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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Coming Full Circle

I set this blog up four years ago as Coming Down the Mountain: From Reclusive Writer to Published Author. Because that's what I was. I'd been hiding in my upstairs room like Emily Dickinson, and it was time to come down from the mountain and into the world.

My first book surprised friends and neighbors because they didn't even know I was writing. When my second was released, I decided to escape my reclusive shell and go online.

The blog went through various transitions, from practically anonymous to having my full name on it, which to me never felt right for this particular site. So I've changed the title back to what it was originally, because it's always been about the writer's journey.

It is my story of how I went from reclusive writer to published author. Which is every writer's story once you get that first idea-- how you take the idea from its hidden place to shape and polish and then finally share with the world, no matter how small that world might be.

And as you do so, you leave the isolation of creation to put your work out there, hoping that someone somewhere finds it worth the time to read through to the very last page and be glad they did. Because that is who you are writing for.

I also like to share the stories of others-- how you went from reclusive writer to published author. If you're interested in doing a guest post, please email me!

41 comments:

  1. It is a big transition! I'm still not sure how it happened myself...

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  2. You are inspiring!!!

    I have been writing for years, but my writing life took a better turn when I starting blogging in 2009. I am so inspired by the writers that I follow that I write more these days than ever before. I haven't had anything published since 1986 or 87 but haven't tried much either. :) It will happen again.

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    1. Teresa, Totally agree with blogging and connecting with other writers kicking the writing into gear. Reading about someone's schedule where they write daily, so many words, participate in NaNo, getting another book out, even the rejection letters-- it's all part of what makes me get back to work.

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  3. Yes, that particular transition is, hmm, not sure I can find one adjective to describe it. I never hid that I was writing from my friends and family, but admitting and accepting that I am, indeed, a writer...well, that one I'm still working on.
    Karen

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  4. Coming full circle. I know how you feel.

    I'll send you an email soon.

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  5. Love it Karen! I've only had short stories published, I'm hoping for something bigger in the coming year or so. But I love hearing how other writers have made it. ;)

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  6. Hi Karen .. I've loved your blog since I came across it - perhaps it was the giraffe??!! But no - you've always gone out of your way for us ...

    So I'm just delighted to be around with you - hearing more stories from other authors and perhaps in the coming year - do something from my now 500 posts?! Must be mad??!! But it's fun ..

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, And I am seriously considering bringing back that giraffe! At least for the summer. His environment (Namibia) seems a bit arid for winter and spring.

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    2. Ah! - but it's warm out there ... we can plan that trip to Africa ... Namibia is beautiful ...

      Goodie .. looking forward to the old header coming back .. it sparkles my life into Africa remembrances ...

      Cheers Hilary

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  7. I feel like I've known you for years...and I have! It is fascinating to watch the journey of other writers.

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    1. LOL, Yep, I think it's been about four years, Donna.

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  8. Often these blogs are like an open diary. And I'm not published, but I would imagine the journey continues on after publication, as it isn't a destination necessarily. :)

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    1. Liz, Publication is just the beginning. Although we don't realize it til much later....

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  9. It's a funny process, isn't it... so different for everyone, yet so the same. For me it is that getting naked thing... being OUT THERE.

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    1. Hart, Oh so THAT'S what you mean by getting naked!!

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  10. My writing journey - like most, I suppose, is full of surprises - the best bits often being when I am lost! (Though I don't meet many tigers when I'm writing ...)

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  11. I imagine the journey is different for everyone--yet it's one we all share because even if the road is different, we've all felt the same highs and lows.

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  12. Success stories are best after the struggling journey!

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  13. Blogging helped me to come out of my reclusive shell too. Before I started blogging, I kept my writing bottled up in notebooks and my laptop; I never showed it to anyone except in writing classes. But now, after I've read all these posts about people who are writing and sending their work out, it's inspired me to send my work out too. I'm still getting rejections at this point (and I'm sure I'll continue to get rejections for a while, but hopefully I'll get an acceptance eventually), but it makes me feel good to be one of the people who is trying.

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    1. Same here! Nothing motivates or inspires me as much to read posts and comments from other writers.

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  14. I like the idea of going back to original blog title that emphasizes the writing journey. Because, as you said, even after publication, the journey isn't over. No rest for the weary.

    (I miss your giraffe.)

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  15. I'd be happy to do a guest post for you, Karen. Assuming you're not all sick of my story ;-)

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    1. Paul, Never! Please send me a post anytime and I'll schedule it!

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  17. Sorry. The first comment didn't come out very well :) Here's to the second version....

    And I've been privileged to be part of your journey. I remember how you sent followers my way when I first began blogging in early 2010. You already had a large following, and I so appreciated your help.

    Now I agree with you that guest posts are the next "natural" way to go. I'm sure there are many who will want to be guested here--including Charity Bradford whose book I just downloaded. Now I just have to make time to read and review all the wonderful books I've downloaded! But always trials, it seems, with Jen; with her current very trying emotional mid-life problems right now. And with aides, although as of last Saturday we now have a lovely, efficient aide that I hope we don't lose. She's SO calm, and *I* need her!! Keep your fingers crossed for me on this!!

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  18. As soon as I become published I'll contact you. I will say that blogging has revolutionized my life and turned me back to writing in a way I never was previously.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  19. Your story is an echo of my own and of almost all the writers I know personally. Few of us were tailor-made to be "public," but in seeking readers this is what we are in fact doing.
    A year ago I met an utterly extroverted writer, and had to accept that my theory about writers needed tweaking. While most who choose to spend so much time and effort in solitary work are introverted, to every rule there is an exception. No doubt this writer's life-of-the-party personality serves him well.
    Maybe the explosion in self-publishing isn't just a function of digital publishing, but also of the option of digital promotion. Our Shy Tribe can now put our self out there from the privacy of our attic, and pretend to ourselves we are not really doing it....
    And I echo what many said in the comments above- I love your novels and glad you came down.

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  20. Dear Karen, your generosity to all of us who are trying to discover the "telling" word and to craft sentences that sing always astonishes me. I've already done a guest posting for you about how Dulcy's first book came to be. But at some point I'd like to do another posting about how I wrote a romance that was turned down because it was so far from reality!!!!
    Peace.

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    1. Dee, Your post idea sounds intriguing! Let's do it. Just send it to me when you're ready!

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    2. Dear Karen, I'll add the writing of the posting to the end of this month or the beginning of March. Thank you so much for the invitation. Peace.

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  21. Glad you came out of your hidey hole into this big bad world cos lord knows we need more of you to shine a writerly light in this day and age!! Take care
    x

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  22. All these comments are just reaffirming how happy I am to be here and associating with such wonderfully positive, supportive people. Thank you!

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  23. The writing (and blogging) life is definitely a journey. It's wonderful to share this journey with other bloggers.
    Thanks for your kind comments on my latest blog look.

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  24. Thanks for sharing your story, Karen. Very interesting. I don't have much to say. I had a few short stories published under my pen-name although I confess my first short story was published in a newspaper when I was only 12. Yet I never took myself seriously until life showed me that I would not be alive forever after being hospitalized in an intensive care unit... but I believe I will always be a reclusive writer.

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  25. Hi Karen, I'm not sure how long I've been following you here, but I'm thinking it was pretty close to the beginning... You've come a long ways!

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  26. I know all the authors who read your blog must be so grateful for the good information you always provide here. I love to come and visit and learn as well. I'm glad you came down from the mountain to share your knowledge.

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  27. How the heck did you break the reclusivity? And is that even a word?

    Can't I be both reclusive AND published author? LOL
    CD Coffelt ponders at Spirit Called

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  28. You've helped a lot of writers by educating us on the steps to publishing and marketing--mainly by showing how you did it with your books. A big plus is when you when you talk about the yummy cookies you make, with pictures to illustrate! : )

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  29. LOL! Oh, so glad to know I wasn't the only one sneaking off and hiding out to write. So embarrassed to tell anyone what I was doing. :D I'll be happy to give you a post--and I love reading the stories of others!

    Great camaraderie! <3

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  30. Hi, Karen,

    I think sharing one's journey is very important to other writers. Although many are reclusive, their spirit needs to be freed. Writing sets our souls free, so we need to share it with other writer to keep them company on their journey.

    At some I would love to do a spot....

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