Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Writer's Journey

I started this blog 2 1/2 years ago very insecure, newly published with a brand new small press, my first novel out, doubting that I'd ever find an audience for it. My blog connected with other insecure writers, some published, others on their way, many feeling as insecure about publication as I felt about book sales.

Discovering this community helped me feel like a part of something.

Along the way, I've seen blogging friends get contracts with agents and/or publishers. Some chose to self-publish. Some are sticking with the original plan to get the dream agent, to get the big publisher. It's all cool.

Go wherever your heart takes you, there's no right or wrong way. It's not marriage or parenthood, it's book publishing--a career choice, not a life choice with eternal consequences. Your spouse won't leave you, your children won't die or end up in prison because you chose to self-publish or wait for just the right publishing contract.

After two years of sharing writerly journeys, things change. I see a lot happening. Even the publishing industry has changed in amazing ways! And we writers blog about it and make decisions and share our joys and frustrations with each other. Online is where I found my writing community.

Where am I after two years? More active on social media, for one. (In varying degrees--Twitter, Facebook, Google+) A second novel published and the third heading to the editor. Less frustrated about sales. (I'll write the books, the sales will come or not.) Somewhat less awkward about promoting my books.(Still insecure about that part of it.)

I spend less time blogging and more time writing. (It used to be the opposite.)

Sometimes I wonder what the next two years will hold. Truthfully? I have no clue. I'd like to have more books out but other than that....not sure where I see myself in two years. How about you? Do you think you'll still be blogging? Published? Bestselling author? Tired of the whole scene?

48 comments:

  1. I hope to still be here! I have one more book to write.
    And obviously I named the IWSG correctly, didn't I?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alex, I see you as a top seller on Kindle. And maybe I should have saved this post for Dec 7?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hope to still be here. I hope you are too! You're one of my favorite people. Love you lots, Karen. You've been an inspiration to me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can only say would I'd like to see:
    A memoir finished and published.
    An online photo-store/gallery set up.
    At least one poetry collection published.
    Several more of my photos on book covers.
    I'll still be here also...

    ReplyDelete
  5. In two years, I hope to be more secure in my role as published author. And if have two more books published by then, maybe I will be. I also expect I'll still be blogging.

    May the next two years treat you well!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoy your blog so much. I just wanted to share that. And, yes, I hope to still be blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Karen, the feeling's mutual. You've been very supportive over the years. Congrats on your success. You've worked hard and deserve it.

    As for me, I hope to at least have my first book completed and be querying publishers. By the way my editing is going, it will take me two years to get through it all. Yes, I will still be whining--I mean blogging about it. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting post, Karen, with good advice. I have written a short story which I wonder whether to attempt publishing. Hmm! don't laugh but it is a love story which I wrote 2 years ago. I posted it in three installments and received some very good comments but I have taken it off my blog for now. Can I send a script to you for a look see? I did wonder whether to try to approach the BBC for thier afternoon theatre slot. Anyway I'll send an email if I may ~ Eddie

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, Karen, I am in a similar place. I'm blogging less, but not writing more. Life happens, doesn't it. In two years, I still see myself writing - hopefully, still blogging, because this community is incredible.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm blogging less and writing more, but I'm in first draft mode right now so that's just the way it goes. I haven't quite made it to my one year blogaversary yet, so who knows if I'll be here in another year. I hope so. I hope to have a trilogy on it's way to publication by then (stop laughing, it could happen). Totally agree that everyone has a different journey for publication/writing, and that's the way it should be.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I spend less time blogging and more time writing too, but this blogging community is amazing. Super supportive and inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What? Nobody thinks they'll be a bestselling author? Where's the confidence? (Haha, me neither)

    Eddie, By all means email me with your ideas. I'm still waiting on that cookbook with anecdotes btw :)

    Andrea, Funny thing when I read your comment, I don't feel like a success at all. I just basically put one foot in front of the other and my reality never manages to achieve the level of my expectations.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've been asking myself this question lately. The industry is changing so fast, I'm not sure any of us can predict where we'll be. Like you, I'm going to keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Keep on blogging - keep on writing - let the dust settle and thicken, it will still be there tomorrow:-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Two years' time?!?! Yikes!! Oh to be honest, I'd love to be in Bora Bora Island running an animal sanctuary with Charlie! LOL! Or marry Daniel Craig. Or both. Hey a gal can dream can't they!!??! LOL!

    Anyway!

    Awww but I love your bloggie journey - I feel you've grown in confidence - truly - your blog's changed so much and yet the giraffe is still around! Hooorah!!

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well you'd better all still be writing so that non-writers like moi will have plenty to read!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I hope to still be blogging two years from now. (Heck, I hope I'm still BREATHING two years from now!)I also hope I'll have learned to balance my blogging/writing time better. I'm spending a lotta, lotta, lotta time on Blogger, and not nearly enough on my WIP. It'd be nice if my current work is published (one way or another) and I've made good headway on a trilogy. (Hey! It could happen!!)

    ReplyDelete
  18. They attached the "best selling author" name to my first book because for a while it was no 1 over The Help on Amazon Kindle - but, I think until you have NYT Bestselling Author next to your name, it probably doesn't count for much *laugh* ... or maybe it does ... lawd.

    I like how you wrote sales will be how they are, so we might as well write, right? right!

    Two years from now - I hope I'm working on a new book while novels/novella that are published already are doing well enough that I can say "well enough" :-D

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'd love to be writing a whole lot more and 'agented' and yes, all of the above... except I'd never tire of it - its my dream job. Two years time? Bring it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. In two years, I am going to look like Kate Moss, dance like Rihanna and have hair like Cheryl Cole. I may also be going for therapy to get rid of my delusional state. As for the writing, in truth, I'd like to be on the stage a lot more, doing my stuff. But how that will fit in with fulltime teaching ...? Hm.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have found that some people make life happen and others let life happen to them. Sounds like you have done the former and have met success. Never be afrain of what is down the road, because it is the road itself that is the adventure.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great post! I loved the depth and the honesty. We met not long after you started blogging. Hadn't a clue where I was going (seriously!) - just had a duffel bag of stories and a determination to hang in there, regardless. Then, I entered a blog fest, wrote a brief story that touched others but ignited a passion in me to get a deeper story out from a certain era. As I sit here, "Remy Broussard's Christmas" is climbing in the charts on Kindle. Who wouda thunk it, a gal from the middle of nowhere? So, where do I want to be in two years? Whereever Destiny's train takes me. I'll take my chances on life's train station.

    ReplyDelete
  23. A blogger I've known quite awhile and admire just shut down her blog. Makes me sad, but we have to do what feels right for our lives and career. I think I will still blog in two years, but I try not to let it stress me. I blog a couple of times a week unless life interferes. No schedule/no pressure. I like to interact with other writers in this kind of forum.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I hope to still be here in two years and hopefully with a book published or on the way to being published. I'm glad that you blog and share your journey with us.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Although I still blog, I'm blogging less and writing more. I feel better that way. I agree with your thoughts on the writing community however, they are a great group of people with whom we can really connect on a level few people understand. Great post, Karen.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have only been blogging for about 7 months and it is so cool to read this and how far you have come...what you have done. 2 years is not a lot of time and it is amazing what we can accomplish. I hope to still be blogging and have my book published.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's nice to look back on the journey. Not sure where I will be - insane probably!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Changes come at paces no one can imagine.
    The very best to you no matter which way you choose.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm not sure where I'll be in two years. I hope I'm published, blogging and doing school visits. That would be my dream...

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think about this a lot--I've been blogging for 2 1/2 years, finally have a publisher, and have all the sales and promotional anxieties ahead of me. I will definitely be spending more time on my writing. Although I have benefited a great deal from connecting with other writers through blogging, I hate for my own blog to become a burden. I think I'll just continue on the slow steady path...

    ReplyDelete
  31. I like how you analize the situation to show that everything changes in unexpected ways. That is the point. I don't see anything but my passion to keep writing and the hope to connect with readers who have an interest in what I write. It may not sound very ambitious, but I believe passion, persistence and discipline may lead somewhere. I just enjoy the journey.

    ReplyDelete
  32. One of the greatest joys in my life is being part of the bloggers community! I am not sure where my writing will ever go, but I hope to be blogging forever!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I like this two year outlook. I hope to find a more balanced way to work -- this will be key for me to make better use of my time.


    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

    ReplyDelete
  34. I know where I want to be. But I have no idea where I will be in two years. I take each day as it comes :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. In two years I'll have two books out in the world. Eek! Now that's a scary thought. Hopefully, I be balancing the whole social networking thing with my writing better than I am now. Or maybe I'll get lucky, and the days will magically get longer. *grin*

    ReplyDelete
  36. It's been a packed 2.5 years. Congrats on all your successes and thanks for all your posts and inspiration. As to the next two years - don't know! But it'll be an adventure ...

    ReplyDelete
  37. It's been fun reading these comments. When I began this blog, I followed writers who were just starting out and now some of these have found agents and/or publishers, have released more than one book, and I have no doubt that in two years from now, some will be bestselling authors.

    I can think of a few who are definitely on their way. And in 2 years there will be more progress all around.

    I absolutely would not let go of a writer's blog that has taken years to develop. I'm not sure why people do, as it's an effective tool. Not the only one, but definitely a blog should be part of the writer's "tool box." It's up to me to make sure I don't overuse it and waste time online instead of writing novels.

    You know what I would really love to do in two years? To have the funds to set up a writer's retreat, where all of us who have met online can gather someplace really cool and not terribly expensive, for a 5 day writing retreat.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Maybe it's a good job we don't genuinely know what will be happening in two years time. Let's hope for publication, prosperity and peace of mind.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Probably. Yes. And ooo, I hope big yes!!! It's good to be writing more than blogging. But it's also good to keep up w/the network. What a fun journey you've had. Great work, Karen! :o) <3

    ReplyDelete
  40. I've blogged for almost seven years now. I've scaled back, but I don't see giving it up.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Well, I can't see what I'll be doing 2 months from now let alone 2 years. LOL But it's all good no matter what. :-)
    My blogging has cut down a bit, but I think it's something I'll continue to do.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think a lot, especially as I get OLDER, about the eternal scheme of things. Writing has been fun, and also getting published, and I'll keep doing both. But I don't think these are the most important things in my life.

    Like everyone else, I've been writing more and blogging less. There's more of a balance now. Otherwise, I wouldn't get another book or story written!!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow, you've accomplished a lot in two years. Congratulations!

    I started my blog with the desire to write and as a vehicle for getting read. Now, here I am, a year and a half later, still blogging (though lately not enough), with one half-completed novel and another in development. I've shelved the first to agonize the second and am not getting much done on it, either. But I wouldn't be this far without you guys, my blogger family.

    Thank you for an inspiring post, that rebel, Olivia

    ReplyDelete
  44. Great post. It's nice to see where things have gone for you since you began, and your asides are good points. I'd like to be published and have a better grasp on minimizing blogging time.

    ReplyDelete
  45. You have come a long way! I too have started to blog less and write more. I still love catching up with old friends though. Good luck with all your projects. x

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Karen .. well done - and fantastic you cracked both worlds .. the blogging one and publishing by going your own route with WiDo .. you are showing us the way - and we all learn from each other.

    In two years I'd love to still be blogging and I sincerely hope I'll have published a few 'books'/anthologies ...

    It's just fun to be a part of this community - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete