Tag Archives: Publishing

It’s True, I Do Exist. But TB Is Half Missing.

The pinned post on my Twitter page is a photo of my first printed copies of Emerald Obsession with the comment: “It’s true, they do exist!”

That sentiment feels applicable to me today as I sit at my computer and—once again—attempt to finish my (one and only) June Blog. I started this post earlier in the month, and it had an entirely different vibe. I’m a little sad to say it was a better vibe then than now, though the change in vibration is not permanent nor completely overwhelming.

Here’s the gist: my original plan for this post was a progress update on Book Two of my series. I had completed the first draft of Treasure Bound, TB, as I still call it, and had in mind to scoop you on a few of the next steps: first-round edits, adding in a few transition scenes, prelim brainstorming for cover design and final title. Yeah, I was being optimistic; I liked how TB had wrapped up.

But no. That is not happening.

I began writing the blog while still organizing my electronic files and before I finished my critique-group edits. For your laughter and entertainment, check out these photos of my initial pile of work:

Once I made those edits, I printed the hardcopy files again and did a word count. That’s when I had a minor (okay, not-so-minor) cow.

Turns out, my much-loved (by me) sequel is not nearly as long as I thought it was. More to the point, it’s only about half the length of Emerald Obsession. OMG. I’m still uncertain as to how that happened, since the story feels much fuller even now. But I digress.

Now, since this is a sequel, and there’s a third (and final) book still to come, it’s not a problem that TB is shorter, but that was quite a helluva lot shorter than I’d expected. My plan for the editing stage had always been to write additional scenes to smooth out a couple of plot points, but this will require a chunk more writing. Ugh.

Well, not necessarily “ugh.” I do love writing, after all, and really, this is just more writing on a story I already really enjoy. The “ugh” comes into play because I’d anticipated publishing either end of this year or early next. See this photo? Notice the deadline I’d given myself?

Now that’s questionable. Not impossible, but questionable.

So, dear readers and friends, there you have it. Partly I’ve been MIA as I’ve tried to cope with this writing setback, partly because I’ve already begun work to flush out certain aspects of the storyline (yay), and partly because I’m still working ri-donk-ulous shifts at the “day” job, which severely interferes with my creative brain power and awakeness. Ah, the joy. Wink, wink. But I do exist!

To think, this month started with so much promise. I’d just held my first book signing for Emerald Obsession, courtesy of the fab folks at The Starving Artist Gallery, and was high as a kite over the response—I sold all but two books! Their best signing!!

And now this. Guess it’s back to reality and back to work for me.

Thanks for sticking by me through the mayhem. Oh, did I mention that in between, the hub and I managed to buy a couch and a bedroom set and mattress? Yay!! We’re finally living in almost-adulthood, like the real people do! So, it’s been a wild ride these past two months, as per usual. Guess some things don’t change.

Thoughts? Share a laugh? Cringe at the delay in TB? Please feel free to share your comments below or by email. I really do like to hear from you. Thanks and wish me luck on the additions. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

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3 Reasons to Find Your Writing Mentor

I discovered an interesting tidbit the other day as I scanned an online calendar of fun facts: January is National Mentoring Month. Okay, maybe you take that sort of online info with a grain of salt, as I do (Really, National Crown of Roast Pork Day? It’s March 7, according to some.), but now and then I run across a factoid that stays with me and spins the gears.

Such is the case with National Mentoring Month. This struck me because I’m an advocate of mentors (and not just recognizing their usefulness for a month). This past year, I’ve been talking about their importance with my husband, whose business is expanding. As it grows, I’ve encouraged him to reach out to friends and colleagues who’ve already traveled similar paths, so he might learn from their experiences.

Why take this path:

Foggy path

When you can travel a clear path with a trusted advisor and friend:

Path to follow

But to be honest, I hadn’t thought of a mentor for myself as an author before now. I don’t know why. It took that chance mention to make me look at my career and realize how critical a mentor could be for a writer. And many of the ways in which a mentor helps say, an entrepreneur, are the same ways one would help a writer.

So, as ever on my kick about continuing to learn and grow, I searched around for more information. 🙂

Here are three ways a writing mentor can help you:

1—Experience. One of the best things a mentor can do is share the wisdom of their experience. I love the expression “work smarter, not harder.” By finding someone who’s attained the goal you’re aiming for and having them mentor you, you’ll benefit from their knowledge and hopefully will avoid their mistakes. An established writer will counsel you on both creative and business aspects of writing and will guide you along your specific career path.

2—Connection. Another benefit of your mentor will be access to their broader network of contacts. Though writing is usually a solitary effort, if publication is one of your goals, then connecting with others—readers, publishers, agents, editors, other writers—is essential. As an author looking to grow and reach an audience, having a mentor to open doors and offer ways to connect with people will be invaluable.

3—Inspiration and Input. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but for me, it doesn’t happen on a consistent basis. With a mentor, though, you may be only a call, text or coffee chat away from the butt-kick motivation you need to flush out that sketchy scene that’s vexed you for a week. The right writing mentor will offer creative support and unbiased, constructively critical insights. And that’s huge for gaining confidence and thickening the skin to the rejection prevalent in the writing world.

So, readers, what do you think about writing mentors? I believe engaging with one is a great idea for anyone looking to grow their career or passion. Do you have one? Or would you consider mentoring someone less experienced? What would you hope or expect to gain from that association? Please let me know in the comments section. I’d appreciate your thoughts. Or feel free to email me at carolyn@carolyngreeley.com. Thanks!

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Christmas Presence: My First Author Talk

My heart rate doubled. So many faces stared at me. In my hands, the pages of my speech shook, so I laid them on the smooth white tablecloth. Took a few deep breaths.

Did not imagine the audience in their undies or naked. TMI, for sure.

But the thought made me smile, loosen up, and I dove in. This was it, my first speaking gig as an award-winning author. And my early Christmas present. Huge!

Christmas tree

I’ve done a good deal of public speaking in various forms in my previous life as a Manhattan ad woman. Those appearances had been nerve-wracking, empowering, frustrating. But none compares to the experience of speaking about writing and my indie publishing experience to a group of attentive, non-captive Florida Writers Association members and guests.

In November, I’d been asked by one of our St. Augustine FWA chapter heads (thanks, Nancy Quatrano!) to join a panel of speakers for our December holiday meeting. When she approached me, I immediately said yes, thinking of the honor it would be: The opportunity to speak about my love, writing. I felt the first flicker of nerves later, when I sat to brainstorm the specifics.

But the truth is, writing my short presentation turned out to be crazy easy. Sure, I toyed with a few different directions to start, but once I sat and began typing, the words flowed, the message clear and concise: I took myself from NYC newbie writer to FL published, award-winning author, and I learned a hell of a lot—about publishing and life—along the way.

Author Awarded 2016
2016 RPLA Trophy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My real anxiety didn’t hit until the morning of my talk. But the openness of my fellow panelists, and the welcome of the FWA heads and audience members helped mellow me. After the first couple of minutes, I felt like a million bucks.

One of the best parts? The questions and interest from the group after my speech. Holy smokes! People asked questions, sought my opinion on publishing, wanted to know more about how I handled the pressures, time-constraints, technical aspects of publishing on top of simply writing. I knew I’d learned a great deal over the past years, but I hadn’t truly realized until then how my insights could help other writers, at least in some small way.

So now, at the end of this incredible year of more firsts, I give thanks again for the unique and humbling ways in which my life continues to unfold.

The holiday season makes me as reflective and maudlin as the next person. The new year is around the corner, and that’s soon enough to contemplate resolutions and remedies.

For the last days of 2016, I plan to be grateful for the joys of this year. They are many, though interspersed with sorrows. Though we’ve lost a terrible number of artistic souls this year, my year has ended on a writerly high note. I hope the same is true of yours.

I’m sending all best wishes for a year of betterment, of love, peace, happiness, growth and wisdom. Let’s continue to strive for this.

By the way, if you’d like a copy of my speech and the list of online resources I found useful on my publishing road, please let me know in the comments section or email me at carolyn@carolyngreeley.com. Sharing = caring. <3

Thanks again and Happy New Year!

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