Friday, October 17, 2014

Storyteller's Journey

Public Domain Photo by Lilla Frerichs
Bend in the Road

When I began blogging over three years ago I was a novice writer who had only been seriously writing for a few years at the time.


I chose to call my main post/meme of the week Storyteller's Journey to signify I would be blogging about my experiences as a writer, and not necessarily my abilities as an aspiring author. In retrospect, I'm really glad I had the foresight to do that since even though I've now had a book published, there is still so much to learn, and so many ways I can improve. I've discovered that consistent blogging helps me to stay disciplined, which for me, is a big part of being a writer. Writ of Whimsy has become a journal not only of my life as a writer, but in some ways, my personal life as well. The word storyteller seems to span the experience of writer and author alike. It also reminds me of the reason I began this journey in the first place: my passion for creating whimsical tales for young readers - but also, my own lifelong love of children's books, and the stories and poems they contain.

That being said, my storyteller's journey is at a bend in the road. Adding the new role of "published author" to  "writer in the trenches" is already presenting challenges to an introvert like me. The need to speak publicly, sign books, and promote The Scandinavian Santa, are all social activities. While I truly love people, I also require large amounts of time in my creative cave not only to write, but to recharge my soul. Consequently, finding a balance between writing and marketing will be an ongoing process. Finding that balance is only one of the many new challenges that are crossing my path right now. Therefore, in the coming weeks I'll post about the numerous other challenges I'm sure I'll encounter as a newly-published author.

My posts in Writ of Whimsy will continue to reflect my experience as a writer, but now, also as a published author. If I had to pick one thing that I've learned so far with regard to marketing, it would be the importance of having a great online presence prior to publication. While we've all heard that advice numerous times, now that I'm published I see why it's so often recommended. Once my book was released on September 16th, I immediately began marketing it. Our local library, bookstores in the area, and individuals in the Kidlit world, looked not only at my book, but at my website. The reason I know that is because they told me! I've received several invitations for book signings and/or author visits. In nearly every case, the contact person has mentioned my website - (my web designer is xuni.com). Since I have decent Facebook and Twitter accounts, they, too, have proven to be beneficial in getting the word out about my book. (Since The Scandinavian Santa is a holiday tale, I have no time to waste!)

While obtaining agent representation and/or publication may be somewhat out of a writer's control, there are numerous other things we can do to prepare for life as a published author ahead of time. Gaining a great online presence is just one of the many things a writer can work on prior to that time. (Obviously an aspiring author would never want to neglect writing and reading!)

And, since I'm talking about a writer's online presence, be sure and check out Writ of Whimsy next week. My friend and critique partner, Kriston Johnson, has organized a book blitz with other bloggers for The Scandinavian Santa with lots of opportunities to win prizes.

As always, thanks to my blogging buddies. Happy writing!

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