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, August 27, 2013

Passion, Priorities and Promises

Someone emailed me awhile back with a question: How do you keep the enthusiasm going for your writing?

I can answer in three words:

Passion

Priorities

Promises

Only now I need more words to elaborate so here we go:

By Passion, I mean one's talent, dreams, goals, desires. And like most writers, mine was to write and be published. That happened early on. My first story sold when I was 25, and I had articles published in a local newspaper. Then my Passion became to write a novel and get it published. Guess what, that never happened until nearly 40 years later, due to Priorities. My novel House of Diamonds is about a writer who must postpone her passion due to her priorities, and yes it is autobiographical.

Priorities -- those things that one is responsible for based on choices made. Like children in my case. My husband and I had ten children, and little did my clueless self realize how much time, attention, and energy they'd take for many years to come. I absolutely was not able to focus on writing a book while I was in this child-nurturing phase. Some women may be able to do it. I couldn't. So I wrote short pieces, and journaled, and sold a couple more stories.

Promises to oneself go deep and never really go away, even when they may not happen until years later. When I was a child I promised myself I'd be a writer. I never lost the Passion. I put it on hold due to Priorities. And now I am keeping that Promise.

But there is one more P word which can derail all of it. Can you guess what that is?

Procrastination

It's one thing to postpone the work because another Priority takes precedence. Oh my this post is just full of P words! But when your time is now and still you procrastinate for no really good reason, well then just stop it! Because you owe it to yourself to keep your promises. (And this is what I tell myself on a regular basis.)

This is me with two of my Priorities who grew up to help me realize my Passion. The little boy (Billy #5) edited Farm Girl and the little girl (Liesel #6) has edited all my other books.




Thursday, August 15, 2013

Social Media Disconnect or How Will Our Marriage Ever Survive This??

I like Facebook. My husband on the other hand, takes no part in it. He deleted his Facebook page some years ago when neighborhood kids, friends of our younger sons, wanted to be his "friend." It creeped him out, and he decided to de-activate his account. He didn't want to be that old guy who Facebook friended all the girls and boys in the neighborhood.

So we have this conversation the other day about a post I put up on Facebook in honor of our wedding anniversary:

Me: Did you see what I posted on Facebook about our anniversary?

Him: No. I never go on Facebook. Facebook and me don't get along.

Me: Well you should at least look at my page.

Him: I don't even know how to get to your page.

Me: You click on my author website, find the "F" icon on the sidebar, click it and it will take you right to my personal page.

Him: (saying nothing but looking puzzled and distressed)

Me: That way you can see what I'm up to.

Him: I'd rather just walk into the other room and see what you're up to.

This is what you call social media disconnect, or a failure to communicate through social media. It must be a good thing, since we've lasted 43 years without talking to each other on Facebook. I guess we won't start now. Especially since there's no way he will activate his account.

On our wedding day, August 13, 1970:
(We were not really as young as we look here, like about 14 don't you think? We were actually both 22, felt like we were so grown up and knew everything.)



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Writing for the Internet and other Insecure Writer Options

I saw this exchange somewhere: I'm a writer. What kind? An Internet writer.

First time I've ever seen that term "Internet writer" but I like it. Sounds so much more professional than "blogger." I'm a writer.  What kind? A blogger. Ohh--kay.

I mean, I regularly post status updates on the Facebook pages I manage. These lead to sales. That makes me an Internet writer. Someone who makes money by writing on the Internet. How cool is that?

I write clever tweets that bring me followers on Twitter. Which may lead to something like sales. So look at that, I'm an Internet writer.

Well, I'm also a novelist. And a blogger. Basically, I'm a social media addict. And an Internet writer. Whoo ah!


Are you a writer? If so, what kind? (Besides being an insecure one haha.) And come on, when people ask what you do, how easy is it to say I'm a writer. For me, it's not easy at all.

Five books published and I still find it impossible to say "I'm a writer" to someone's face, without grimacing. Personally, I think it's because of the money factor.

If I paid my rent and bought food every week with income from my writing it would be a different story. Otherwise, it's like telling people "I'm a gardener" or "I write in my journal" or "I decorate the house." These are all things I do but I don't earn a living at it anymore than I earn a living at writing novels. And saying "I'm a writer" isn't going to change that fact. What might change it is writing and selling more books, which of course is an ongoing process.

Do you say you're a writer when someone asks what you do?

Bonus for those of you who made it to the end of this rambling post: My cookbook Farm Girl Country Cooking: Hearty Meals for the Active Family is free this week on Kindle. Click here to download yours.