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