Alone in the Publishing Wilderness

All the advice for writers on the Interwebs has been making my head spin the past year or so, and lately that advice is really getting on my nerves. Advice such as the following:

Blog 3 times a week or more.  The more you blog, the more people will come to your website.  Twitter twice daily, for at least fifteen minutes each time, but be a real person. Facebook is the way to make friends and informally chat. Become a book bloggers’ best buddy, and they’ll be happy to push your book for you.  And don’t forget to comment on every blog you can, every day. Give, give, give your time and energy to your fellow bloggers/authors and they’ll give back. Push your brand!

Self publish, but do it the right way. You don’t want to be a publisher, you just want to write? Grow up, be a big girl, pull up your panties and get over it. With the internet revolution regarding the written word, writers have to do it all now in order to be successful.

Some more tidbits of the revolutionary “truth”: Don’t bother with New York Publishing anymore, they’re the Titanic and they don’t see the iceberg in front of them. Agents? Who needs agents? Please, agents are so Twentieth Century.

All that advice gives me a headache.  Plus it makes me feel very alone. I long for the years when it was simpler; when a writer’s job was to write a damn good book, then get an agent, and the agent found you a publisher, and you were half way to a career. Note that I said simpler, not easier.

Is it wrong for me to still want a contract with a big New York publisher? Is it wrong for me to want an agent, someone who will help me, guide me in this new and confusing world? Is it wrong for me to want to work with those professionals who have so much to offer? That’s the message I’m getting from bloggers that I like, trust, and care about, that what I want is wrong – and that makes my stomach hurt.

I’m not denying there’s a revolution. I just want to have tea with the Queen, just once, before her crown is crushed underfoot by the internet.

I feel there is no way I can measure up to the “new” way of publishing and the social media expectations. Thinking about all the things I “should” be doing (other than writing) is draining, especially since I have a full time job and a family (and no assistant, no trust fund, no financial safety net, and most importantly, no backlist).  Doing all the social media stuff has become a chore, where it used to be fun. (I miss my 1k1hr buddies on Twitter!)

 Even writing became a bit of a grind for awhile. In a fit of desperation, I talked to

“…a fierce, take-charge Aluna is the kind of heroine who is easy to get behind.” Publisher’s Weekly

Jenn Reese, a lovely writer who was one of the very first to encourage me, all those years ago. I had a story that I liked that I was working on, but the plot seemed to be missing (maybe because I was trying to squeeze writing in between bouts of Facebook and Twitter).

She asked me why I was drawn to write in that world. And she gave me a homework assignment, to write a list of everything about that world that I was passionate about, that I wanted to write about.

The list flowed. Writing became exciting again. After Tai Chi on Saturday, and over yummy sandwiches at Bun Me, she pressed the point home to me. Write what you’re passionate about, she said. Don’t write to the market. Don’t force a genre on the book. If you know the book’s ending, you’re half way to a solid plot (so many books don’t follow through on their opening). Most of all, keep going!

In thinking about her advice, I realized it could also be applied to social media for the writer. So here’s my personal Writer’s Manifesto, that I’m sure will get tweaked as I go along:

Be passionate about your work, and that includes social media. Don’t do what you’re not comfortable with. If you get in too deep, excuse yourself and get back out (this includes participating in group blogs, volunteering for your writer’s group, or anything else that doesn’t focus you on your own writing).

Follow your dreams, whether that is a contract with a New York publisher, getting an agent, or self-publishing a book every other month.  Make sure those ARE your dreams though, and not dreams thrust upon you by well-meaning bloggers that you  know, like, and trust. (Because their dreams ARE NOT your dreams, though they may look similar.)  Above all? Focus on writing that you are passionate about, and then send it out into the world.

I realize I’m probably in the minority, wishing the publishing world wasn’t changing so rapidly. Like so many other big businesses, it’s an effed-up industry and has been for a long time; but it was effed up in a way I understood. This new world is one I don’t fully trust, and while I’ve learned a lot in the past 18 months, I am still going to reach for my personal brass ring.

I don’t want to be my own publisher; I want a knowledgable partner to help me through the publishing business. If that makes me seem like an ostrich with my head in the sand, so be it.

thanks to Peter Hall “Ostrich Dance”

 But I’d much rather believe I’m an ostrich, dancing.

About Christine

Writer of paranormal, contemporary, and erotic romance. Find me on Amazon...
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77 Responses to Alone in the Publishing Wilderness

  1. Liz Crowe says:

    this is exactly what I needed today. I have multiple publishers but am constantly bombarded by advice about “self publishing” reminded I already have such a “marketing headset” (well DUH I market my own brewery.) that I am over halfway there. But I don’t want it either. I have toyed with it, over and over, thinking “I’ll keep my own money” and “take charge of my destiny” but I will be damned if I don’t want a partnership with a really good agent and publisher too. I finally sold a book to Ellora’s Cave and am working on another and hope this last leap pushes me up over the top and will allow me the “backlist bones” to snag an agent in the next 12 months or so. Best of luck to YOU! let’s be friends of Facebook (Oh and of course I’m sharing this post on FB and twitter and wherever ’cause that is just what we do isn’t it!)

    • Christine says:

      Aw, Liz. You’re one of the uber-kinder. Since you first started publishing, you’ve been at it non-stop. Huge congrats on your contract with Ellora’s Cave! I seem to see you everywhere (I think we’re on at least two loops together, but I’m fairly quiet). I aspire to be you, lol!

      I’ll find you on Facebook (and everywhere else) if you don’t find me first.

  2. I think each writer has to find her own path in this business, picking and choosing what works for her and the kind of books that she wants to write. There is a lot of pressure about all the social media, but there are only so many hours in the day. Doing one or two things, and doing them right and well, is far better than flying apart at the seams trying to do it all.

    Great post–

    • Christine says:

      Alexis, absolutely. Each can only follow their own path – there are many paths to publication now, and all are worthy. It’s just a matter of each individual’s preference and stamina, I guess. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Oh, Christine, I with you! I’m totally overwhelmed by all that’s expected. And then when I try and keep up, I feel stressed out and so uncool (because everyone is so much smarter and wittier than me). I’d love for things to be simpler. I’d like to stick to the traditional methods. Most of all, I’d love to just write.

    Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone. 🙂

    • Christine says:

      No, Robin. Thank YOU. I know what you mean, and you’ve got a solid publisher behind you. Keep your chin up – and remember you’re wittier when you’re dead tired, lol. (Okay – maybe that’s only me.)

  4. Maria says:

    Count me in. I do what I like which is Facebook and Twitter. I keep toying with the idea of a blog but I don’t wanna be posting daily, or even multiple times a week and who can keep up with all of the blogs anyway? If people don’t remind me that they posted, then I don’t know that they did.

    I have a life, and it is one that I love and enjoy as much as writing. I am so tired of being told what a “real” writer does or that this company is the best thing since sliced bread for all writers or that these people are the minions of satan or any of the other number of opinions out there on the interwebs. When did we forget that an opinion is something we all have? No one got annointed as the supreme knower of all things future.

    I know one writer, who shall remain nameless, who is totally into the self-publishing model and believes in preparing for the upcoming apocalypse. The two things seem diametrically opposed because if the apocalypse happens then there won’t be an electric grid and no one will be selling e-books mostly because none of us will be able to charge up our e-readers. I sometimes wonder if this writer also has a printing press, manual of course, in the basement.

    All I know is that I am going to do what I like and what works for me and if it doesn’t work for New York, then I may think about self-publishing and I may not. I’ll see when I get there. Now back to my day job and the life that I love where the writing is a part of it and not all of it which is just what I like, at least for now.

    • Christine says:

      Maria, as always you make me smile, nod in recognition, and wishing you were here so we could sip wine together and grin at each other. One really good way to read blogs is to subscribe so the posts come to your email. Then you can either read them, or not, as you wish. I can’t tell you how many I’ve subscribed to – nor can I tell you how many I actually read, lol…HUGS dear!

  5. Wonderful post, Christine. I think you’re expressing the feelings of a lot of writers. The stream used to be flowing that way, now it’s starting to flow this way. We’re in that part in the middle that isn’t really moving. All we can do is make intuitive decisions based on what we know is right for each of us. Maybe a whole new stream will open up that can’t even be envisioned now. No matter what anyone says, I believe the only thing we know for sure is that we don’t know what will happen, or what is the “right” way. I’ve been loving the recent posts on research showing social media really doesn’t help sell books a lot. Yes! I can stop feeling guilty for not having time to do it! I do agree that we seem to have more options if we have more books published, so back to the old advice of “write the best book(s) you can.”

    • Christine says:

      I believe that social media works for those hugely popular authors. But I must say, I am relieved when I see that it doesn’t really help sell a lot of books. Word of mouth. Person to person relationships. I know that’s what social media is; for most of us, though, getting it to work that deeply takes time we don’t have. In my opinion.

      Thanks, hon, for stopping by!

  6. yes, it is difficult to sort out! but believe me, the traditional publishing model is alive and well. If that’s what you’re comfortable with, you should stick with it. Self-publishing is a huge amount of work. Huge. Nobody in their right mind would do down that path unless they’re a certain personality type. It’s more an avenue for the so-called ‘mid-list’ author, someone who is not selling huge, and where the publishing company won’t take much of a risk with them. These authors have a lot of success putting their back-list out there themselves (makes more sense, doesn’t it, than having the books end up on the budget table or worse, simply ignored as the pub company moves on to fresher titles). And everyone has to learn how to market themselves. That’s the true tricky part of the new paradigm. Again, if you are a mid-list author, the pub company isn’t going to lavish huge amounts marketing you, and so you’re stuck doing that. You have to build your platform. To do that you have to learn what parts of the social media work for you. You can’t copy from other people, you just have to sort that out yourself. Good luck, but don’t do the ostrich thing! (BTW – I started that self-published path, and I’ve never been published, just so you know.)

    • Christine says:

      Claudia, welcome to the blog! And huge congrats on self-publishing. Like you said, it’s a huge amount of work, and I applaud you.

      Can it be said that I aspire to be a mid-list author? Lol. At least for the next step in my career. Mid-list would be FANTASTIC.

      And I know that one of the NY houses isn’t going to be my ticket to Nirvana (the state – not the band, lol – ), but heck – it’s not going it alone, either.

  7. miss christine, you are not alone in feeling adrift. you’re just one of the gutsy few with the courage to admit to those discomforting sensations. i think it always comes down to the writing. as a reader i just want to connect with the material. as a writer, i hope i invite people into the world of my creation. i applaud your decision to carve out your own route and in giving word to what so many of our peers are thinking.

  8. Robena Grant says:

    Yes, I’m also with you, Christine. I would love a stab at the traditional route, with even one person getting my back and guiding me a little along the path. It’s hard work to go it alone. However, if after a considerable time, I don’t get published, maybe then I’ll look into ePublishing. Maybe.
    For the time being I blog once a week, follow people whose work I want to support, do FB and Google+ and forget about Twitter because it is so not me. And I write what I want to write when I want to write it. I’m happy.

    • Christine says:

      Hey Robena! Yeah, I’ve already done the self-pub dance – should I, or shouldn’t I? – and I’ve decided to give it more time. I know so much more than I did before publishing with Crescent Moon Press. If I can just take that knowledge and use it to push my work to the next level…well…

      And I’m so glad you’re happy. You deserve to be!!!

  9. There is so much advice on everything. Rules for everything. Seems to me you’ve done the right thing, found out what’s around and decided on the ones that suit you. Well done. You can only make something work if it fits you.

  10. susanjaymes says:

    I agree, Christine. I struggle with all this social media and finding the time. I’m trying to decide what is important and focus on that. The problem is what is most important besides writing of course? Finding balance between writing, my full-time job, and creating my brand is exhausting at times.

    I will keep plugging away at it and hope that one day I will find the perfect balance.

    • Christine says:

      Susan, I don’t think the perfect balance can be achieved. Because once you think you have it, then the kid (or the dog) gets sick, you get laid off the job, you actually get a contract, or some other life-changing event happens. I think we just need to be light on our feet and willing to dance as the tune changes. Hang in there – isn’t it nice to know we’re not alone?

      • Maria says:

        I love that analogy, “…we just need to be light on our feet and willing to dance as the tune changes.” Perfectly sums up it all up, but makes it sound like so much fun. Now if only I could stop looking like the hippos from Fantasia in my hip hop “groovalicious” gym dance class.

  11. Jane Wakely says:

    Hi Christine~

    This is a fantastic post–well done! 🙂

    I agree with you about all of the “advice!” I actually want to self-pub. Like someone said above, I think you need a certain personality for it, and I think I have it! LOL
    I tend to hear all the negative about self-pubbing with many people warning me about ruining my reputation. It does get tiring. Along with self-pubbing, there are a few epubs that I really enjoy and want to publish with, and NY Pubs–I would never pass that up. I want it all! LOL 🙂

    Like you, I’ve also come up with a plan. Take the advice, see if it works for me or fits into my plan, then keep what works and get rid of what doesn’t. So far it seems to be working! 🙂

    I hope your plan leads you to making all your writing dreams come true! 🙂


    • Christine says:

      Jane – that’s the perfect plan. Well done, you! And go for the self-pubbing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it and lots to gain. My Dad, at the age of 83, is self-pubbing – and this is after he’s had over 300 novels published by New York over the years! The only problem is he isn’t as hooked into the social media, nor can he be – his eyesight is terrible. But he’s still writing, and still having fun. Gotta respect that, right?

      • Tasha Turner says:

        Wow, yeah gotta respect your dad for trying something new under those conditions. And as long as he is having fun go for it I say.

      • Jane Wakely says:

        Wow Christine!

        What an inspiration your dad is! That is really awesome! I hope I am still writing and publishing at 83–and still having fun!

        Thanx for sharing his story! 🙂


  12. MonaKarel says:

    There are so many alternatives. I know it’s different for everyone. For me, the boutique publisher has been a wonderful first step. Black Opal Books has been just what I personally needed. No advance? Well, when you don’t have an advance, you don’t have to listen to your publisher “regretfully” turning down your next book because you “didn’t perform adequately” on your last book.

    • Christine says:

      Mona, I too am with a boutique publisher. I’ve learned a ton. And you’re right, a terrific first step. Cheers hon!

  13. Doesn’t it all make you feel like an adolescent again—being excited about all that is out there and yet not knowing the balance that will be comfortable? I suppose if you look at it that way, it is keeping us all young…lol.
    How are each of us to be recognized in the midst of this noisy revolution? Gosh, I wish I knew. Seems that the old adage–be true to yourself–has now and always will make sense.
    Thanks for the great post.
    Christine London
    christinelondon “dot” com

    • Christine says:

      LOL Christine – what a wonderful way to look at it! Hormones racing, heart pumping, which way should I go…lol.

      And you are right, absolutely. Be true to yourself. Hugs hon!

  14. Debra Kristi says:

    I think you expressed the feelings of so many very well. I’m glad you’re finding your balance as I believe I finally am. I was falling apart as the seams as well. I felt like Robin does (everyone is so much smarter and wittier than me). My dream has always been for traditional publishing and I’m not ready to abandon that dream yet. I’m still hanging on. 😉 Wonderful post.

    • Christine says:

      Debra, you will find your niche. You’re at the very beginning of your career, I think, and you have the time, energy, wisdom and talent to go far. Don’t ever abandon your dream! Hugs hon!

  15. MM Pollard says:

    Christine, I like your honesty. I just don’t get Facebook; that’s why I don’t have a page there. The people I want to stay in touch with I already do. If I could go out to eat with my Facebook friends, then I’d go to the trouble, but hey, all that posting and sharing and no lunch — I just don’t get it!

    Don’t give up your dreams.

    • MM, this post has been percolating for awhile. I didn’t want to be seen as a whiner; I didn’t want anyone to think I don’t respect people who self-publish, because I do. It’s just not my first (or 100th) choice.

      I like Facebook, because it’s put me back in touch with people I haven’t seen or talked to since my teens. Plus I get really interesting responses when I talk about tuna fish sandwiches, lol.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  16. Tasha Turner says:

    I think too many people get too caught up. I am a social networking coach and I tell my people that they should not be spending more than 10 hours a week doing social networking except while we are setting everything up and even then I don’t want them spending too much time doing it.

    There is a balance. Whether you are doing your own books, going with a small publisher, working with a mid-size publisher, or the big 6, some social networking has to be done.

    Nothing wrong with wanting an agent and wanting someone to handle most of your marketing and all the nitty gritty details of publishing so you can focus most of your work hours on writing.

    • Christine says:

      Tasha, I know that I’ll still have to do my own marketing – but the bigger publishers help in so many ways that the littler ones don’t seem to. Even that small bit of support would be fantastic. Plus, to actually be in a bookstore…for as long as there are bookstores – that would be lovely.

      Thanks for stopping in, and welcome!

      • Tasha Turner says:

        I totally get that. Being in a bookstore would be cool. And having real marketing help I get that to.

        Each has to find their own path I agree. What one has to be careful not to do is reject everything or to overdo anything. And do not let the social media such the life out of you. That is super important no matter which way you are gooing.

  17. Great post, I’m still a newbie and just finished my first book. I am going to chase the contract. I bounced the idea around to self publish but I want to know someone likes my story as much as I do. I want the contract, agent and NY. I’m glad I’m not alone out there.

  18. Janie Emaus says:

    Great post. I think every writer has to find their own path.

  19. Excellent post. You’ve said many of the things I’ve been thinking about during the past few months. Sure, some writers are doing well in self-publishing, but I don’t want to do all that work myself. Oddly enough, I’m working on a manuscript, and I’ll start doing agent subs soon. Yep, going the traditional route.

  20. Isn’t it funny how when we finally get a foot into this biz, we start adjusting all of our thinking to fit into “whatever it takes” but then, we get “smart”. I love this post. It’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve backed off of my social media a bit, because quite honestly, it left no time for writing and that’s the important part. My backlist is growing slowly, but surely, and I hope to land a contract soon with an agent, but I have to have a book or a few to do that. I can’t if I’m not writing. Keep your head up, girlie. It sounds like you’re finally figuring it out for your goals. I hope I follow soon. 🙂

    • Christine says:

      Rachel, I don’t know how you did it last year – especially since your hubby and kids still talk to you and know what you look like!

      We’ll keep figuring it all out as we go, I suspect. Hugs!

  21. More often in life, I think we all need to let go of terms like “right” or “wrong” and “should”. There’s no prescription to this wonderful experience called life. There is not one path, one way, one direction. There are millions of exciting and astounding ways to get to your definition of success. And isn’t THAT what it’s all about – YOUR definition of success!!! Take some time and explore what your definition of success is and then pursue that…no excuses, no apologies, no guilt! What YOU want for you and your life is perfect and wonderful and fahbulous!! And it’s all about YOU!! Let anything that doesn’t speak to your heart and inspire your soul fall to the waist side as well intentioned, but off the mark, advice. It’s OK to be YOU and want what you want! AMEN to that…

  22. Laura Cunningham says:

    That’s very good advice for anyone pursuing their own dream. I’ve been struggling with my fiber business. I love dyeing yarn and fiber, and I’d like to find willing people to buy it. I have a show in exactly 29 days, and I haven’t done a thing to prepare for it. It costs a lot to get the inventory, which may not sell. Last year, I sold mostly yarn (one particular kind). The year before, it was fiber. I can’t afford to tie up $$ in inventory. Dithering about this has put me in the position of a) do I order now, get it in 2 weeks and spend 2 frantic weeks dyeing, or b) make do with what I have right now (which is not a lot) and call it good? I have a small following, so you see the dilema.

    Thanks for your post – it gives me something to think about.

    • Christine says:

      Laurie, if I were you I’d go with what you have – and take orders from customers if you sell out. That way you’re not working on spec; you’ve got the orders in hand, and if you keep samples available, they can see what you can do.

      Just my .02 – hugs hon!

  23. Charlene says:

    Hi Christine — Oh, you hit the nail on the head. We (writers) got into this business because we are passionate about writing, telling stories and putting lovely, powerful words on the page. How we get there….also gives me a headache. There’s enough self-doubt in writers’s mind, without the rapidly changing publishing world. Go for your dreams, listen to your heart and do what is comfortable for you and that’s all you can do. Thanks for a very intuitive blog!

  24. Maggie Marr says:

    What a thoughtful and well-written blog! I, too, often feel the fatigue from twitter and fb. There is so much time which can go into all the other and that time is then taken away from the writing–and really–this is all about the writing. Write a good book. Such a simple sentence but such a difficult task!

  25. Roz Lee says:

    Hi Christine!
    I feel your frustration. I wish I knew the secret code that would make all of this make sense, but alas, I’m as confused as the next person. Every time I think I have a handle on the social media thing, something else comes online. A new tribe, circle…whatever. I’m inclined to stick with FB – my personal page – because that’s where my friends are – my writer and my personal friends. The rest of the sites are more difficult for me. I don’t have the time to read all that stuff, and I’m not sure anyone wants to read about me going to the car wash either.
    As for all the advice – I view it like I do the reports about foods that are going to kill me. One day there’s a study that says bacon will kill me, then the next day there’s one saying a pound of bacon a day will make me live to be 100. Who to believe? Neither? Somewhere between the two reports, I suspect, is the truth. Moderation is the key. Too much bacon will kill you, but a little protein is good for you, so don’t overdo it.
    That being said – I have a book to write! So, enough blog hopping for today. Back to work. I can’t sell what I haven’t written.

    Best of luck in finding the balance you seek.

    • Christine says:

      Oh Roz. Thanks for your unflagging support. You are another one whom I desperately admire – you have put out so many books this past year, and seem to be everywhere on the internet and taking it all in your stride.

      Balance. Yeah, I really need it, lol!

  26. I’m so with you it hurts! I can’t tell you how much I want a Writing Fairy Godmother to wave her magic wand and make it all Agent-Publisher-Me-My Readers all over again. Sigh. As far as social media are concerned, I have two blogs, one about writing and singing, and one where I answer questions about Judaism. I’m in the process of creating a website. My Facebook page was hacked and I never got it back so that’s in limbo, but I think I could be happy with blogs and website. Hope so.

  27. The advice really is overwhelming, Christine. I so get your frustration. Cheers, Ashley

  28. Anne Kemp says:

    GREAT post!! My head spins daily with the “advice” we are given on how to market ourselves, expand our brand and build our platforms. My egg timer is now used for timing how long I have for tweeting, facebooking and commenting/reading blogs.

    We need clones if we are to follow all the advice we get!



    • Christine says:

      Just keep breathing, Anne! I’m looking forward to your book release. And if you get that clone thing figured out, let me know, okay? Cheers!

  29. I hear you sistah! And AMEN!

    I’ve never been more stressed out in my life – and I predict there will be a lot of fallout from this new model (unmodel) of publishing.

    Also – thank you for excusing me from ever going near twitter. Not going to go there. Just. Not.

    Loved you blog – and wow – what a great turnout!

    • Christine says:

      Lynne, I will never push social media on anyone who doesn’t want to do it. Not after this past year! But I’d never have known you were stressed – you seem to glide through it all with grace and serenity and humor. Thanks for the blog love!

  30. Felice Fox says:

    Great post, Christine. I’m trying to follow my tuition as I go. Social media feels awkward to me, but necessary, so I’m working on balance. When I was in elementary school I memorized this poem from Shel Silverstein:

    Listen to the mustn’ts child, listen to the don’ts
    Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts
    Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me
    Anything can happen, child, anything can be.

    This shifting in the publishing world is not something I can control. All I can do is educate myself a bit, follow my instincts, and trust that all will be well. Naive? Maybe, but I’m okay with that! I’d rather believe that ‘anything can be’ and that if I follow my instincts I will be on the right path for me.

    Good luck and can’t wait to see where your path takes you!


  31. Christine,

    I posted last night, but my comment didn’t go through.

    I think every author needs to find their own path to publication. There is no right or wrong way to go about it. Some people just want books that their friends and family can read. For others it’s about taking complete control over their career and their work and believing in themselves. For other writers, it’s the desire to work in collaboration to get that book on the shelf. The bottom line for most writers is they want to tell their stories.

    As for the social media aspect, it doesn’t matter if you’re self-published or traditionally published. Most of the marketing of your work will fall on you, the author.

    I think many authors are looking for the magic bullet that will provide success. That’s why when one author has success at something, many follow in their path. The problem is that there is no quantitive way too know what works in marketing efforts. To further complicate matters, what works for one person or genre might not work for others. I think the best course of action is to do what feels ‘right’ for you – both in publishing and in marketing.

  32. Kathy, I couldn’t agree more. Sorry WordPress was being buggy last night, and thanks for persevering! You’ve done so well with DOZEN DEADLY ROSES, and I know you worked hard for that success. Well deserved.


  33. Traci Bell says:

    Do what works for you, Christine. If your dream is to go big, then go big! You don’t want to look back on your life on your deathbed and think ‘what if.’

    • Christine says:

      You’re right, of course. Just hearing all the advice puts me in a doubting-myself mood, you know? Thanks, Traci!

  34. Very much agree. I think I’ll have to share this post, because it says a lot of what I’ve been cogitating, only better.

    • Christine says:

      Teresa, you’re sooo funny! Thanks for sharing, though. I know – this whole thing has been bugging me. I finally couldn’t hold it in. Hugs dear!

  35. I feel the same way, Christine! I had no idea what to expect after publication and I’m still struggling with the social networking. Especially being a full time working mom. Time is precious as it is. I could spend an hour blogging, facebooking, and twittering, or I could be writing. Guess which I’d rather be doing? 🙂 Hope we can all figure it out and find a balance!

    • Christine says:

      Another CMP sister heard from! Thanks, Cindy, for your thoughts. Yeah, it’s never the journey we think it should be, is it? Thanks so much for your support!

  36. Catie Rhodes says:

    Christine, this was a great post. I am coming in late, and I’m sorry about that. I have learned–since my life has been taken over by the social media madness–that it’s important to shun the internet on days I don’t blog. LOL

    I so relate to what you said here and can even add something to it. The social media and the blogging takes ENERGY. I am completely drained after I a) write a thousand word blog b) comment on my buddies’ blogs and c) try to be friendly on twitter and Facebook–which does not come naturally for me.

    Sometimes, I have a hard time fitting the writing in…and isn’t that why I started doing this in the first place? It’s balancing act, and lots of times I’m not sure I have the grace to walk the tightrope.

    Like you, I would like to work with professionals in the publishing industry. They know more than I do, and I think I could learn stuff from them. However, not only do you have the “self-publish and keep ALL your money” screamers, you also have the whole thing you mentioned about genre.

    When I first finished the manuscript I am getting ready to shop around, it was very close to its intended genre…because that’s the way I had written it. Then, as I edited, I shaped it into the book *I* wanted it to be. And, well, it is what it is. LOL

    Anyway…how about this…good luck to both of us. And I thought you did have a backlist??? Not an extensive one, but you are at least published. LOL

    • Catie, it’s so nice to see that you agree…you are one of the more dedicated bloggers/social media people I know, so to know that you feel overwhelmed makes me feel better for some reason.

      I have one book up, and it’s current – so not technically a backlist, lol. (Lots of books under the bed, but that’s another story!) Another one is on the way this year. I have learned a lot with my boutique publisher, and I’m so glad I had this opportunity; now I have a better idea of what I want.

      I’m with you – good luck to both – to ALL – of us out there trying to carve out a writing career. Every path is different as each person is different.

      Cheers, dear!

  37. This is an awesome post, Christine! I’ve had to pull back myself. I just can’t do it all AND write. I put myself on restriction the last couple of weeks and it’s done wonders for me. I didn’t go completely dark like I planned, but instead focused on those things/people that I like and want to watch succeed. I don’t think there’s any one right way for everyone. What works for you and helps you meet your needs/desires is the right way for you.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be traditionally published. I have faith someone will snap you up in the not too distant future because you are so talented. Me? I want to self-publish. Do I really want to do it all myself? No. But I also don’t want to be on that submission track where it takes forever to get responses. I don’t want it to take a year or more to get my book out in the world once it’s accepted. So those are my choices for me right now. Of course I dream some publisher will one day look at my work and offer me a fabulous deal I can’t turn down. LOL But there’s nothing wrong with dreams no matter how unlikely. They inspire you to do better and reach farther.

  38. Jo-Ann says:

    Great Post. You say it all soo well. Congratulations on your publishing contracts.
    Best Wishes

  39. Dee J. says:


    I know I’m woefully late, but I had a deadline and about a hundred emails to wade through. You absolutely said what I’ve been thinking. Thank you for bringing it home. Very nicely worded and so true. Cheers.

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