#Truth: The Publishing World is Rigged

Let’s be honest—the publishing world is rigged.

After twenty years wrestling with words, agents, editors, publishers, and social media, I’m not saying this in a bitter way. Just as a matter of fact.

Continue reading “#Truth: The Publishing World is Rigged”

Finding the Gumption to Start

The hardest part of writing is the first line—it’s just summoning up the gumption to start.

startSome days I sit for minutes that drag on and on, finger poised over the keyboard, unmoving. When nothing comes to me, I distract myself with e-mail or Instagram, talk to the dogs, or scroll through Facebook, anything to delay those first words.

 

According to popular writing advice, those first sentences are critical. Publishing blogs quote agents who advise writers to Continue reading “Finding the Gumption to Start”

Do You Want More Suspense in Your Life?

So many people have told me I have to read Catherine Ryan Hyde. So finally, I purchased one of her books – Stay.

Stay

I read it on my kindle which is often not as good an experience for me as paper. It is harder for me to get a real sense of the book. I’m not sure why. Maybe I am a tactile person, but I think the cover, the heft, the quality of the actual book affect how I feel about a book. I just don’t have the same affection or love for an ebook as I do for a paper book.

Kindle aside, Continue reading “Do You Want More Suspense in Your Life?”

SHOW YOUR WORK A Week Later

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 Continue reading “SHOW YOUR WORK A Week Later”

SHOW YOUR WORK: Make the time   

Technically, there wasn’t time for work today. That doesn’t mean I didn’t work.

I drove three hours south to our tiny cabin in VA, where I’ll be for the next ten days. We are in the final stages of finishing renovating it and preparing it to become a rental (which makes me sad because it is my favorite place in the world these days). The next ten days are the push – put on new steps/deck, deal with a water issue once and for all, build an entry path from parking area to house, plus a million little finish details inside and create the website to start renting it.

DSC_2331

That will all get done. It will. But my book’s release date is only getting closer, so at the same time, I have to find the time to do the work to promote it.

So today I got up at five and Continue reading “SHOW YOUR WORK: Make the time   “

SHOW YOUR WORK Even If It Scares You

Today was a day of reaching out for help.

I worked on letters to the adopters of dogs mentioned in the book, dog-friends, friend-friends, and dog-related media. I didn’t send many of them out. It’s hard to ask for help, even though help is what I need.

I am not very technically gifted and the internet and social media still baffle me on a regular basis. I have to ask my daughter for help navigating Instagram (is it really not very user friendly or am I just old?).  My nebulous hold on Twitter is getting stronger, but I’m way behind on hashtags. I gave up on Tumblr and abandoned the blog I have there. Even Zoom flummoxed me today.

I’ve decided to focus on Facebook. So, today I created a page, just for the new book!

FB cover for book page

You can like/follow here, and I would be SUPER DUPER happy if you did. I’d be even happier if you set clicked the little notification tab and agreed to have FB send you notifications when stuff happens on that page.

It’s a first step. A late first step, but a step nonetheless.

Next step is to recruit a ‘launch team.’ I’m still figuring out what a launch team will do, but thankfully, I have the help of a skilled and experienced writer and dog-hearted person who offered to help me. Tomorrow we ZOOM to figure out the plan.

I’m a pretty self-reliant person. I hate to ask others to do for me, and when I do, I rarely ask directly. I usually drop hints, complain of how I am overloaded, and even occasionally when it comes to my children, employ guilt.

But, you know what? I can’t do this by myself and this is too important not to do it well. So, once again, setting my big fat ego aside, and moving forward.

Once I understand how the launch team will work, I’ll send out more of those carefully crafted letters and hope that a few of my people will want to join my team and help make this book and its message a success.

Scared?

Yes, I am. But pretty much everything about writing, or at least publishing, is scary.

So bring on the monsters.

I’m ready.

Or at least I will be.

Hey, thanks for reading. I know you’ve got lots of options, so thanks for sharing a few of your minutes with me.

Honored,

Cara Sue Achterberg with pupCara

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.

And If you’re a dog lover, check out my other blog, Another Good Dog. And if you want to know what is really happening in the animal shelters in this county, visit, Who Will Let the Dogs Out.

I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, and I’m thrilled to get email from readers (and writers), you can reach me at carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

COMING JULY 2020 from Pegasus books (available for preorder):

100 dogs cover

Available now:

Another Good Dog cover

Find out more about fostering dogs at AnotherGoodDog.org!

 

SHOW YOUR WORK Even When You’re In a Hurry, Hurry, Hurry  

AH! I almost forgot to write this Show Your Work post. Sorry, but this is gonna be a quick slap it together in ten minutes.

What did I do today that I can show you?

Not so much. I worked on two articles for two different publications, both of which have invited me to write about the shelter situation and highlight what I learned while working on my newest book, 100 Dogs. It’s a great opportunity to reach new minds and hearts with the situation in the shelters. Both are dog-oriented magazines.

I have the basic articles finished, but now comes the hard part. I think of it as carving. I have to shave off the parts that don’t work and polish the better parts so that what I’m trying to say is clear and center-staged and not dragged off down the wrong alley on a tangent like I so often tend to do. Wow. That was a horrible mixing of metaphors. But I’m going to leave them there because there’s no time to fix it and I’m just about worded out.

I also wrote a quick blog post on my foster dog blog which begged for help, shared the link to my the first episode of my podcast, and explained why my foster dog was dropped at the vet’s for two days.

Other than that, I continued my frenetic begging of reviewers for my book and practiced reading on my laptop’s camera app so I can record me reading the first chapter of the new book for a promtional. That was kind of fun – although painful for me to look at my old self. I did figure out which side of the laptop to place my book on so as to not highlight quite as many wrinkles. (Sorry. Vanity. I’m working on it.)

I think that’s it. Now I’ve got to buzz out of here to celebrate my daughter’s 21rst birthday with Indian food and Key Lime Cheesecake!

Happy Tuesday. Hope you are writing. I’m still waiting for one of you to ‘share your work’ with me in the comments! Or maybe just give me your thoughts on Austin Kleon’s book, Share Your Work. I’m still working my way through it. It’s at least half picture-book. I wish there was more substance and less cheerleading and pictures. At least it motivated me to get writing on this blog, though. That’s a good thing.

Write on and read on, my friends. And share your work in the comments, just so I don’t think I’m writing into a vacuum.

Hey, thanks for reading. I know you’ve got lots of options, so thanks for sharing a few of your minutes with me.

Cara Sue Achterberg with pupHonored,

Cara

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.

And If you’re a dog lover, check out my other blog, Another Good Dog. And if you want to know what is really happening in the animal shelters in this county, visit, Who Will Let the Dogs Out.

I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, and I’m thrilled to get email from readers (and writers), you can reach me at carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

COMING JULY 2020 from Pegasus books (available for preorder):

100 dogs cover

Available now:

Another Good Dog cover

Find out more about fostering dogs at AnotherGoodDog.org!

 

SHOW YOUR WORK Controlling What You Can Control   

Lately much of my life feels out of my control, not the least of which is this challenge of releasing a book in the time of COVID.

Today I spent my entire day begging for reviewers on Instagram, WordPress, Twitter, and pretty much anywhere I could find a dog-friendly writer (or bookstagrammer or bookblogger) who might be interested in reading my book and reviewing it on their platform.

100 dogs coverThis frenetic activity was triggered by the news that Continue reading “SHOW YOUR WORK Controlling What You Can Control   “

SHOW YOUR WORK: Even If You Can’t See It

Today I am sad.

Everywhere I turn there is righteous anger and unspeakable injustice and unfair generalizations and misinformed assumptions and I hurt.

Hurt. Hurt. Hurt.

This hurt loaded on top of the fear and uncertainty that has become a part of our days. My right shoulder, that always lets me know when my load is too large, is burning. My stomach, which recoils at conflict, sadness or frustration is churning.

I’m craving quiet but Continue reading “SHOW YOUR WORK: Even If You Can’t See It”

SHOW YOUR WORK: Sometimes you have to get over yourself.

This morning I filmed an interview with a talented videographer (who happens to live in my house, at least temporarily).

He set up his studio on our screened-in porch, being careful to arrange my chair so the beam wasn’t coming out of my head in the shot. Then he propped up the microphone just out of the set on a box, pillow, and two books.

We waited out the neighbor’s chainsaw and then the garbage truck, and commenced filming. Normal Cara, who is ridiculously self-conscious, would probably have Continue reading “SHOW YOUR WORK: Sometimes you have to get over yourself.”