrible, hard part that will sort out the Grown Ups from the Kids messing around. I’m told it gets easier.
  10. Some days are more productive than others, but I stay focused on the goal and avoid distractions. The goal? To make a good living from writing. It’s that simple. Set goals, push your limits; you can’t work towards what you can’t see!
  11. Daily steps towards that goal are required and I am happy to report that I am very self-motivated, always have been, and keep myself on task. This blog is part of that. I set myself on a Quest to blog daily for 90 days. If I’d started that on the day I published Hotel Deja Vu, I would have been 3/4 of the way to 90 days…it’s never too late to start.
  12. There is a difference between being busy and being productive.
  13. Yes, a research visit to Paris is overdue. Just gotta sell some more books…
  14. And last but certainly not least, three pages of daily stream-of-consciousness writing seems to both stimulate my creativity and quieten the fearful voices that tell me I’ll never make it. Win-win.

Have a great day, I’m going to write a pretty story about Paris…

3 Replies to “69 days”

  1. This is very true!! I am also living and learning and everything in between, and even though self-publishing is hard, I would not change what I have been through for anything. Great post Christine!

    Liliana

    P.S. I do love stories about Paris by the way hehe, did you watch the show Call My Agent? It’s on Netflix and its sooo good!!

    Like

      1. You welcome! Let me know what you think about the show, I think it’s hilarious and it has all the amazing, famous French actors in pretty much all the episodes.

        Like

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