Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reflections on Writing...And Other Stuff...

This week feels like it's moving very, very slowly. Perhaps it's because work isn't as busy but it seems like Friday is definitely taking its own sweet time in coming.

Still, the weather has brightened up and that definitely makes a huge difference. Tonight, for the first time in several days, the puppies and I got to spend some time outside this evening. I decided to start weeding a particularly weed-infested area of my garden. I meant to spend half an hour doing it but I ended up spending an hour and a half. On the plus side, the ground is looking good. On the downside, my hands are a bit cramped from the effort.

I did take the girls for a walk tonight and for the first time since we started walking almost nightly, they both walked well. I'm hoping this is a sign of things to come although it could have been a fluke. Sookie doesn't like the walks as much as Rory but I've discovered if I carry her through the door, she seems ok. She has a phobia about walking through the door. Of course, I did accidentally shut her tail in it last week so that probably does a lot to explain that. I think I felt worse about it than she did. I felt like a terrible mummy to her for doing it but she recovered nicely.

I also found out that the newspaper in my parent's down- my former 'hometown' published the interview they did with me last week about my book. It's not much but it's the first step in my efforts to do my own publicity. I wanted them to publish a blurb, they wanted an interview. It's a tiny little newspaper, not particularly journalistically brilliant, but it feels rather nice that I'm in there as a 'local author.'

My book sales are not going that badly. Although I have discovered that on Amazon, there are quite a few copies of my book available for sale 'used.' Given that I have my sales figures, I'm finding this curious. Part of me is a little offended that someone is trying to earn a profit off my book that's higher than my royalty payment but part of me is actually a little flattered that someone is going to the trouble to do so. Slowly, but surely, I'm starting to sell copies. I'm starting to get mostly good reviews and each one makes me feel like a real author.

It doesn't take much, I suppose. But each tiny thing is a step forward, no matter how small a step.

As I said the other day, it helps when you get rejections to know that you've got something out there. I got another rejection tonight for a story I submitted to an anthology. I didn't think it would bother me but it did, a little. I try not to look at the mounting stack of email rejections I've accumulated over the years and feel like I've failed somehow. I've always heard that everyone gets rejections at first. It's been a while now and all I have is rejections. I try not to listen to that little evil voice in my head that says, "you only have a novel published because you did it yourself." It's hard to ignore it sometimes because sometimes it gets meaner and says, "you can't really write, you know. You're just not good enough."

Thoughts like this are dangerous. I don't think they're true but they're an echo of the self-doubt that's so easy to feel when you constantly hear 'no' instead of one, simple 'yes.'

Still, I always said I only wanted to write to entertain and people seem to like my book so somewhere, I might be doing something right. It's nice to see yourself in print, at the very least. It happened first when I was nine and I wrote a story called "How the Sheep Got its Fleece." I wrote it after we got back from a choir concert in about ten minutes. My teacher liked it so much she typed it up and laminated it for everyone to read.

It was a thrill, especially for a nine-year-old who'd originally scribbled the story in royal blue Beryl pen ink in a blue covered lined exercise book. I felt like a writer then. I feel like a writer now, even if I'm not getting as much writing done as I'd like. The puppies are being a little difficult. They're mostly housebroken but if I ignore them and try to write, they decide to 'punish' me by going to the bathroom on the carpets I shampooed this weekend. I know it's their way of telling me I should be paying attention to them, I just don't know how to stop it. If anyone has advice, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Still, I am getting ideas all the time on my book and sometimes, that's just as good as writing it. When I do get it finished, I think it's going to be good...or, at least I hope so.

In the meantime, I do need to start doing more publicity for my book. I need to outsell the person who's selling copies of my book used, at least. I'm not in it for the money but I'd like to at least get what I'm due for the copies I'm selling.

I suppose when you find yours work being sold by a third party, it means you're doing something right, right?

Happy Thursday!

No comments: