Most people consider me to be a close-mouthed person. A coworker once said that I’d be married for six months before anyone even knew I had a boyfriend.
I guess it’s true that I can be a little secretive. Not that people would suspect that when they are reading a blog where I share my thoughts with the world.
But I am keeping a pretty big secret from family and friends. I’ve been writing for ten years. Well, it’s probably a lot less when you subtract those months when I wasn’t writing because I was in meltdown mode, sure I was the worst writer to ever create an account on Amazon Kindle.
Regardless of how long I’ve been at it, only two people know about my goal to make a living as a writer. And that creates a bit of a problem with the e-book sales. I’ve read a lot of advice (that I mostly haven’t followed) on how to sell more e-books.
One way to increase sales is to tell family and friends so they can buy my books, leave reviews (which are important), and spread the word about the books. I have absolutely no plans to get book sales that way. I’m concerned about how people who know me will respond to my books.
In case you haven’t personally experienced this, family and friends are big on brutal honesty. I don’t think I can handle that. It’s one thing to have a total stranger ask, “She got paid for that?” It’s another thing to get that from loved ones.
It could take weeks – maybe even months – to recover from the devastation of having someone close to me say unflattering things about my writing. There would probably be weeping involved. And since my female lead characters are pretty similar to me, they might also be crying. No one wants to read a book about a constantly sobbing woman.
So I’ll have to remain a secret writer. Then one day, my books will be on the best sellers list, and no one will know because I use a pseudonym. That’s when I’ll tell everyone the truth so they can be suitably impressed.
A loving family member or friend will likely look at me and ask, “You got paid for that?”
And then the weeping will begin.
One autumn night ten years ago, I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling. It wasn’t because there was something interesting up there to see. I couldn’t sleep, likely because of the half gallon of coffee I’d consumed that day.
While I certainly can’t remember what was going through my mind as I lay there that night, it probably went something like this: Maybe I should cut my hair. No, I should grow my hair out. I need to lose weight. I really want to get up and eat the rest of that butter pecan ice cream I have in the freezer.
My thoughts aren’t too deep at two in the morning.
But that particular insomnia ridden night, I did have one very surprising thought. A fleeting idea moved through my sleep deprived mind that I should write a book about a psychic matchmaker.
I immediately dismissed that nonsense because I had no desire to be a writer. The idea of a writing a book seemed preposterous.
When I was in college, I’d break out in a sweat when I had to write a ten-page paper. And since I struggled to get to ten pages in school, I knew I’d never be able to write a whole entire book.
But the thought just wouldn’t go away. And so in December 2008, I started writing about Lizzie Chandler, psychic matchmaker. To my surprise, I loved doing it!
Still, I was plagued with doubts. Just because I liked writing and the story was interesting to me, that didn’t mean anyone else would want to read it.
Ignoring my doubts, I continued with the writing. After years of writing and rewriting, I put my first e-book, Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball, on Amazon.
A few days later, I decided that the whole writing thing was stupid. I couldn’t shake thoughts of the humiliation I’d feel when my book ended up with a bunch of one-star reviews. Even though I use a pseudonym, I just wouldn’t be able to go on if people thought my book sucked.
With a heavy heart—after all, I’d put a ton of work into the book—I logged on to my Amazon Kindle account to delete the book and give up on the foolish notion of becoming a writer.
I discovered something very awesome as I was looking at my account. Not only had I sold a book with no advertising whatsoever, I’d received a four-star review. I was over the moon. I was officially a writer. I was about to get rich.
Boy, have I had a very rude awakening! It’s been ten years. I haven’t made it to the best sellers list. I haven’t quit my day job to sit at home leisurely writing awesome books.
But while I am far from living my dream, I expect success to fall from the sky any day now.
I’m just a tad behind schedule with publishing my e-books.
I’ve had a few meltdowns over the past year, convinced that I was wasting my time trying to write. I stopped and started writing several times.
I even closed down this site. I didn’t need a blog about writing when I wasn’t doing any!
I think I’m back on track. For the past couple months, I’ve been writing pretty steadily. Barring a new meltdown, the third book of the Lizzie Chandler series will be online by October 1, 2018.
I’d love for my books to be perfect–error free, interesting and fun. With that goal in mind, I’ve spent countless hours proofreading and revising Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball and A Psychic Couldn’t See It.
I am nowhere near perfection with either book and never will be. I’ve never written a book before. I’d have to be completely delusional to think that I’d produce flawless books. And most days, I’m not delusional.
So why am I constantly editing e-books that are already available on Amazon? I don’t know. It’s not like I’m making big changes to the content.
No matter how many times I proofread the books, I find typos and grammatical errors. If I proof them a hundred times, I’ll find errors a hundred times. Still, I keep proofreading. It’s like an obsession.
While I play around with the first two books, the third one remains incomplete. At the end of book two, there’s a statement about when the third one will be available. If I don’t stop with the editing, I’m never going to get book three online in time.
A new year is right around the corner, and next year things are going to be different. In 2017, I’m going to write a book, put it online and move on. And if I really believe that, this is definitely one of my delusional days!
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
My first e-book, Doesn’t Take a Crystal Ball, is now available on Amazon.
Lizzie Chandler is a gifted psychic matchmaker. In need of extra money, Lizzie puts her skills to use and starts a matchmaking business. If only she could have predicted how crazy her quiet—and frankly, boring—life was about to become.
Her first client, Barb, wants a rich, well-endowed man to become husband number four. Barb goes missing, possibly kidnapped by a man she met through Lizzie. Essie, a newly divorced, seventy-eight-year-old woman, wants to find a younger man for sex. This proves to be a difficult task with Essie’s cranky ex-husband constantly underfoot. Then Lizzie meets Tessa, her first normal client. Or so Lizzie believes. Tessa already has a match in mind. His name is Eric, and Tessa’s been stalking him for months. Lizzie quickly determines that Tessa is never going to win the man of her dreams, because Eric is gay.
Lizzie’s oddball clients constantly test her patience and her sanity. Maybe she should have consulted a crystal ball before hanging that “Open” sign.
If you like the book, please tell your friends about it or leave a review on Amazon. Thanks.