This blog is supposed to be about my self-publishing journey – so I better self-locate – it seems there are multiple things going on right now.
- Final edits on Disappearing in Plain Sight – the manuscript goes to FriesenPress on or before Oct. 10th
- Last week I created an entire timeline for the sequel – The Light Never Lies – and I actually began writing the first chapter last night
- Building my social media platform – that includes this blog
- Reading various books related to writing and building said social media platform
- Getting ready for what is shaping up to look like a phenomenal driving trip to Southern California next month
- Loving the warmth of September, busy getting this winter’s fire wood in, and enjoying the garden
The final edits for Disappearing in Plain Sight are picky and tedious at times but the way the writing has cleaned up is like a breath of fresh air. When I read through the edited sections the smoothness is enough to make me quiver. Well – there it is – but admit it – you love your own stuff the same way. It’s part of the process.
Last week I pulled all 200 plus pages of notes I had written for The Light Never Lies into a comprehensive timeline with all the scenes I have envisioned laid out as they would have occurred in real-time. Some of this will play out sequentially and some will end up as back story. That allowed me to see the entry point to the story and I was able to start the real writing last night. My goal now, is to do a minimum of 2000 words per day. I plan to write-through to the end and then in subsequent drafts rearrange the back story pieces and add the details that will be necessary for readers who didn’t read Disappearing in Plain Sight first. Each novel should be able to stand alone – I recently read that somewhere.
The biggest challenge of all these days is building my social media platform. I’ve read Kristen Lamb’s popular e-book: We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and am beginning to grasp her whole idea of constructing a social media platform over interlocking Facebook, My Space, and Twitter accounts, plus a WordPress Blog. It is daunting, to say the least. I have been able to follow a couple of her suggestions. I always post a link from my Facebook page to my latest blog entry. And she has got me starting on the road to thinking about the whole concept of branding – scary as that sounds.
I am a bit encouraged as I try to build-up the blog following (a big shout of thanks to those who have been reading – don’t be afraid to click the like button if you do like it or even make a comment – I love to hear what people think of the posts) to learn that it is supposed to take a while if you do it right. My strategy has been to check out the freshly pressed blog posts on WordPress – read through until I find a few I like – press the like button and make a comment if I can think of something fresh and interesting to add to the discussion. Then I sometimes mine through the comments other people have made. I’m looking for something that catches my eye and then I check out that person’s blog. It’s all very time-consuming, though quite interesting. By the way – I can’t just like anything to build a following and I don’t follow anyone for the same reason – so if I liked your post it was because I really liked your post and if I’m following you it’s because I’m really interested! Felt I had to say that. Self-promotion, branding, and building my platform makes me feel a bit of a phony at times.
Funny aside – I made a comment on a very popular blog a while back – broadsideblog – and at the end I said how great the blog name was but instead of broadsideblog I wrote broadstreetblog – cue the video of me shoving a paper bag over my head. I quickly posted an additional comment to apologize. I wrote the correct name of the blog and said it was an example of how one could never proof read enough. This was as good a recovery as I could come up with. Thanks so much broadsideblog for you’re happy face emoticon in response.
I have been reading a couple of Bob Mayer’s books on writing: The Novel Writer’s Toolkit and Write it Forward: From Writer to Successful Author. He is a very successful author; he’s published in both the world of traditional publishing and self-publishing. He’s written successful novels in a number of genres. His background is in US Special Forces and the Green Berets. His books on writing are a bit like a self-help boot-camp. I’ve picked up a couple of interesting tidbits for sure and I’ve had some really good belly laughs, too. I am always fascinated to encounter interesting juxtapositions. Special Forces training as a model for going from a writer to a successful author are certainly a new set of linkages for me.
The trip to Southern California is shaping up in an exciting way. Blog followers – you can look forward to at least three posts per week with a couple of great photos and as much interesting commentary as I can manage. Travelling with Bruce is a bit like going to boot camp – he is the type of person who wants to squeeze as much out of every single day on the road as can be managed. This means getting up and out by 6:00am at the latest, jam-packing as much into each day as is humanly possible, and then falling into bed in a stupor by 10:00pm at the latest. Sometimes I don’t make it past 9:30pm! But I will endeavour to make notes as the days go by so I have something to post.
This September has been lovely here – we haven’t had a drop of rain the entire month and the garden is beautiful. We’re eating our own beans practically every day and loving it. Bruce has been busy splitting out the last of this winter’s firewood and baking it out in the driveway. Life is good.
So that self-locates me for the moment. What about you? Where are you at in the journey? Let me know – I’d love to hear and I promise to reply.