Part 1 & 2 covered tripping over a black cat on Friday the 13th to the aftermath. Here in Part 3, the changes continue for a person who has not been one to join clubs or read outside favorite genres.
I can’t talk about my writing experience without mentioning more about a book club I joined almost 3 years ago, #RRBC. I started out in the club with only the intention of reading and reviewing books, but I quickly learned to attend the club events. I got to know other members through these events and their books. I was reading at a pace I’ve never read before and genres I’d never attempted, all the while enjoying myself.
Last year I decided to take another uncharacteristic leap and became their Social Media Director. Here I help promote the club and its authors. It was a good fit for me. I’ve learned a lot there, too, like I can schedule Twitter posts for an entire month. I do that for myself and as Social Media Director, although I’m swamped with work at the beginning of the month. I deal with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest (which I am still figuring out). I begin each day and end each night with social media while reading as many blogs as I can and trying to focus on my family. I haven’t figured the perfect balance out for that and writing yet.
I also belong to the Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Sierra Writers. But I haven’t participated much in either one of those other than to read the newsletters and pay the membership fees. I plan on changing that this year.
Besides clubs, one thing I found I enjoy doing is beta reading for other indie authors. Editing is not my strong suit, but something I’m always working on. Luckily I can read, and I know when something seems off. When a book I’ve beta read comes out, I can’t wait to re-read it and see it in its final form.
I have been reading a lot these past two years, thanks to #RRBC. Last year I hit 77 books in the Goodreads Challenge most of them from club members. Some perfectly edited and written, some with mistakes but a good story and a few just poorly written and edited. I don’t waste my time now with the latter group. First, all this reading started out as a quest to join the 100 Club at #RRBC. It took me a while to get there, but I did. What I learned was that it wasn’t the getting there that was important, but all the books I got to read along the way that became my reward.
This year I’m attempting around the same amount of books just for the fun of it.
The genres I’ve always been a fan of are fantasy/paranormal, mystery, love stories, or horror. I had my favorite go-to best-selling authors in each genre. Now since joining #RRBC and becoming an indie author, I’m reading memoirs, science fiction, children’s books, poetry, and many other genres.
I strongly believe reading is part of the education for an author. I’m puzzled by writers who don’t read. They are the same people who ask you to read their books repeatedly, too. I tend to read books from authors that interact with me and of course, are amazing writers. These are the people who are the most supportive and usually have interesting blogs, too.
The side-effect of all this reading has been not only a long reading list, but I’m now a fan of many new authors. I don’t even bother with some of my old stand-by best selling authors anymore. All this reading has shown me what is good and what isn’t in a book. Besides a great story, I appreciate a snappy dialog, showing over telling and those moments when I can pause and admire a brilliant poetically crafted line–there’s nothing better.
I no longer wonder who the readers that indie author are always looking for–it’s the other indie authors and some dedicated readers as well. #RRBC knows that and now so do I after taking a chance and doing things I never would have thought to do before breaking a bone. Strange how life finds ways to inspire and encourage.
Next week is the final part of this series.
Just a reminder: If I don’t respond or comment in a timely fashion it might be a weather-related power outage or phone lines down. We have a series of snowstorms coming at us this week and losing power or the internet can be a part of that. The worst has been a week-long power outage and the internet down for two weeks, but usually, it’s just a day or two. Although we do have a generator now so we have the luxury of water (on a well) and power to the fridge and microwave, I can’t complain (like I might have done when we were without for that period)! A nice side-effect of this is I enjoy candlelight reading.
There will be another special post later today.
Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Anniversary to my “breaking” into publishing!
Embrace your inner child with a good book! D.L. Finn