Sunday 1st March 2020
I didn't write a blog for February. After receiving a lot of advice about this, I spent time advertising my books on Facebook for December—stepping WAY out of my comfort zone. When the 'campaign' was over I really felt I needed to pull back a bit. Please don't get me wrong—I do want my books to be read, but the reality is I prefer 'word of mouth' to purchased advertising. I want to directly connect with my readers, and so I am back to a monthly blog.
One of the things I noticed about this 'advertising campaign' of mine was that my focus temporarily went off writing. It was as if I'd unplugged; I was no longer grounded and connected—surely this is the opposite of what advertising is supposed to do! And what this December exercise taught me was that I don't write for money, publicity, or fame (as if!). I write because I love to do it. I write for the sheer joy of it—it is who I am. It takes me to places inside and out I would never get to without being able to write. It is my escape, my passion, my essence. And it is something I have done pretty much all my life—inventing stories, characters, plots before I ever got the courage to write them down.
I enjoy steady, monthly sales of my books, but they aren't going to make me a rich woman. I don't ask a lot of money for my books (yes, I do set the price) because I'd rather people read and enjoy them. I don't try to get them published in print because it is better ecologically (I have extensively checked this out). Self-publishing gives me complete control over my book, including the cover, which I enjoy designing. I don't have the pressure of having to work off an advance from a publisher. And I have a small cadre of folks patiently waiting for my next book!
My absolutely favorite book—right from childhood—is Alice in Wonderland. I still have my copy and I've included a photo of it. It was a book that led me into an adventure, into other worlds. My highest aspiration for my books is that they provide a bit of armchair adventure for my readers.
As I write this, I realize I'm in a perfect place. I didn't lose the plot with Stealing Thunder, which is my next book, but it did take a big back seat in January as I came to terms with who I was as a writer; how I wanted to continue. And this is it—I want to sit down at my laptop at some point almost every day and write my stories, visit my characters, move them along a plot that will evolve with the day (or in some cases, be moved by them!). I'm back in my comfort zone. This is where I belong.