Even though I may seem to have dropped off the blogger-sphere, I am still here … and though I could, without lying, say the school summer break well and truly got the better of me, that’s not the whole picture.
The main reason I haven’t posted is the fact of not having anything useful to share. At the moment, encouraged by positive feedback from readers, my focus is well and truly to write Book Two. I am still doing certain things to promote Book One but have a real sense of being distracted and not on top of the things I could be doing. For once in my life, however, I’m not beating myself up. A couple of future school visits are in the diary, I have decided to, finally, join ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) as I way to learn more and become engaged in what is out there, and I will plan a Goodreads giveaway for the upcoming UMA & IMP book birthday in November.
Yes – book birthday! That means it’s been just over a year since I first started the process of producing the physical book-version of UMA & IMP with all the excitement and decisions on illustration, design, paper type, etc. And all of that seems so much longer than a year ago because aside from the awesome-ness of creating the book and hearing from children that have become absorbed in the story, my feelings about the process and about writing have completely changed. More than anything, the benefit of having self-published (and I’m still not recommending it as the best way to go!!) is a sense of perspective and calm that I simply didn’t have before. Self-publishing has allowed me to let go of the angst around finding an agent/publisher, worrying about the success or failure of a book because it will determine my next publishing contract. It’s hard to explain but this experience springs to mind …
… while I was writing draft 486 of UMA & IMP, family-in-law kindly agreed to read the ms with their class of 6th grade kids. The kids loved the story but I was advised not to mention this in submissions to agents because it wasn’t considered to have real value as kids are more likely to say they like a book when they have a connection to the author – even if it is tenuous. I didn’t understand that – not really, because it seemed to me that feedback is feedback, enjoyment is enjoyment. And yet … having published and had “anonymous” feedback from kids unconnected to me in any way, I suddenly “get” the difference. There is a very unique kind of validation that comes from someone you have never met loving your book. And I think that is what has created a real shift in my approach to writing. Well, that and gaining a much deeper understanding of how publishing works and the challenges/realities involved. Finally, my pace has shifted and although before I was saying (and even believing) that I was in it for the long haul, now I really know what that means and also FEEL it in my very being. Not only that but I’m living it too. I have no sense of rush about finishing my next book. I have a goal, of course, that’s sensible, but there is no pressure attached to that goal. Same with sales – I will continue to do what is possible to get UMA & IMP out there and I have lots of goals or ideals on that front too … but, again, no pressure attached to those goals. So really THAT’S where I am …
For now, my commitment to blogging is going to extend only to sharing when I have something of real interest to say. Probably, my next post will be about ALLi and the benefits of joining. So many indie authors rave about the organisation that I’m eager to see what the enthusiasm is about … will get back once I know more!
In the meantime, thanks for reading,
Hi Larisa, it’s wonderful to hear that you’ve settled into authorhood and are being kind to yourself about your work schedule! I look forward to hearing more about ALLi and other bits and bobs as and when, but for now– good luck with book two, and happy first birthday to book one! Victoria x
Thank you! Not quite ‘official’ book birthday yet, but hitting all those one-year milestones … very strange feeling indeed! x