Reasons I Shouldn’t Self-Publish

My writing and publishing journey has been an incredible learning curve. Even after everything I’ve learned…I feel like I’m about to fall into the ocean of things I don’t know.

However, after years of writing, editing, hitting send, receiving great rejection letters, and an eight-month period of working with an editor from Harlequin Historical, I owe it to myself to see this project through. And then, the gremlin rears it’s ugly head and speaks.

For those of you who don’t know the gremlin, you need to become closely acquainted with it in order to call out the bullshit it feeds you. This is what my gremlin has been feeding me of late and the way I shut it down.

I’m too old – I’m settled in my career as a teacher. I’m a mom. I’m in my 40s…the time to start something new has passed. The time to start from nothing has passed. Then, while listening to Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Stop Apologizing, I heard the Chinese proverb:

The best time to plant a tree is twenty-years ago. The second-best time is today.

Right?!? Considering I plan on living well into my 90s, I obviously have oodles of time to get this second career started. Also, what lesson am I teaching my children if I give up on my dreams because of my age? It’s not like I’ve wasted my time. I’ve built an incredible career as a teacher. I’ve created a wonderful home with my husband in order to give our children a wondrous life full of love. I have become a yoga instructor, an IB teacher, a blogger, a mother…my time has not been wasted. It has been used to build and create awesome things and humans. And, now, I will use my energy to build myself as an author of historical romance novels.

I don’t know what I’m doing – nope. I don’t. But, I’m learning. And, the universe responded to my complete ignorance with a post by a Torontonian romance writer where she outlined how to self-publish, step-by-step. I kid you not. So, I’m following her outline and I’ve hit my first snag…and I will prevail and continue.

My book has sex in it…what the hell am I thinking? Every scene is classy, dignified and oh, so romantic. It is between consenting adults whom are deeply in-love. I will publish under a pen-name. I am not ashamed of what I’ve created. I’m so proud of the years of hard work, of research, of editing – all during nap times…and when those disappeared…after bed time or early in the morning…sacrificing my sleep and time in order to bring my dream to fruition while still being a wife and mom. I’m thinking that I’ve written a beautiful love story and it deserves to be published.

This is too overwhelming – I think I’m more afraid of success than I am of failure. What if it all works out? How will I manage a home, kids, husband, teaching, and a side-hustle?!? In my mind, this will work out. I have so much faith in this book, in this series, that I know it will succeed. And, when I dig into my faith, I have no choice but to keep going because the excitement drowns out the overwhelm.

The gremlin can be loud. My belief in what I’ve written and my abilities is louder. The publishing of my book will occur in the same way it was written. Slowly. Without hurry. With love and commitment. And, one day soon, I will start to post all about the book itself and where it can be purchased.

In the meantime, visit my Alter Ego page or her website: carynemme.net

Do you have a dream your gremlins try to talk you out of? Would love to hear all about it!!!

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Writing Time

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I am not a best-selling author.  I am a mother of two.  I am a wife.  I am an English teacher. And, I am also a writer.  I love writing.  I love blogging and lately I have had to literally scrape together minutes of writing.  I have had to carve and beg and steal time to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard).

I can’t be ruthless about protecting writing days – because in my world a day devoted to writing is a fantasy.  But I can be ruthless about protecting those precious twenty minutes I told myself I would use to write.

Writing is my happy place.  It nourishes my soul and revives me.  It gives me a little bit of space where I can be me.  I do something that is just for me without the tug of all the people in my life who incessantly need a piece of me.

It is my selfish, unapologetic, self-indulgent time.  And I wouldn’t be able to survive without it.

I keep this quote by Rowling within reach everyday because it helps to remind me how important writing is to me and it is something I will not compromise on.

I’d love to hear how you remind yourself to do the things you love – regardless of the struggle it may create.

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Wednesday Quotables: Writing

Wed quotables 3

This week’s quotables are about my passion – writing. I love to write. I write personal essays and short stories and I have written two manuscripts.  I may choose to self publish one day, since the traditional way isn’t exactly working out for me, but that’s alright because regardless, I will never stop writing.

europeanpaper.com

My inner life is normally bursting. I must unleash it onto a page – any page (or screen) at any given moment.

pedalsandpencils.com

Need inspiration? Pay attention to your life and it will offer all the inspiration you need.

fhdphotos.com

“Make the best of your talent” I love that line! If we are privileged with talent or an ability in any area, we owe it to ourselves to fully explore and develop it.

rebeccasbook.blogspot.com

Enough said.

thelifestring.blogspot.ca

This is a tough one for me, but oh so true. When you let go…the words that flow from your fingertips are unbelievable…you never know what’s inside you to write until you just write.

prowritingaid.com

Um, see above quote.

samanthaholloway.com

A bit excessive, but I understand the sentiment. Writing can be tortuous but when done with abandon it leaves you exhilarated and empty. You must refill and spill it out all over again.

leahkonen.com

What are you passionate about? What do you love to do that is woven into your soul?

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Spring Cleaning

It’s April 8th and I woke up to wet snow.  My backyard, which was a swampy mess yesterday, was once again adorned this morning by a layer of icy white. Not the pretty fluffy powder that warms my heart in December. The heavy, wet, chunky clumps that tighten my chest because it’s April 8th. Yesterday, I had the windows open and cool air refreshed my home as I thought of spring and not far behind…spring cleaning. Bright sunny days make me want to make my house shine. The grey days of winter mask the dust that rests on the baseboards and cloak the piles in bottomless closets. The instant the clouds give way to the sun and rays of light pour in through the windows there are spotlights on every single crevice that needs tidying, purging and a good scrub.

from beautifulhomesandgardens.ca

I have to blink several times to adjust to the light and then I simply must move.

Spring cleaning goes beyond the building in which my family and I live. I also pay attention to the body I inhabit. There is an energy inside me that has been building up all winter (in addition to the few extra pounds from all the chocolate I’ve consumed) and I must unleash it.

So it is generally in the spring that I take up one of my favourite forms of exercise. I run. I am not a runner – I do not measure my run by distance. I do not even run continuously during the 20-30 minutes I am outside. I will jog, walk, sprint and run. My heart pounds in my chest, my lungs hurt, my legs scream and I love it. I do not stop. It is normally when I am running that I do my best thinking. I purge every negative emotion that crept into my soul during the long, dark winter. I remember that life is wonderful. I give thanks for the beauty of my life and for my ability to move. I feel the sweat cleansing my body of the dust I have accumulated over a long winter.

In my mind, this is me:

from motionshoelab.com

This is probably more what I look like:

from mynextrace.com

Once I’m back inside I proceed with another favourite, yoga. I love yoga. It’s a lovely way to settle my aching muscles down after a good run. I close my eyes, breathe deeply and smile as I abandon myself into each pose (until my son decides he absolutely needs me urgently, like right now mommy because if he doesn’t get that toy on the top shelf he might pass out from boredom because he has no other toys in the house). Now, back to breathing….

Where envision myself doing yoga because my mat is normally sandwiched between the couch and coffee table and I’m surrounded by toys:

from womenshealth.com

The last part of my spring cleaning routine is to reacquaint myself with my journal. I’m sporadic in pretty much everything I do. I dive into every project with passion and find myself consumed by it, until I get bored or lose the energy to persevere or find another endeavour that enraptures me. And, so is my relationship with my journal. I look back at the journals I’ve accumulated over the years and all of them have huge chunks of time missing. It’s like I disappear for months (a few times for years!) at a time and then I dive back into journalling trying to make up for lost time. In any case, while I’ve been more consistent with journalling of late, it’s still something that calls to me more in the spring.

I’ve enjoyed enough springs to know that my home will always have corners that need a mop, my body will always carry an extra 5-10 pounds and my journal will always have gaps in time. I am also fully aware that the strange energy I feel is simply nature’s way of waking me up after a long (long) sleepy winter and that this energy will surely lead into the lovely, hazy, lazy lull of summer’s heat. Nonetheless, I will enjoy every second of polishing my home, pushing my body to its limits and my pen across the page. It’s how I shake off winter and welcome spring into my life.

What are your spring cleaning rituals?

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Wednesday Quotables: On Support

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In light of all of the support, kinship and good spirit that Book Marks has received in the past few days. today’s Quotables will be about Support – those who support us, why we need support and how it affects us.  Enjoy!

from quotes-lover.com

from quotes-lover.com

I find in the blogging community a deep respect for all writers, great encouragement and support for all that a blog has accomplished and where a blog goes.

from searchquotes.com

from searchquotes.com

Just when I feel my most empty, without words, wiped out – the universe reminds me that I love doing this.  Last week, it was a short message from Dawn at Life, Love, Adventure “Karen, we miss you!!”

from bedroomdesigncatalogue.com

from bedroomdesigncatalogue.com

Ok, so who doesn’t love a Winnie the Pooh quote? And, isn’t this how you feel when you discover a great new blog or connect with a blogger who’s blog you love?

from quoteshunter.com

from quoteshunter.com

Every fantastic blog and writer out there challenges me to improve, change and better my blog.  I feel like it is always a work in progress.  Each step helps me discover who I am as a blogger and what I’d like to see at Book Marks.  I wish I had more time to do this!

from happyologist.co.uk

from happyologist.co.uk

We all love to see the stats go up, it’s fun to check the daily numbers and views and clicks…but ultimately, it’s the great comments and support from the people who read and care about our blogs and what we have to write about that really matters.

So what did you think of today’s quotes?  Any ring true, hit home, make you think?  Share your thoughts!

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