Okay, okay, so I kind of fell off the SHOW YOUR WORK daily bandwagon, but I have great excuses.
Excuse #1: I was getting tired of me, me, me.
When you have a new book coming out, you have to promote yourself. I always struggle with this, and that probably comes through in my promoting. I am always a little awkward and embarrassed even though, as an artist (it’s hard to call myself that, so there you go, already awkward for me), you cannot survive in the present world without promoting in some way.
I try to explain this to students when I teach Writing or Publishing classes. They don’t want to hear it, especially if they are my age or older. Why can’t we just write? I hear ya, but I didn’t make the rules.
So, anyway, back to my excuse. I was working and working, writing articles and blog posts, and putting together a launch team and designing SWAG and begging for reviews and it was getting to me. I was having all the stress with none of the fun.
Here’s the thing –when I set out to become a published author instead of a freelancer, I knew it was unlikely I would make any real money. That prophecy has proved true. And I’m fine with that. I am. But if I’m not going to make any real money, then I sure as heck better love what I do.
And I wasn’t loving what I was doing.
So I took a break. I spent a week at our cabin-in-progress, still working, still promoting, but not writing about working and promoting on this blog. Because when I was finished working and promoting, I instead sat on my porch or took a hike in the mountains or cooked a really yummy meal or spent time with my family and friends who were there building a deck while I worked and promoted.
Excuse #2: I wasn’t convinced that anything I had to say on this blog was going to be of any help to anybody.
I like my writing to matter to someone besides me, at least the writing I post for the public to see. If I’m not offering you something – new information, inspiration, or at least entertainment, then I’m not going to post. In fact, this blog has many, many draft posts that never saw the light of day.
Excuse #3: Sometimes I was just too tired.
That’s a lame one, but there it is. Most days I was still plugging away when it was well past time to start dinner (I still cook for this family because, as I said, I’m not making any real money, so I can at least make the meals.)
Today I am still a little sick of me. I’m not sure I have anything to say that will be of help to you. And, gosh, yes, I am tired.
Here I am. Because one of the things I believe so fervently about writing is–we have to show up. We have to put the words on the page. 90% of success is not giving up. So I’m not giving up.
Here’s the work I have to show today –
I recorded myself reading the opening section of my book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, and posted it on my website.
I did this to challenge myself to figure out Audacity, to practice reading out loud (because if the studios ever reopen, I hope to be the narrator for my upcoming audiobook of 100 Dogs– fingers crossed, it’s not my decision), and to promote 100 Dogs by giving away a little of the ‘prequel’. This was actually pretty fun. Just like my podcast, it was a new adventure that I am sure I will pursue in the future.
I worked on my next author newsletter, spitting out a very rough draft trying to tackle my thoughts on the current national situation balanced with promoting the new book. I always include book recommendations, a great recipe, a writing tip, and a life tip in my newsletter, so I churned those out too. It is ugly, but by next Tuesday when it comes out, it will be polished and shiny. (Wait? YOU don’t subscribe to my newsletter? Here’s the link.)
And I had a long back and forth with my editor at Pegasus about the fact that Amazon is delaying the delivery of so many of the preordered copies of my book. That one is out of our control, but I felt a little better knowing I’m not the only one worrying about it. Now Pegasus and Simon&Schuster Distribution Center are too.
Plus the regular email, social media yammering, family interruptions, and animal care (we have an extra sheep this week!).
That’s it for today. Breathe.
Now I’m headed to a park in Lancaster county to FINALLY see my parents for the first time in three months. We’re meeting up for a picnic to celebrate – four birthdays, one graduation, mother’s day, and father’s day all at once. It will be great to see their faces.
I hate this pandemic. My doctor told me at my annual physical that this could drag on for two years. I hate that idea too. But just like Amazon’s distribution, that’s out of my control.
All I can control is that I am here. I am showing up. I am doing the work. I hope you are too.
Hey, thanks for reading. I know you’ve got lots of options, so thanks for sharing a few of your minutes with me.
If you’re curious about what I’m up to, check out my website, CaraWrites.com.
If you’d like to subscribe to my (sometimes) monthly e-newsletter, click here.
COMING JULY 2020 from Pegasus books (available for preorder):
Find out more about fostering dogs at AnotherGoodDog.org!