I’m extremely thankful for reviews on social media for my new novel THE RENAISSANCE CLUB has helped boost its discoverability, and if you’re someone who’s posted a comment on Amazon or Goodreads, thank you so very much! If you’ve read the novel and liked it, but haven’t reviewed it, I’d love it if you could post a short review on Amazon. Reader reviews help books find a wider audience, boosting authors’ careers. If you’d like to write one, here are some ideas, from comments I’ve received. # 1: A page-turner with a surprise ending! If you love time travel, read this one. #2: The poetic descriptions of Italy made me want to travel there, and the love story touched me. #3: I loved the vivid characters, especially the fiery genius Bernini. Art and history lovers will like this book.
Should be easy, right? After all, many of us set a word count quota for the day’s writing, somewhere in the thousands of words. Surely we can spare 200 or so for a short blog. But deciding what to write about is what always stops me from blogging. Who am I as a writer? Do you really want to hear about the Green Veggie Smoothie I just made with my food processor, throwing in fresh pineapple, cucumbers, apples, spinach, lettuce, grapes, cucumber, and orange, and how it tastes like the smell of watering my garden early in the morning, before the sun is high, with hummingbirds duking it out overhead to get to the feeder above me?
Or smells like sunlight coming through the leaves. After all, I’m a poet. I need to exercise these metaphor muscles the way gardens need water and fertilizer.
But you didn’t come here to this title about blogging in order to hear that — did you? That’s the dilemma of the literary blogger. We have a tendency to get personal, to get specific, and to ignore the title topic until almost the end of the blog.
Plus, they say you have to add lots of visuals to your blogs if you want anyone reading them. We just can’t read any more without illustrations. Here’s my smoothie.
So now, to the question of how to blog as an author. Now that I have your attention with personal stuff and visuals. Here’s an excellent article on the three things you must do in an author blog.
My writing process is pretty much like going to work every day. I reserve two hours from the moment I open my eyes (with coffee — here’s another visual) and before I get started working at the mundane job, for creative writing. I’m disciplined about it, but I count everything as writing, even reading about how to write (though not reading about how to market books — that’s death to the creative flow, though very necessary in other zones of the day.)
My writing process is sort of effortless once I’m in the zone of those two hours. I know you hated hearing that, but it’s true. Assigning a regular time is like waving huge bars of chocolate in front of my Muse. She can’t resist.
So there you have it. One article of how-to, a fair amount of personal with a dash of wit (I hope), and a lot of pictures. Author blogging. It was fun!
It’s the best of times — having a book or two or more out in the world, for people to read. It’s the worst of times — feeling the constant pressure to get books into readers’ hands and Be An Author, publicly.
I’m feeling the best and worst times right now, as I prepare to have two new books launched in 2018. What to do today? That’s the first thing I think of, not the new novel or poem I’m working on. And since I’ve pledged to write two hours first thing in the morning, the question now is, do I blog or tweet or Facebook about a book already out — or do I close the curtains and the doors, pretend I’m a mushroom hidden under the forest floor, and plunge into the solitary delight of creation.
The truth is, the creative process can get lost in the marketing part of Being An Author. And that’s a shame. Writing should be the core thing.
I need to not know what comes next in my writing, so I don’t outline. I just set aside two hours first thing every morning to find inspiration. I can paint my nails, watch the leaves stir in the trees, tend my roses, but I have to be thinking creatively and feeling the creative wind blowing. For me, this is the magic spell. Make the time, and things come. Your time might be midnight or dinner hour or noon, but see if a schedule works for you.
Of course blogging and posting on social media is also writing. Sometimes the muse inclines her head toward one or another platform and says, “Go talk to them.” And then you can be both Author and Writer and maybe mention your book while you’re at it. (The Renaissance Club, forthcoming in January 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing.)
This is La Spezia — one of the locations in my work-in-progress novel, The Romantics, the story of two half-sisters, their dispute over an inherited cottage in Italy, inhabited by the ghost of the poet Shelley.
This is where I wish I was living, even imaginatively. But I’m stuck dealing with the hassles of publishing my last novel, The Renaissance Club. This is the fate of the Indie author — the self-published or micro-press published novelist. Nothing is easy, and everything takes up the precious time we need for the slow, slow, but deliciously slow creative process.
So I’m turning to one of my favorite gurus on the subject of publishing to help you navigate, if you’re trying ot decide whether to be an India author. Here’s Jane Friedman on a new twist in self-publishing: getting an agent AFTER you self-publish. And if you’re still trying to decide if you have the right stuff to be a self-publisher, here’s Jane on how to make the decision. She’s so practical, and that really helps with a highly emotional decision!
As for me, I’m an Indie at heart. I like conceiving of book covers (even if I ‘m not an artist), and I like the whole idea of marketing my stuff. I love playing on social media and establishing myself as an author this way. Blogging is what I do to relax, ditto Twitter and Facebook.
I’ll see how things go, but I may publish The Romantics on my own. There are so many good reasons to go Indie — a big one being the luxurious feeling of control. I really miss it. But the cure, of course, is writing something new.
New novel, new author website. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? I’ve looked at so many author sites and the ones that stick with me are SO SIMPLE! Simple is hard. And I’m short of funds to pay a really great designer. As the daughter of a painter, however, I have my esthetic tastes, and as the daughter of a rocket engineer (same guy), I have my HTML skills. So — drum roll, please — here’s the new author website for Rachel Dacus.