I’m so disappointed to see the Meet and Greet week come to an end. I hope everyone enjoyed getting to know this weeks authors a little more. I know I sure did. To close the week out on a bang, we have Jaqueline Rhoades who has agreed to guest blog today. As a new author, I love hearing how others got their start and what or who encouraged them. Please share with us your writing journey.
Writing on the High Seas
I still consider myself to be a novice on this voyage I’ve begun or maybe I’ve finally graduated to journeyman status. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, I can tell you that. My sails have been tangled more than once. So far, it’s been an exciting, if sometimes frightening, trip. There are a lot of things I never even thought about when I boarded this ship and I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned.
Readers, reviewers and sales count. Like many writers, I began by writing for myself. Safely ensconced on dry land, I wrote stories for fun and personal pleasure and only shared them with a few close friends. I appreciated their comments -particularly their praise, but it really had no bearing on what I wrote. My stories pleased me. Then that ship called Indie Publishing pulled up to my dock and I found the courage to step on board. (Actually, I was shanghaied by my daughter and pressed into service, but once there, decided I liked being Captain of my ship.)
I will never forget how excited I was when my sales went beyond those of family and friends. Strangers were reading my books! Some of those strangers actually wrote to tell me how much they enjoyed my stories. I can’t tell you how much those early emails meant, certainly more than the meager royalty checks I was getting then. Their value hasn’t diminished over time. Hearing from readers is, for me, the discovery of an unexpected treasure chest of joy. And the best part is that I get to experience that feeling each and every time a reader writes to me. Some of them have become friends.
Along with these readers, however, came responsibility. I was no longer writing solely for myself. I was writing for them, too. They’re so kind and generous; I don’t want to disappoint them. They’ve boarded my ship and I want to make this journey as pleasurable for them as they’ve made it for me.
Reviewers have become those mysterious ships spotted on the horizon and headed my way. Are they friend or foe? You never know until after they’ve boarded and there is no way to fight them off. They’re out there waiting for you with each new book you write and they hold your writing life on the point of their swords.
I’ve been fortunate with the
reviews of my books, but I haven’t gotten away entirely unscathed. I read all of my reviews from both bloggers and readers. Most make me raise my flag proudly. A few have made me shed blood and tears. At the end of their sword points, some have forced me to look at my writing flaws. I pay attention to those, learn from them and try to improve. I don’t want to be skewered the next time we meet!
If readers are my fellow passengers and reviewers are unknown ships, then sales are the winds that fill my sails. Do I go my own way or do I go in the direction they lead me? I would like to say that sales have no influence on a writer’s direction, but in my case they do, since this is how I earn my living. Finding the balance between what I want to write and what sells best is a constant struggle. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t write anything I don’t enjoy writing, but the temptation is always there to go with the story that will fill the coffers before the story in your head that cries out to be written. For me, it’s a constant struggle to maintain my course and still pay my creditors. Sometimes the winds of fortune blow pretty thin, but so far I’ve managed to avoid floundering on the shoals.
There are other Captains out there with ships of their own and each has their own story to tell. I can only tell you mine. I’m on one of the most exciting voyages of my life. I can’t wait to see what’s just over the horizon and while stormy seas may lie ahead, it won’t alter the fact that my life has been enriched beyond measure by those who have chosen to travel with me.
AMAZING. Thank you Jackie 🙂
Name : Jacqueline Rhoades
Bio: A New Englander by birth and an Ohioan by choice, Jacqueline, known as Jackie by her friends, makes her home in a small, rural town with one lovable husband, one spoiled dog and one disinterested cat. (The adjectives are often interchangeable). An avid reader from a very early age, Jackie has an eclectic taste for books and therefore has trouble naming a favorite genre or author, though she does admit that for pure personal fantasy and ‘take-me-away’ books, you just can’t beat a good romance.
Jackie believes in the beauty of all women and thinks most women don’t see themselves as they should (herself included). She tries to make the women in her books reflect the best of ‘average’ in a variety of shapes, sizes, personalities and backgrounds, and each is beautiful in her own way. Some of her heroes are movie star handsome, while others are not. All her characters are beautiful in the eyes of their lovers and that, to Jackie, is the most beautiful of all.
Website Link: http://www.jacquelinerhoades.com/
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/JRhoadesAuthor
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6453512.Jacqueline_Rhoades
Bookshelf: with Amazon links:
The Guardians Of The Race Series