Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG: HARD WORK - It's What's for Dinner...and Lunch, and Breakfast, and morning snack and afternoon tea and bedtime bites and noontime nibbles and midnight munchies and...



It’s the first Wednesday of the month, time for

I hate Seattle in February.  It's the coldest month of the year here, and when everyone else in the US is looking forward to March and springtime weather, we in Seattle know we have at least another four months of cold, rainy, dreary weather.


But February also boasts of the first small glimpse of what's to come. Invariably, there'll always be a day or two where the sun shines in a gloriously clear blue sky, and the temps rise into the upper 50's or higher. When that happens, I jump in my car, put the top down and the tunes on, and cruise around Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington. It's enough to keep me going until the real spring weather comes along.

That's kind of how it is when you're newly published with a small press, and you've been buried in marketing, of which you have no skills whatsoever. I take tiny little baby steps everyday, but it's progress. And my rankings reflect that.  Well, usually, but not always. They're still not great, but they're improving at a consistent rate, so it's heartening.  It’s like that bit of warm sunshine and blue sky in February. 


My point?  Well, we writers love what we do, but let’s face it, with all the rejection, it can be seriously depressing.  It’s a mind-numbingly slow process, and though we do the actual work alone, we cannot “make it” alone.  We need betas and critique partners, agents and publishers, bloggers and book reviewers.  You just can’t do it without them, or at least some of them anyway. 

But I’m here to tell you, it can be done, and I’m one of those exceedingly average people who accomplish some success, but never in spectacular fashion.  I have no visions of superstardom or the financial windfall that comes with that.  I don’t ever expect to make much money on my book, and honestly, that was never the point.  I just wanted to write a really good book readers would enjoy, and I wanted to publish it traditionally.


I didn’t consider all the work I’d have to do on the marketing front, and I will admit, it isn’t easy, but neither was writing the book, or revising, or querying, or editing.  Every step was and still is a challenge, but I learn a little something everyday, and I make a bit more progress everyday, too.  And because I am that Average Annie, I know if I can do it, then so can you. 


No matter where you are in the game—writing, revising, querying, edits, and yes, even marketing—it's all a matter of baby steps, forward momentum, no matter how small, and no matter how much you got pushed back the day before.  If you want it bad enough and you’re willing to learn and take the steps necessary, you will make it.

So don’t give up.  Remember your dream, and... 





47 comments:

Annalisa Crawford said...

Um... marketing. I still don't quite know what works and what doesn't. I look at what other people are doing and think 'I wish I'd thought of that'!

T. Drecker said...

Thanks for the inspiration. It's always helpful... like a little ray of sunshine in February :)

Emily L. Moir-Genther said...

I don't think non-writers understand what a pain in the rear writing is, especially since most writers still have to work a job that actually pays the bills. It's certainly a lot of time and hard work, but worth it. Great post.

JeffO said...

Great post, and I like to see that positivity in there, Nancy. Keep it up!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Average person here as well!! But it can be done. All it takes is an average person willing to do extraordinary things.

Siv Ottem said...

Hello Average Annie, nice inspiration for a gloomy Feb. day here in a country when Spring is always a distant dream.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm so glad I'm not in this for the money. Nothing I've heard from so many other writers has made me change my mind. :D

Kirsten said...

Your attitude and work ethic have always been inspiring, and your journey through marketing mayhem is inspiring me as well.
I'm nowhere near publication, but it's good to know what lies ahead. Willingness to learn seems to be the key to success in this business, and I love being around people who get that!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Just do a little something every day.

I remember the seasons in Oregon. August was summer. Maybe a little of July if we were really lucky.

Liza said...

Oh what a great post! You are anything but average, Nancy. And this post, right now, says everything I need to hear. Here's hoping you get an extra dose of those February days!

Matthew MacNish said...

I know that photo! It's Kerry Park. I grew up about 8 blocks from there.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Awesome encouragement!!! Thank you Nancy!

Julie Luek said...

Great encouragement. By the way, I live in one of those summer-is-four-months-away climates too. February and March are the toughest!

Andrew Leon said...

You can ride around in your car with the top down when it's not even 60 degrees? I would die!

LD Masterson said...

Nicely said.

And I have to admit, I rarely put the top down if the temperature is below 60. Such a wuss.

Mark Means said...

After living down here in sunny Florida for the past three years, I don't think I could handle 'dreary' Seattle :)

Baby steps are definitely the way to go and I think you hit upon one of the most important aspects of writing. Doing it because you want to entertain/produce a quality story and -not- for money.

Of course, I have nothing against money, but if you write a good story, it will come :)

Melissa said...

Thanks for the encouragement! :)

Melissa said...

Oh, and PS - I LOL'd at the title. Too funny!

Rena said...

Oh man, you said it!

I never succeed spectacularly either, so I'm just waiting for my slice of modest at this point. And working. I'm working working working. It's like the thing we writers do. But seriously, I couldn't give it up if I wanted to (lucky that I don't).

Good post!

michelle said...

Thanks for the boost of positivity Nancy!
Little by little... step-by-step... piece by piece...

Candilynn Fite said...

What a fabulous message for your IWSG post, Nancy! Thanks so much for sharing with us. Never give up. :)

Susan Roebuck said...

Hi Nancy, that's a very inspiring message you're giving. I enjoy...no, LOVE...the writing part of the process but the submissions, the rejections, the awful promotion...ugh. Still, we keep at it, don't we?

~Sia McKye~ said...

There is a learning curve in everything worthwhile. Any new job we take on has a learning curve. Writing isn't any different. Baby steps is a great analogy. So long as you're moving forward and willing to learn, it's progress!

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Weather affects me and my prose a lot. I can always tell when I've written something on a gloomy day or on a sunny one. I think I'll have to stay in California where we get more of the sunny experience. Of course, if I want to write "darkly" I could come visit you in Feb., couldn't I?

VR Barkowski said...

Writing is an extraordinary career that takes at an extraordinary effort. The fact we all hang in there says something about our ilk.

Thanks for the inspirational post, Nancy!

PS: I yearn for a my lost Seattle winters. I have reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder and 12 months of Georgia summer is eroding my psychological well-being. :)

~VR Barkowski

L.G. Smith said...

Wait, I've got a trip planned for Victoria in late May, and you're telling me the weather is going to be crap still? Blah to your pacific northwest spring. :P

The rest of this post has the same sort of foreboding. People think getting over the publishing hump is the big hurdle, but it sounds like the real work is only just beginning. I don't have a clue how to find book reviewers or get the word out about a novel. Sigh.

Gwen Gardner said...

Yeah, that whole marketing thing is really going around the IWSG today. It's tough. I mostly avoid it. But baby steps is a really good idea. Just do what you can.

Laura Eno said...

Yep, never give up!

Carrie Butler said...

Best post title ever! *high five*

M. J. Joachim said...

Baby steps, hard work and loads of determination...that's the life of a writer! Lovely post. Thank you. :)

M Pax said...

In Central OR we don't get spring at all. The weather will warm up around mid July. That's OK. We do get more sun than those of you on the west side of the Cascades. Sun makes a big difference.

It is baby steps. there's so much to learn.

J.L. Campbell said...

True words, Nancy. Step by step is how we do what we doe and the key is to keep moving.

Al Penwasser said...

Thanks, this was very inspirational, Nancy.
For instance, I just found out that Penwasser Place is ranked in the top 9,000,000 of blogs.
I won't rest until I crack 8,000,000.

Heather Gardner said...

Is it bad if I say your post made me tired?

I think I can. I think I can.

Keep on...keeping on.

:)

HMG

Chuck said...

I came for the promise of a breakfast, lunch, or dinner since I had the munchies...I stayed for the great post! Thanks Nancy.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Great post, Nancy. This is exactly where my head has been for over a year. And it is depressing. When sales drop, I can't help but think it's because my story doesn't do it for readers. It's all so depressing at times. February is also flu month and I wasn't spared. Great post.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I don't think there's anything "average" about you Nancy. All of your hard work has already paid off just by getting your book published. Sorry that all of the marketing continues to be an all consuming work in progress, but now you'll be more prepared for the future. I can't wait to read my copy of The Mistaken!
Julie

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I'm not far from you - I'm just over in Bellingham, and we have a similar problem. We do get a bit more sun though, so that makes the chill bearable. :D
I love this post - baby steps can be so effective in the long run - much better than stopping short!

jamieayres.com said...

I feel the exact same way, Nancy!! Great post:-)

Lisa Regan said...

Who knew this part would be so darn much work! Well hopefully all your hard work will get your book into the hands of more and more readers and they'll love it so much, they'll spread the word and so on! What an awesome, encouraging post! And by the way, you couldn't be exceedingly average if you tried! To me, you'll always be a superstar!

Tammy Theriault said...

hey now...i live in washington!! whidbey island baby!! you're so close to me...i'm SO gonna stock you...just kidding!!

Ciara said...

My husband is in Seattle right now. I miss him. He says it's dreary, but not too cold.

Jennifer Hillier said...

"If you want it bad enough..."

Indeed.

And you're making me miss Seattle! I'd take dreary any day over all this snow.

Murees Dupé said...

Fantastic post Nancy! Thank you for being honest about how hard certain aspects of being a writer can be. I wish you all the success in the world and I hope that your book will be super successful.

R. Jacob said...

You are above average in talent and determination, let no one tell you otherwise.

Lynda R Young said...

Important words. baby steps. I must remember that.

LTM said...

Baby steps, forward momentum, no matter how small--GREAT advice, Nancy! Here's to the small successes. After a while, they turn into a big pile! :o) <3