Thursday, January 18, 2024

If you do what you've always done...

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got" (James P. Lewis).

I thought of this quote last night as I sat down to visit with a friend.

It's easy, very easy, to do what we've always done when it comes to writing, marketing, or anything else we deem important. What may not be so easy to figure out is why the results are the same, especially when we are doing all we can do to make whatever it is we want to have happen - work.

Are you stuck? 

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

I started out as a journalist, and I thought this experience would help me in publishing my first book. My first book was published by a local publisher, so, for all intents and purposes, it did work. But I wasn't happy with the publisher, so after my brother helped me to buy back the rights to my first work of fiction, I began my journey into the self-publishing arena. And I have continued to be self-published, some 21 books later.

Don't get me wrong, the journey has been great. I have sold a "few" books, met some great people, learned quite a few things, and enjoyed the writing process, but it seems to me as if I'm still in the wading pond. 

I have a new manuscript that I have high hopes for, but I am concerned about a few things. The book needs just the right illustrator. It also needs some terrific marketing with a well-known company, to back it up. I do my best with both, but honestly, it would be nice for a change for someone else to take the reins with me as backup.

I sent the story off yesterday and have no idea what will happen. Let me just say that sending it off wasn't easy. It was kind of like sending your kindergartener into the world, hoping, no praying, that he/she will be safe. 

I will need to wait four to five months for an answer, something I haven't had to do for a long, long time.

Will you pray for me? Option two is in the back seat, but I would really like option one to work out. What I know is that the Lord has directed me thus far, and I expect nothing less now. 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Success in 2024

If you're like me, you want to become a successful writer. You spend hours learning the craft and writing your heart out. You read books similar to yours, and books that are different; a writer can learn from anyone, you know. 

You receive positive feedback from readers and negative feedback from a few. And if you're smart, you take a look at both.

At the beginning of the new year, and this year is no different, you take a look at what has worked for you in the past, and what hasn't, particularly with marketing. You may even sit down and write what has and hasn't worked for you on paper to plan your strategies for this year.

You may be discouraged. You may feel like your work has equaled little sales. You may want to quit. But this feeling doesn't last long. It never does. In a day, a week, or perhaps a month later, you are continuing on your journey.

If writing didn't affect your heart and soul so much, you probably would have quit long ago. But the success you seek has come, almost imperceptively, and today you realize there has been movement. You are a better writer than you were ten years ago. You are a far better writer today than the day you first began. 

You are a success. Maybe not the success you first envisioned with the hefty paychecks and millions of fans, but the success you were intended for. A few lives changed. Writer friends who support you. A few fans who love your work, including children who love your stories.

This year you will try something new. You will bring out an old manuscript and clean it up. You will spend more time sharing your knowledge with new writers. You may even get out of your comfort zone and try something you've never tried before - perhaps a podcast interview.

Whatever you do, you'll remember why you write in the first place. 

May your success continue in 2024, and may you find joy in your writing pursuits.