I don't know if it's a creative person thing (I'm a writer as well as a musician, so I'm doubly cursed) or a busy mom thing, but I just can't seem to keep all the balls in the air at once. If I decide to really get ahead in my writing, which I did last week and this week, churning out over 2000 words a day, then my marketing plan suffers. If I focus on marketing and getting my book out there in the public eye, which I did two weeks ago, I go through a weird writing withdrawal, and absolutely crave writing, much like I crave chocolate at times. It's not pretty.
And to add insult to injury, literally, or more correctly, add injury to insult, I have recently developed the dreaded "writer's butt". When I write, I sit down at my desk and generally don't get up for hours. I get in kind of a zone, and, if bothered, might come across a bit crabby. Just ask my husband. The problem is, when your butt doesn't leave the seat for a considerable amount of time, it doesn't get enough circulation, and you can get a breakdown in tissue similar to a bed sore. Gross, right? But it's a thing, and I think I may have the start of one. I think it's high time to get out the stability ball I never used for exercise and make that my new executive chair.
So, I'm trying this week to do a mix of marketing and writing and see how that goes. Can I do both each day and find a good balance between business and creativity? I honestly don't have the answer to that question. I think the main problem is that there just aren't enough hours in the day, and that's one thing I can't change. I suppose if I were selling millions of copies of my book and royalties were coming in by the truckload, I could hire someone to do the marketing for me, but until then, it's just me, myself, and I, and between us, myself and I are kind of slackers.
The good folks at digitalbookend.com have just named IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH as "Staff Pick for Monday 3.18.13"!!!
As a first-time author receiving my first-time acknowledgement, I can barely contain my excitement! I was starting to get a little discouraged about how my little unknown book was going to get noticed in the infiniteness that is the World Wide Web. This honor from Digital Book End.com is proof that you just have to keep moving forward, and you will get your book out there in front of readers.
Thanks, Digital Book End.com! You've made me one very happy author!
I’ve been on Twitter for a week now, and I have over 100 followers. Great. It’s also pretty easy. If I follow someone who has similar interests listed on their bio, they usually follow me back. This is totally going to help me sell my self-published book, right? Eh, I’m not so sure.
The people I’m networking with, although they seem to be nice as well as interesting, are writers, not readers. Sure, most writers read voraciously. Some (like me) don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I read a lot. I usually get through a book every week, unless it’s particularly long. I just don’t have the time, especially if I want to get my own writing done, to read a book by everyone I follow on Twitter. So why should I expect my followers to behave any differently?
My first couple of days on Twitter, I made contact with everyone who followed me, thanking them for taking the time to follow me back. I had some nice chats with a couple of people, which was great. However, I soon realized that my follower count was growing so rapidly, if I kept this up I was going to be constantly chained to my computer or phone. Long story short, it wasn’t a productive way to spend my time, especially when my book sale count on Amazon hadn’t budged.
So, instead of making friends, I try to promote myself instead. After all, isn’t that what social media is all about? I tweet about five times a day. I usually try for a couple of retweets—ones that would matter to the writing community, like links to interesting articles, not retweets of Kim Kardashian telling us about her latest trip to get her nails done. I also tweet a funny quote from my book on a daily basis, being sure to include a link to Amazon in case anyone wants to purchase it. I finish it off by adding another couple of tweets about what I’m writing today or silly things that have happened to me. The one thing I never miss is that if I get mentioned by a follower, I always retweet it and thank them for the shout-out.
I think the takeaway here is to do what you can to be noticed by other authors’ followers through mentions and retweets. Be interesting, and be yourself. I have a lot to learn about Twitter, and after I have a little experience under my belt, I will blog again and let you know if my opinion has changed. Oh, and of course I would be remiss if I didn’t urge you to follow me on Twitter (@carolinefardig) and check out the Homepage on my website to see my Twitter timeline!
The one thing I've always said about a Disney vacation is, "I need a vacation to recover from my vacation."
Walking, walking, and more walking! I know, I've been there before, so I'm well aware of the walking. But, daaaaang. My heel spurs were not amused. Probably didn't help that I was pushing around a 60-pound child in a stroller uphill both ways, but at least I didn't have to carry my little princess when she got tired.
In my opinion, the inclination to walk yourself to death at Disney has been made worse by that little spawn of Satan, the FASTPASS. I hate the FASTPASS. No sooner than you procure one of those priceless slips of paper, your kid inevitably screams, "I wanna ride (fill in the blank with some ride that is on the other side of the park)! Now!" So, you trudge over to the ride of choice, wait in line, ride the ride, get distracted by another ride, wait in line, and ride that ride. By this point, someone's starving, so you have to stop for a snack, totally forgetting that you have a fast-expiring FASTPASS. Then you realize you only have ten minutes left to use that FASTPASS, so you must now run, pushing aside other parents with strollers and old ladies with scooters, ALL the way back over to where you started.
Congratulations. You saved yourself thirty, maybe sixty minutes, of line-waiting. But what did you get? A cranky bunch of family members, tired from running all over creation, and a pukey kid who was careened through a crowd in an unforgiving stroller after having just eaten some sort of over-priced, mouse-shaped junk food.
And you'd think, with all the extra exercise, that I could eat some over-priced, mouse-shaped junk food of my own and not live to regret it. Well, think again. I gained five pounds this week.
The happiest place on earth? Not on my watch.
Last night, I attended my first Midwest Writers Guild of Evansville meeting. Now that I'm "officially" a writer, I thought that I finally had reason to attend. Turns out, you don't have to be published or e-published or otherwise, you just have to love writing to be graciously welcomed as a part of the group. I had a great time meeting other local writers, and the best part of the evening was the writing activity. We were to choose one of the three ideas given to us, then write for about 10 minutes on that topic.
The three ideas were:
1. Write a third person narrative based around a fictionalized version of yourself dealing with your worst fear coming true.
2. Take a character you have created in the past...and kill them. Write an obituary for said character.
3. Take 5 characters you have created in the past (or 5 people you know). Then turn them into inanimate objects. Explain why.
I didn't choose Number 1, frankly, because it scared the crap out of me to have to think and write about my worst fear coming true. As for Number 2, even though I'm a mystery writer, I kind of hate to kill my characters. Number 3 really intrigued me. Here was my stab at it:
Five Characters from It's Just a Little Crush Turned into Inanimate Objects
1. Bethany--a sticker bush
Bethany's "barbs" are her main characteristic.
2. Jesse (Lee's brother)--a trucker cap
A good ol' boy at heart, Jesse is comfortable with himself and casually laid back.
3. Julia--your favorite handbag
Always with you and armed with everything you need to get through the day,
Julia is the perfect bestie.
4. Blake--a sports car
He is fast, beautiful, and something your mother doesn't want you to have.
5. Mr. Mason--a trophy for something lame
Needing to shine in the spotlight, but with nothing to back it up, Mason doesn't
do much more than an inanimate object, anyway.
I'm looking forward to next month's meeting, and if you're in Evansville, Indiana on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, come on out to Barnes and Noble at 6:30 PM and meet some nice writer folks!
Well, I did it! I published my first book. It was rather unceremonious, actually. Once the millions of re-re-re-rechecks were finished, all I had to do was click the “Save and Publish” button and it was done. No fanfare, no balloons falling from the ceiling, no ticker tape parade. It takes 12-72 hours to get it out on Amazon/Kindle for purchase, so I guess there will be a lot of thumb twiddling for the hours ahead.