Wednesday, July 2, 2014

An Author's Failure ... or is it?

I wish I had excellent words of wisdom oozing from my brain to share with you regarding my writing journey. Though my love is found in writing fiction, I often feel inadequate when it comes to my experiences with my career though I have experienced quite a bit!

I started out with a small publisher who simply extended her service under CreateSpace, though she is an excellent cover artist and formatter. I crashed and burned when I tried to get my books to book stores and though CreatSpace's distributors could get your books directly into brick and mortar stores, I learned the hard way that my books were NOT set up that way.

I had to bring my own box in and sell it differently than other authors at book signings. I have been taken advantage by these stores (not all, most have integrity). What's sad, is that this is a race of one as an author.

I understand that we are networked and support one another, but realistically, we are so busy surviving life with a regular job that writing is a side thing though it does NOT feel that way. How can we make more time for flailing writers who need our expertise? Oh, yes, there are many writers out there who are willing to mentor and share secrets, but those are very rare to find!

Needless to say, I lost all confidence in my career when my old publisher decided to restructure her company and everyone became Indie: we would utilize one another's expertise and help get our individual books published that way.

Though Darkspell was my first published, it was not my first written. I have been writing for over twenty years and decided to push that one the hardest. I became lost and eventually orphaned from my publisher, but I kept writing and writing.

Though I have stumbled much thereafter, I have not given up on my love of writing and have come across second chances that feel like a slow take-off, but I have been led where I am at for a divine purpose that only the future will tell.

As Emily Mah had mentioned, Cinderella stories are far and few and success is dependent upon the view of the beholder. For some, success is simply getting that book published. After all, that is a significant goal accomplished!

What hard-learned experiences do you have that you'd like to share?



  1. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for the post.

    I've always had a difficult relationship with my writing. I love it. It takes up so much time. And then there's the publishing thing.

    Last weekend I spent nearly every waking hour finishing a quilt. My mom had meant to make it for one of my nephews, but she only bought the material and made a few sketches before she became ill and passed away.

    As I sat in her chair and sewed on her machine, I thought that my mom loved quilting like I love to write. She spent hours making beautiful quilts for her family members, and was content that only a few special people would ever enjoy the results of all those hours of labor.

    Of course my dream has always been to walk into a library and find a shelf full of books with my name on the spine. But maybe there's some way to use my passion for words to benefit those I care about the most. Two years ago, my mom created a book of photos and journal entries from her young mother years. She only made seven copies, one for each child and one for herself. Very limited print run, and one of my most precious possessions.

    Still mulling it over. Here's the quilt:

    1. Hi, Rebecca!!!

      Thank you so much for this wonderful reply--I am sorry to hear of your mother's passing. ((hugs)) I love how your mother made copies of her young mother years, that's so precious! I would love to follow her example and do the same because that kind of book is priceless and I know my kids would love it...

      Thank you for sharing this with me, Rebecca, I am humbled by your thoughts and makes me feel that I need to stop worrying about so many things...


  2. I think the only secret is that there aren't any secrets. It's like when someone comes up to you and asks, "How do you get your ideas?" Your response is probably something along the lines of, "I practice getting ideas every day. I have for years."

    Not sure if this is your situation at all, Elizabeth, but sometimes I see people suffer from a breakdown in process. The pattern is always: Set a goal, go out and research how other people get there, and then go there yourself. If you feel short on mentors, it's worth checking to see if you did steps 1 and 2. There are a ton of authors in the world, but in order to find a good mentor, you need to find one who's a good fit for you, and that means they had the same goals as you (step 1). Then, they may not have time for one-on-one communication, but they'll likely have a blog, their own how-to book, and be good for quick conversations at author events and such (step 2).

    1. Great advice,Emily, thank you. It's important to be able to find and relate with someone who does have the same goals--especially when finding a mentor... :)


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