5 Reasons Why I Write

It’s been a rough year, one with many books that didn’t get written. There were good reasons, like my mother almost dying, but now that my personal crisis is mostly in the past, all I can think about is all the writing goals that went unmet. Given the many blessings life has given me this year, this seems a very appropriate time to remind myself of why I chose to devote my life to writing.

 

1. Writing works because Readers are everything important 

Readers are why I write. Before I had readers, all I had were stories I’d made up. Readers take my stories, find pleasure in them, and make them real. Readers are the reason that I come back to the writing no matter what else happens in my life. Sure I write to get the voices to quit talking in my head—LOL—but without someone to read about those characters I create from that craziness, what good is it to indulge my weirdness? Without readers, I’d learn to shut off the ideas and then the muse would leave for good and life as I know it would be over. Readers are the reason I’ve already started on the next novel and they will be the reason I move on to the one after that. I say it all the time and I’ll never stop saying it because it’s true. Readers are everything important to what I do.

 

2. Writing is not just my career—it’s my calling

I’ve done a lot of things to make a living, everything from scrubbing toilets to owning my own technology business. Nothing before publishing my stories felt as important to me. I moved from job to job only to make more money, but never thought to satisfy my soul in the work. Would I write for free if I couldn’t get paid for my stories? Yes, I likely would, but maybe only a book every year or two. Writing, at least the way I do it, is demanding and takes more time than other jobs I’ve done. I’m not a morning person and needing to finish a scene is the only reason I would ever willingly get up at 5 am. When I look back on my work, I see that all other jobs kept me from this one. They drained me of energy because I give 100% plus to whatever I choose to do. That’s just my nature. I’ve grateful to finally be able to give my 100% plus to the most important work I’ve ever done. I’m one of those lucky few who knows their truth. Writing books is what I’m meant to do.

 

3. Writing to make readers laugh

This is not a grand goal in the big scheme of all that’s wrong in the world, but from the very beginning, making readers laugh was something I badly wanted to do. I’m a self-taught comedy writer, but a very motivated one. Hearing I made a reader laugh is like winning the lottery. It’s been life-changing to hear it because I no longer wander through the world wondering if anything I do makes a difference to anyone or not. I know I make a difference every time you tell me I make you laugh. That’s the best award or reward I could ever get from anything. I don’t need to make a list to be happy. I don’t need the accolades of peers. I just need your notes about hiding out in bathroom stalls at work and reading one of my stories on your phone. I just need to hear my books are on your re-read list. When it comes to my writing, your joy is the glory I seek. To entertain you for a few hours is a high honor to me.  

 

4. Writing lets me be a friend 

I’m a recluse and a loner. I’m hard to get to know and don’t let friends into my life often. My friends—those persistent few, God bless them—know they have to push their way through the walls I erect to get to me. And I suck at being a friend back. I have to work very hard to reach out to people I know, but through my stories, I can even reach out to strangers. “Read this and feel better” is the message in most of my stories. Let me make you smile, laugh, and feel emotions that don’t leave you feeling empty. Cheesy? Maybe. But I intentionally write feel-good endings and happily ever after. I like to think my books are medicine for a reader’s heart and mind. I send them out to find the reader who needs them. I meditate on it and pray my stories reach who they need to reach. 

 

5. Writing for a living is the best job I’ve ever had

Making a living as a “creative” person is a financially precarious way to live. As an author, your popularity rises and falls. Sales channels change their rules and suddenly you’re invisible in searches. And in my case, personal problems keep me from writing because I put my family above all else. After a while of juggling expenses and wondering how you’re going to keep going, every full-time writer no doubt starts to long for the days when he or she worked in the corporate world for a souless paycheck. So I don’t feel bad for the hundreds of times in the last couple of years where I scanned the job ads to see if I could find a day job again. However, I always get stopped by the same thoughts. I think about what I’m going to lose if I go back to work outside of writing. I think about all the books that won’t get written and all the readers who might give up on me if I fade from public view. I’m just not ready to let go of my dream of being a full-time working writer—a dream I keep hanging onto with both hands. So I remind myself that no matter how challenging life is now, I’ve seen harder times and worse circumstances. I tell myself that I will find a way to keep doing what I love. 

 

 

When I Finish A Book

Writing and then publishing a book is a totally exhaustive effort each and every time. Yesterday I uploaded the final copy of Never Ever Satisfied to all the sales channels. Book 4 of The Perfect Date series is “officially” ready for its release next week.  

Time for a break, right? Wrong.

I spent the morning updating my website and trying to decide on the next book getting done. 

And you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. Writing is still the best job I’ve ever had.  

But I do think it’s time for a nap… or maybe a bath. Hmm… I might even wash my hair. That would be nice.

Want To Be One Of My Reviewers? Here’s How…

Here’s the bottom line. I choose my early book ARC reviewers from active readers on my mailing lists who consistently open the emails and click the links inside. If a reader is reading all the excerpts and using the book links in the email, that’s a pretty good indication to any author that the reader is someone who really enjoys their work.

About once a year, I sort my email list and make the offer to a range of 30-50 new readers. I keep my reviewer lists small (around 150).

I talk to my reviewers most. They might not hear from me for a couple months, then suddenly I’m emailing them several times over a month. It’s the nature of the creative process. It comes in waves of activity. I sometimes send reviewers emails asking for things–nothing big, easy peasy things. For example, recently I took a heat level poll because my new romantic comedy series is a bit tamer than my normal. I wanted some feedback before I told my characters to close the door–LOL.

What do my reviewers get for their help? They get all the books early, and if they’ve missed one, they can write to me and ask for it in exchange for a review. 

Want to be considered? Here are the links to sign up to my mailing lists. I have two–one for each genre group–so you only need to sign up for the email you truly want. 

Happy reading,

Donna

I Love Romantic Comedy list

Contemporary, Romantic Comedy

http://eepurl.com/b7-IkH

I Love Paranormal/SFR/Fantasy

Paranormal, Sci Fi Romance, Fantasy

http://eepurl.com/b75sS9

 

 

Live Facebook Interview – Monday Night, April 3.

Monday night, at 8pm EDT, I will talking live with Romantic Suspense Author,  Heather Sunseri.  Heather is going to be sharing a 12 author Romantic Suspense giveaway happening all week. If you’re on FB, stop by and listen to our chat. The interview will be hosted on my “I Love Romantic Comedy” page.

Zen in the Art of Writing

 

I was determined to make writing time for myself this year and so far I’m getting it, but WOW…

I’m doing mental somersaults trying to keep up with everything. In the background of my book writing, the publishing industry keeps erupting in jaw dropping changes. I find myself wondering how many more publishers will close. How many more authors I know will just stop writing?  

There’s a lot on my mind these days and not all of it business decisions. I’ve been worried about authors who are suddenly falling ill. I wonder if the press and rush and craziness got to them. 

This is year seven of my publishing career. As I look for a healthy balance to keep moving forward, I’m limiting priorities and making more time for myself. My focus is going to be on writing, but I’m slower this time of year. If I were a shifter, I would definitely be a bear so I could hibernate.

My inclination is to be butt in the chair all I can be and write until I’m empty, but my New Year’s promise to myself was to sit less and exercise more. Now when I take a phone call, I stand and make laps around my kitchen island while I talk. I look like a dork making those circles for a solid hour while I’m on the phone, but I’ve learned to flip off the smirking voice in my head making fun of my efforts.

Soon I’ll be posting about some brand new writing I’m doing, but first I’m finishing another “Topper” story for S.E. Smith’s Magic, New Mexico Kindle World. Look for it next week. I’ll send out a post.

Hope your New Year is going well!

~ Donna

 

Top 3 Business Changes I’m Making In 2017

Happy New Year! I hope yours is getting off to a good start.

I’m making some changes and decided it was time to get the word out to readers so these changes don’t come as too much of a shock. Here are the top three. I put the bad news first, just like I used to teach my students to do in business writing class.

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