Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Starving The Beast


I've been on hiatus for quite some time, and I'm feeling the bite. Social media is a beast that dies if you don't feed it. The same goes for author fame and book royalties.

Nearly three years ago, I transferred hospitals and went from part-time to full-time. Then a little over a year ago, a radical change in my personal life thrust me into the role of single mother to three teens. I've managed, but it has all but extinguished my writing career.

It also lowered my search engine status and the number of visitors to my blog when I do post. And my book royalties have taken a big hit. I realize not publishing a novel in almost four years has been a significant factor, but the lack of blogging and tweeting hasn't helped.

My spirit is also lagging. I love writing, and I miss it terribly. Worst of all, I feel like I've let my readers down. I have all these ideas for stories but no time to research and write them. I know that will eventually change, but will my heart and my readership survive until it does?

I poured myself into my family this summer. My twins are seniors this year, and though their older sister still lives at home, she's already in college. This could likely be the last summer they have together before they go their separate ways.

Now that they're back in school, I've made a decision to blog again, even if it's only once a month. I'd do it more often, but I don't like to blog without making visits.

I've also got a writing project in the works. Well, it's more of a polishing project. I'm getting the first two novels I ever wrote ready for publication. Maybe -writing gods willing- I can get them published before the end of the year.


I've really, really missed you guys. How've you been?
What's going on in your life?


48 comments:

  1. Hey Melissa!
    Life happens. I haven't written a full book in that many years as well. It's just like riding a horse though. Get back on and it will come to you.

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    1. Thanks for vising, Alex.

      Polishing up my old story has felt good, even if it was so bad I had to cut 10,000 words. Ha!

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    2. And 8,000 of them were a dream sequence. ;) Kidding, kidding. You know I'm loving the new version. It flows so naturally, like the author of COME BACK and PRECIOUS ATONEMENT wrote it, rather than it being a debut. Know what I mean? Good stuff!

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    3. Cutting 10K really made a difference. LOL

      Seriously, thanks. Getting the Carrie Butler Seal of Approval makes me breathe a little easier. ;)

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  2. You're getting back on a writing track so be proud of yourself! Blogging once a month - like for IWSG - is a great way to get back into things. :)

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Madeline. I do feel good about it... just wish I could devote more time per week. I feel like I just get back into the writing groove, and then I have to stop again.

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  3. Welcome back! Not that I didn't touch bases with you occasionally during your hiatus, but it's good to see you on your blog. You were the first ever person to visit me and you inspired me to reach out to others.

    I hope your spirits rise!

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    1. Thanks, Loni. I'm glad we met. Even though we don't communicate every week, you're a bright spot in my life.

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  4. When I don't have time for writing, it makes me grumpy. But sometimes, you just have to deal with real life, you know?

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    1. Yup. That's true. Pouring myself into caring for my kids is a good thing. I'm just ready for that next season of my life when I can carve out a little more time for me.

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  5. Well, look at this : you've fought your way back through domestic chores and all the rest that goes with being a single parent and have gained a new follower by taking a look at my blog and being wonderfully kind enough to leave me a comment (an interesting one, too). So, silver linings, silver linings. Life happens, it's funny that way. There will be no controlling it. I hope you find time to get back into some sort of routine you're comfortable with!

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for visiting. :)

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  6. A few years ago, I had to take a blog break that turned into TWO YEARS of absence. My part-time day job turned into full-time and then some for two full years, not my choice, and it has now taken me two more years to build my editing business back up to where it was when all broke loose four years ago. You'll get back into the swing of things in no time. In the meantime, you'll never regret your focus on the kids this year. Neither will they.

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    1. You hit on another part of it. My debut did well, and having to take this break has caused me to lose that momentum. I don't know if I'll ever get it back.

      But you're right about the time with family. No regrets there.

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  7. My kids are back in school again, and that should provide me more time for writing and blogging too. :) Still, if this will be your kids' last year together, I'd make the most of it when they are home.

    And don't worry about letting your readers down. It's your own well being that you need to concentrate on.

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    1. Thanks, Ken. Problem is it's not so cut and dry. Family is important, but writing is my therapy. When life keeps me from it, it takes a toll on my happiness and my sanity.

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  8. Sometimes life will do that. I've gone through a similar experience re social media. I only blog once a month now, and the numbers definitely show a drop. But I'm ok with that--for now. I know that when I do pick up my social media presence, so will the numbers.

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    1. That's my hope. Thanks for the visit.

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  9. Right along with you on this. Been working up to getting back into this for some time and finally making the jump this month. Here's to us both getting back into the groove. :)

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    1. *raises glass of cheap wine* To churning out books like a pitching machine and taking over the blogosphere!

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  10. Life sure has a way of getting in the way of our best laid plans. You took the needed time, and of course family comes first. Welcome back, Melissa. You got this!

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  11. Life likes to pull us in so many directions sometimes. I have cut back a lot on blogging of late but I am trying to post once a month for IWSG. Like you, I don't like to post and then not have the time or energy to return comments and interact. Good luck with your writing, Melissa.

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  12. I feel exactly the same way about letting my writing slip. But, when life throws you a curve ball, what are you supposed to do? You have to live it, sometimes, and writing just has to wait. You shouldn't feel bad about that because you are doing what you should be doing--living your life and raising your children. What's more important than that?

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  13. It's difficult to work full time, parent teens, and find time to write!! I'm with you on this one!! Gotta figure it all out soon.

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    1. Now that school's back in session, I have a shot. LOL

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  14. Welcome back! Real life does have a way of showing up and making us pay attention. So do make sure you enjoy this year with your kids. That said, I totally get that urge to write. Play with it when you can now, and make it part of your goals for next year. Social media is definitely a hungry beast, but blogging once a month works for me.

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  15. I'm glad you're back to blogging and writing and glad I could be a beta for you. You know what I'm up to, so won't go there, but thanks for the encouraging words you posted on my blog. You are a wonderful friend, even in the busy times...

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  16. *hugs* You won't regret the time you've spent on your kids. For a while I felt bad that I didn't start writing until after my family was grown, thinking I'd wasted all those years. Then I realized how stupid that thought was. The time with my kids was never a waste.

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    1. I'm going to try my best to find a balance between the two.

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  17. Once a month works. =) That's what I'm down to, and I hear you about the battle of what to do. We had two tail end babies, and for a while there, it was all I could do to make sure people had eaten and were dressed. Sometimes more than I could do. There are seasons in life and our families definitely come first. My opinion on the matter is that if I have to establish a new readership in a few years, so be it. Meanwhile, I've got important things to do.

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  18. Hi, Melissa....

    Many of us are blogging once a month these days. Who really has the time any more to invest in all the social media...it truly is a full time job. I spent six hours today catching up with my blogger pals. I can't imagine how we all did it when we first started blogging AGES ago. I remember blogging every day! Back then I only had under fifty followers/friends, but now it's nearly impossible to keep up with even that low a number.

    Don't beat yourself up. You fans will return and be THRILLED to read your new works. We may be gone for a while, but were are remembered by those we have touched and who have touched us. Take it ONE DAY AT A TIME.....

    So great catching up with you the other day. THANKS for reaching out! It meant a lot~

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    1. You are so good at cheering people up. I hope I can keep blogging just so I can read your posts. :)

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  19. This is a story similar to what I've been hearing repeatedly over the past few months. I thought it was just me. I've been posting about once a week, but often my enthusiasm for blogging is not like it used to be.

    Prioritizing family is the right choice to make. Glad you'll have a little more time for blogging.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I look back on those Platform Building Campaign days and wonder how I did it. LOL Good to hear from you, Arlee.

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  20. The good thing about writing is that it's something you can do at any time in your life. I hope there are joys and fodder for future projects feeding you now so that when you can devote more time to writing, it's all the stronger for it.

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  21. Welcome back! I've neglected writing and social media too. I say we hop back in together!

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    1. Yes! Maybe the tide is finally turning for The Fellowship. :)

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  22. Life happens and I think part of being a writer is knowing that some things take precedence. I'm sure you've been a great mother/role model to these teens and that is valuable. Even if we're not writing much, all life experience helps us. Good luck with editing those books - going back to my earliest books would be a daunting prospect for me, but maybe time can give a fresh perspective on it.

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  23. It's so great to see you blogging again! I think lots of people only blog once a month nowadays. I feel good if I make my once a month goal now!
    I'm sorry for all you have been through but it sounds like you have come out stronger on the other side. Hugs to you!

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    1. It's great to BE blogging again. I miss my friends.

      Thanks for the visit!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. = )