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IWSG - August

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for August.
For more information about the group, see the bottom of this post.

Alex's awesome co-hosts for August are:
Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler,  
Lily Eva, and Rhonda Albom!
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you.

I wasn't sure what to write about this time. The way things are going for me right now, I could give some rousing encouragement AND I could list a host of worries. So... why not do both?

Worries first.

I just announced a decision I made to reduce my time on social media. I worry I might have offended some of my friends. I hope not. But (there's always a but) I'm an author. If I don't make time to write, what's the point?

Sales of my book have finally dwindled. This really is a marathon and not a sprint. Joining KDP Select has helped, but what if the figures don't ever recover? What if readers don't like the next book? What if? What if? (The 'what if's' are endless.) 

I think we need some encouragement.

I'm here to tell you: an indie author CAN be successful. Just focus on learning the craft and putting a professional product out there. Don't give up! It works!

Richard Bach says so. 

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.

"But," you say.
(There's always a but.)

But nothing.

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we 
 oft might win, by fearing to attempt.   
- William Shakespeare

We can't banish all doubt (an we shouldn't), but we can keep it on a short leash and use it to our advantage.

I'll dust off my favorite quote.

You doubt because you care. 
And that can only lead to great things.
-Author unknown

Two announcements...

To my regular blog followers, 
Today is the deadline for getting your August 'Promo Friday'  
stuff to me. Don't be shy.

To everyone,
I'm planning another Follow Fest this year. 
(Participating will be simpler this time.
Tentative dates are Sept. 22nd - 26th. 
Twitter hashtag is #FollowFest14. 
Mark your calendars and tell your friends! 

Email me or use my contact form

Thanks for visiting. :)

IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list


  1. I've always like that Back quote. It's so true and inspiring. And you're right! You have to make time to write, I've slowed down on social media as well. I think we all understand the need for that.

    The follow fest sounds great, too! :D

  2. I don't think I've ever seen that last quote before, it's a nice one.

  3. Very cool. The key is just to get out more content. The larger your net, the greater your draw of fish. Period.

    Here's to pressing forward! Looking forward to followfest!

  4. I'll be joining the follow fest!

    I wouldn't worry about offending people. First off, if they are your friends, they'll be happy for you for pursuing what's best for you. They'll encourage you and support you. You're giving as much as you're taking away, so that's hardly selfish on your part. If they're not your friends, well, then it's a relationship that you probably don't need. At least that's my take on it.


  5. Follow Fest was fun last year. Definitely looking forward to participating again! And I don't think the worrying about our books every goes away. I'm about to publish my first paranormal novel and I'm freaking out about all kinds of stuff, but at the end of the day, the thing that matters the most is that you write the best darn book you can. Your sales will go up again, your next project will do just fine, and all will be well.

  6. What if you become so famous you're invited to Ms. Rowlings for regular tea and biscuits??? Bet something will have to give. Maybe blogging once a month is a good thing for now. Frees up more time for blogging. And there's always IWSG Wednesdays.

  7. You didn't offend me. Not even close. I would say that if anyone was offended by the very reasonable, wise, and thoughtful changes you made, then that person doesn't understand you - and might not be a very good friend right now. I know that sounds harsh, but I just can't imagine anyone being upset by what you said!

    Thank you for the encouragement, too :) You're right, it's a marathon, and as a runner I can tell you that running a long race takes an unbelievable amount of keep on keeping on. I bet once you release other books, sales of your first books will increase. Marathon :)

  8. I should probably note, for the record, that no one has said anything negative. In fact, I've actually gotten lots of positive feedback. But sometimes people keep their negative thoughts to themselves. Sometimes it's what ISN'T said that you have to worry about. You know? :/

    1. We do know. People are nice and don't want to hurt our feelings. But we also must remember that we can't please everyone. I didn't like Dances With Wolves because it felt as if Mr. Costner was using the killing of the wolf to heighten the tension in the story. There are several other blockbusters that I didn't enjoy because it felt as if I was being manipulated. What I'm trying to say is even huge stars have those in the audience that think they stink. I've gone on too long; just wanted you to know that what you think about your work is what matters.

  9. Hi Melissa, new follower here. I'm also new to e-publishing and promotion. I completely understand what you are saying about cutting back on social media. While doing my research about promoting my book and getting it out there, I am overwhelmed by how much time I need to be putting into "joining forums, groups, blogs, twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc., etc. With all this time on social media plus my everyday life, how the heck does any writer actually have time to write. Kudos to those who have it all figured out.

  10. You need time to write. I wasn't offended.
    Think I'll join you for Follow Fest this year!

  11. I like that last quote--it was new to me.

    Hang in there! It is a marathon, and you're doing great!

  12. You might have noticed that I've been cutting back on my blog as well, so I'm certainly not offended by your decision to make more time for your writing! And by your fabulous quotes, I can see that you are going to be writing for a long time. That's what matters most!
    You do a wonderful job on your blog, and will always be an inspiration to me. :)

  13. Do what you need to do and don't worry, people will understand.

    Follow Fest sounds very cool....calendar marked!

  14. Love all of those quotes!

    I'm taking a small social networking break for the summer. I'm feeling kind of burned out creatively and want to find my joy again.

    The Follow Fest sounds fun! Making a note of it....

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

  15. I love that last quote! We should find the silver lining in doubting then. Writers write and I don't think anyone would fault you for that.

  16. But you just won the It Was 1863? contest. That's a wonderful thing to have happen.

  17. I loved your quotes and advice. "Just focus on learning the craft and putting a professional product out there." Those are great things for indie's to be concentrating on. :)

  18. Melissa, I really liked those quotes, especially the last two. I'm going to have to read your novel now that I "know" you! Going there now...

  19. Actually, I love that you reduced your social media time so you have more time for writing. I am in transition right now and I think that will be my next leap. Thanks for this post. (ignore the what ifs, they are never helpful).

  20. How did I miss follow fest last year? Hum.

    May I suggest hinting to folk to signup for and adding a linkyfollowers to their blogs too? That way those of us without GFC (can't say is aloud) can get little heads in our sidebars too?

  21. Love your quotes. Remember, the best way to market your book is to write another one. And another one. Just keep at it.

  22. Ah yes, keep that Doubt on a short leash and I'm sure your FIFTH book will be as good - if not better - than your first :)

    As Nike nearly said, "Just Write It" :)

  23. Great quotes! Thanks for the encouragement and the sharing of the doubts. It helps! Both of us, I think. :oD

  24. Those ones about doubt really hit home. I try not to doubt myself, but it's way, way easier said than done. Just need to keep going despite it.

  25. Love those quotes! I should step back a little from social media too, but I worry too much.

  26. I worry about sales too but I keep focused on my next book and that's how I send away all those nasty "what if's" :-)
    The follow fest sounds like fun, off to read how it works :-)

  27. Last year, I was confused about the Follow Fest... can't remember why? It was a great hop.
    I'm also working on a new schedule.
    Love your quotes!

  28. Nice blend of rousing encouragement and worries. Love the quote: "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." This is a very timely quote for me, which I'll keep in my back pocket for current/future use.

  29. The writing life is a roller coaster and an endless learning experience. Enjoy the journey :)

  30. I'm with you, Melissa -- writing comes first. Funny thing is I just came here after reading a blog in which the author described her publicist comments on how she doesn't have enough of a social media presence, even though she's everywhere. It's a tricky thing, but in the end we all have to do what feels right.

  31. A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.

    Love it. It is truly about pushing forward.

  32. It's so hard to keep up with social media. I've fallen so behind on blogging and I worry I've offended people, too. But hopefully people understand. It's hard to find time for everything.

  33. Hi Melissa, i recently pulled back from social media, but then went on holidays and picked up again! But you've reminded me to cut it back and get me writing in shape! Several other Indie authors have said sales usually dwindle over the USA summer... So hopefully they'll pick up again. Xx

  34. Melissa, if pulling back from social media is what you need to do, do it without regret. There are only so many hours to the day, and we're supposed to be using 8 of them for rest (hahaha). :-) We know where to find ya, if we need ya. (That came off less stalker-ish in my head.) :-D

    I noticed my sales dipped in June, bubbled up just a wee bit, and continue to simmer, as it were, in August. But yeah, I know there are phases to this book-selling lark. I just think that with every reader who buys, that's more exposure for my book, and bit by bit, it'll keep chugging along.

    And contrary to what some advise, I write what I feel, and what I love. When I consider "audience" it's to the extent that I want to make reading my stuff a great experience. But there's no one book to please everyone, tastes vary too widely for that. Some will dig my stuff, some'll be all "Meh" about it, and others will loathe it. Such is life. We move on.


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