Sunday, January 15, 2012

Balancing Is Not an Act!


Yesterday I attended a chapter meeting of the West Houston RWA. I’m not a member but tagged along at the invitation of two of my critique partners, authors Colleen Thompson and TJ Bennett, who were kind enough to include me. I had a special reason for going to this meeting, and it was because Joan Reeves, super-successful author of many super-fun and sexy romantic titles was the speaker. I had met Joan before, virtually, last summer through her Slingwords blog that I was led to from uber-successful Joe Konrath’s blog. I was in fact-gathering mode at the time, trying to absorb all I could about how to indie publish my work. To say I was naïve would be an understatement and finding Joe Konrath and then through his blog to be led to Joan’s Slingwords blog was just a gift. Without the support of the wealth of information they (and their followers) share, and the guidance Joan has so generously provided to me through our email correspondence, the learning curve would have been a lot sharper and more painful!

I went to that meeting feeling overwhelmed. It’s nothing new. I’ve been plagued with this sense ever since my first novel went live last August. I’m haunted by the notion that I am never going to master the skills necessary to keep all the multiple plates—actual writing + the process involved in artfully showcasing via cover, cover verbiage, endorsements etc. + formatting + marketing, which entails all the various social networking venues (also requiring of a cogent framework)  spinning and maintain my balance. If I can ever even learn mastery of these skills—how best to use the tools that are available—that’s another question.

But two things I came away with yesterday… 

One: I am not alone. Everyone involved in this new publishing world feels overwhelmed to some degree. (It isn’t just me being totally dense after all! At least not all the way!) Joan talked about how the indie landscape is changing, and not just yearly, but weekly, even daily! Back when I was a flight attendant I had a supervisor who gave me a piece of advice in reference to running (literally!) a four-course dinner service on a short flight. I’ve never forgotten it and it applies here: Do what you can do, and what you can’t do, don’t, and don’t worry about it!

The second thing...

Don’t waste your time doing anything that does not resonate with your soul no matter who tries to tell you otherwise. Follow your own inner guide, your own sense of what works for you. You don’t have to explain or apologize. Your way is your way, and it is to be honored and respected, revered even. You don’t have to be proficient at every level of social networking, or what-have-you, regardless of what form it takes. You only have to be true to yourself, and I believe when you are, bit by bit, the bridge to your goal, whatever it might be, is built. There is no magic bullet, no guarantee or sure-fire formula for success other than the magical, sure-fire way you create for yourself.

And Last...

Where are my manners? Thank you to everyone yesterday at the West Houston meeting. It was lovely. I enjoyed meeting everyone and got so much out of the discussion plus came home with two great reads!


  1. You make me blush! I had such a good time at the West Houston RWA meeting. Seeing you in person was just icing on the cake.

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves

  2. It was, as Barbara said, a great meeting. Very eye-opening, and confirming a lot about the fast-moving pace of the indie publishing business. Thanks to Joan for giving such a great talk (and for Barbara for the company!).


  3. Thank you, Joan and TJ, for coming and for sharing your comments!