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NAUGHTY NASHVILLE WAS GOOD TO ME

I'm writing this now at 30k feet, flying into SFO in a couple of hours. I got up early, so my apologies for not having this post out there sooner.

It was fun to get my batteries charged up. Funny how the attention of fans makes one feel excited, even more excited about the craft than we normally do. We hear those stories about what our books have meant to people, help celebrate other people's successes. I look at covers, and marketing and SWAG.

I came away thinking I need to be very choosy about where I go next year. I've already committed to some good ones. Some are new, some repeats, some I will skip for a year. My time is valuable writing. Those are my most expensive “billable” hours. I need to protect it at all costs. There's always that writing retreat, book signing, author event that looks too good to be true and tempts me. Especially when all my friends are going. I'm going to exercise the word “no” a lot more.

Naughty Nashville was good for me. So was the Unmask The Passion event in Valley Forge earlier in the month. I liked them mainly because everyone was so excited and happy to be there. There wasn't much in the way of drama (that I saw), and readers showed up not to browse, but to buy. So, attending those will require I say no to others, and I will. Valley Forge gave me a taste of history, which I loved as an added bonus.

I also learned that readers are inundated with free books, ARCS and overcommitted to Street Teams and Reader Groups. They're more overwhelmed than the authors sometimes! Reviewers are running behind. Readers avidly want to meet new authors, get surprised with new genres, books and series. My job as an author is to attract new readers, while giving my “one-click” readers material they'll devour.

I don't think there is such a thing as a One Size Fits All way of being a successful author. I see things I like and will try. I see some things that don't work and I don't have to spend time or energy trying. Success is one thing to one person and another to another. Even my own definition of success has changed several times this year.

But when the day is over and I head off to bed at night, the only thing I want to say is, “I did the best I could.” That means I wrote my best, edited my best, said thank you more than I received praise, was kind to people I want to throw my computer at, and kept myself focused. I didn't gossip, envy, complain or make excuses. I did my job. and my job–my only job–is writing.

If I do my job well, then I get to spend more and more time in my fantasy world of my own creation. I'm happier there. It's safer there. It's the stuff of magic, and creating magic is what I'm all about. Give me make believe over anything REAL any day.

Some day I'll go there and stay forever. But in the meantime, there are a lot of stories to tell, tales to spin, and people to delight.

What a glorious job that is!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Judy - October 16, 2016

Happy to hear you had a good time! You made me laugh about not throwing the computer and choosing kindness instead. Well done. 🙂

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    Sharon Hamilton - October 17, 2016

    LOL. Sometimes restraint is best, right? I've had this feeling several times. There's a reason they say patience is a virtue…

    Reply
julie beasley - October 17, 2016

So pleased to hear you had fun, as well as seeing JD. Write to your hearts content, we will all appreciate your hard work. Loving what you do makes life so much easier.

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    Sharon Hamilton - October 17, 2016

    I agree, Julie. Having passion for what we do makes everything worthwhile.

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Karen Henderson - October 17, 2016

I'm glad you had a good time and sad I didn't make it down. I'm glad I'm not the only reader that is overwelhemed with the amount of books I have to read. right now I'm actually slow as I only have 2 ARCS to read so I'm treating myself to reading a print book I've had saved to read. Everytime I read in print I remember how much more I enjoy reading a "real" book instead of on my ipad
As always though I'm patiently waiting for your new releases.

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    Sharon Hamilton - October 17, 2016

    Ahh, I feel the enjoyment oozing through the pages!! Yes, I wish I had the luxury of time to read good books. But some day I'll build it into my schedule. Grateful for the business and the demand, which I feel has to take priority now.

    So glad to have you along in my journey, friend!!

    Reply

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