For now. First, apologies to all my brilliant writer/blogger friends. I haven't been making the rounds to comment on your blogs. I have, however, been lurking. I'm an excellent lurker. I subscribe to a lot of blogs via email so there are certain blogs I've been reading the last couple of months, but I haven't been around to comment and for that I am sorry.
Obviously, things have been crazy. Regular old full-time-job-have-a-family crazy. But also, I've been taking a lot of time away from social media to simply write. It's very exciting. A few months ago, I read one of Libby Heily's blog posts which was delivered to me via email and she directed her readers to a blog post by Jamie Todd Rubin called 100 Consecutive Days of Writing. This was a fairly life-changing blog post for me. Like me, Rubin has children and a full-time job. Finding time to write is nearly impossible. You can read his post but basically, he gave himself a goal of writing for 100 days straight, even if it was only one word.
I decided to do my own 100 day challenge less all the math (i.e. keeping track of word count, making graphs,etc). I committed to writing something every day for 100 days, even if it was only one word. (Like Rubin though, this also included re-writing meaning revisions--shaping that rough draft into something readable. As long as I was working on my book for a few minutes a day, I counted that.) In less than 100 days, my third novel, which has been languishing in first draft form on my hard drive for over a year transformed into a cohesive, satisfying second/third draft that I was able to finally send off to critique partners. Imagine if I had done this 100 day challenge last year. I could probably have 2 books under my belt by now!
The beauty of the challenge, for me, is that it is an attainable goal. I can find ten minutes, sometimes more, in even the most hectic day to jot down a few words, and over time those words add up. Also, I don't have the constant pressure of that little voice in my head whispering, urging, hissing: "You should really be writing." I write for 100 days and then I give myself time off to not think about writing at all. I read a crap-ton of books. I watch TV. I watch a whole bunch of movies I wanted to see but didn't because I was writing instead. I have permission to slack off.
|These are my 100 Post-It notes. Each day, after writing, I tear off one, till I get to 0|
Then I start again! (I'm on my second 100 day challenge now and I'm excited to see what I've got after 100 days!)
While I was writing my little behind off, amazing things were happening with my first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher.
I made my local, neighborhood paper's online edition after FCF won the eFestival of Words award--and they are pretty selective over there so this was pretty darn exciting to me.
Then it showed up on Wal-mart's website. It's a mystery as to how it got there, but it was there for a time. Wal-mart must have gotten wise that I'm not big and famous because it has since been removed from the inventory although for some reason the reviews still show up. While it was on there, I ordered one just to see if it was for real, and it was! So I ordered my book from Wal-mart for all fifteen minutes it was on there! LOL.
Then, most recently, Finding Claire Fletcher made a bestseller list on Amazon! Over the weekend it peaked at #8 on the Kidnapping Crime Fiction bestseller list. As of this writing, it's lingering somewhere between 11 and 15. But holy $%*#&$& $*#&&$&!!!! I do not believe it. Let's not forget that this is the book that over 150 agents and over a dozen publishers passed on. For it to make ANY bestseller list is pretty incredible. Especially coming from an unknown newbie with a small press. When my launch date was approaching, several of my fellow authors cautioned me that the majority of small press authors would be lucky to sell 250 copies of their book ever, so I had no expectations. More or less, my goal was to sell 251 books and feel pretty awesome about myself. But this book consistently surprises even me.
Not only that, but once it made it into the Kidnapping Crime Fiction category, it shot up to #1 in Top Rated Kidnapping Crime Fiction. (That's the list based on REVIEWS, not sales. Almost everyone I know has been quite confused by this.) I had almost a bigger holy #$%& reaction to this than all the earlier news because seeing my book with a #1 next to it--any #1, except maybe a on a Most Rejected list, hah hah--well, there's just no way to describe how that feels. Euphoria. That's pretty accurate. Pure, unadulterated euphoria.
As I always say, I'm not breaking any records, but this is beyond my wildest expectations as an author--and it's pretty $&%#ing cool. And who knows how long this will last--I'm just enjoying it while it's all here.
I have to, of course, thank all my friends, family, readers and supporters. Without all of you spreading the word and propping me up during the down times, I would have no book and no success.
Finally, enough about me! My brilliant, amazing friend and fellow author, Carrie Butler recently released the 2nd book in her Mark of Nexus series. It's called Courage and it's flipping awesome. I do not like romance and I do not like paranormal but I freaking LOVE this series. Book by book, Carrie is converting me. So if you haven't read her first book, Strength--go get it, read it, and then buy and read Courage! You won't be sorry. (You can read my review here.)
Thanks for stopping by! :)