Looking Back as I Head Forward, Part 3

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.


Part 3

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

29 thoughts on “Looking Back as I Head Forward, Part 3”

  1. You express yourself very well, Denise, and I’m wishing you happy achievement of all your goals. You set a fine example of ‘support’ for your writing friends Always, my best… ♥♥

    1. Thank you Billy, as do you:) I wish you the same achievement of your goals, too ! I appreciate your support and always wish you the best in life as well.

  2. Love this! I’m hoping to regain my balance lost in the past year. I can’t live without reading but didn’t even meet my small Goodreads challenge last year. Thanks for your amazing support! I’m in Paris right now with Zack and Felix trying to squeeze in my labor of love, writing but I’ll get back to it soon!

    1. Thanks Lynda:) I surprised myself reading that much and hope I can do it again. Sometimes life has other plans for us so I embrace it while I can. I’m enjoying the pictures of you and your beautiful grandson and glad you are having such a wonderful time!

  3. First, happy book anniversary, Denise!
    I was a reader long before I became a writer and agree, it’s a joy to open a good book. I love my romances, but have branched out into other genres since joining the blogging community. It’s important to show my support.
    I know what you mean about the time crunch, I have the same issues. If only the days were longer, lol.
    Take care in this crazy weather {{hugs}}

    1. Thank you Jacquie:) I loved a good historical romance or horror as a tween and older…the places a book can take you. It is fun branching out into new worlds reading, I just wish I could devote more time to it. Unfortunately sleep is necessary ha. Hugs right back to you.

  4. Denise, stay safe up there with the impending weather. We’ve got some minor stuff coming but only about 1-3 inches (even that I hate….I am so ready for spring).

    I positively LOVE to read. It seems I always have my nose buried in a book. I’ve discovered wonderful new authors through online friendships and recommendations. Of course, I still have my old favorites too. I’m always reminded of Stephen King’s quote that to be a good writer, you also have to read (or something along those lines). I couldn’t agree more!

    1. Thanks Mae. 1-3 inches is just enough to make it pretty to look at but still enjoy to look at. We got around two feet out there I think. Got to enjoy it with grandkids as they sledded and made the tie dye snowperson…lol. Lots of wind this weekend, but didn’t lose power…yay. Supposed to get more snow tonight then rain rest of week. I enjoy it while I can. Never stays around too long so I don’t get tired of it:)

      I’m happier when I’m reading a good book:) Now that we have an empty nest I can spend more time doing what I enjoy. I have always remembered Stephen King saying that and its so true. I have to re-read his writing book again. I’m sure I would get more out of it now.

      1. Two feet? Yikes! That is a LOT of snow!
        I usually enjoy snow in December, but by the time January rolls around, I just want it to move on. And when February arrives it has overstayed it’s welcomed, LOL.

        On of our worst blizzards occurred in 1993 in the middle of March. Hopefully, there won’t be any repeats of that.

        Sounds like you had fun with the grandkids! 🙂

  5. I am loving the way you have chosen to share your journey, Denise! It’s like a journal, but not. It’s actually damned amazing! I am so proud of all of your accomplishments and THANK YOU for being out social media coordinator! Hugs!

    1. Thank you Jan. You are right it did come bit a bit journal like. I’m glad you are enjoying it. I didn’t know how interesting it would be past my fall…lol. Although I enjoy reading about other authors journeys, it inspires me.

      Your encouragement and support means a lot to me and I can’t thank you enough for that. Glad I could help out in a small way and I get to learn a lot as I go! Big hugs right back to you:)

  6. Reading is and has always been a marvelous escape mechanism for me. I love losing myself in a reality created by someone else’s imagination. You’re wonderful books are a delight to read, my friend. And the support you offer is both awesome and very much appreciated. Stay warm and safe. 🌹

    1. Reading is such an amazing gift. We travel into the worlds other authors offer and then explore. Its like a form of meditation and lets our emotions soar and sometimes even heal. Thank you Soooz, I feel the same about your books too. I always look forward to your latest work to take a new journey.

  7. Hi Denise! Happy Anniversary! You’re such an avid reader and prolific writer. You are also a supportive RRBC member and I appreciate you. Like you, being a member of RRBC has taught me to read outside my favorite genres and I’ve actually enjoyed many of the books I’ve read, and to think I probably would have never read them had it not been for RRBC. You’re right, reading does give authors the tools they need to write well and like you, I’m shocked when other writers tell me they don’t have time to read. I’m a huge book nerd and I don’t care who knows it. Ha, ha! Stay safe, my friend! 😀 xo

    1. Thank you Vashti:) That’s nice to hear and I feel the same was about you! I used to avoid anything that wasn’t fiction and now I find myself wanting to understand and looking forward to reading outside of that. It’s a whole new world. Although I am still in my element in a few genres:)

      It’s rare I don’t read before going to sleep and like you don’t mind being a huge book nerd too! In fact, I’m kind of proud of it and have a button that declares Reading is Sexy…lol.

  8. You are such a busy lady but you always find time to support others. You do a fabulous job as the RRBC social media director. I was part of their tweet support for many years, but had to take a step back due to the ongoing commitments to the authors I support on my blog, many of whom are RRBC members. It’s such an amazing club to be part of. You are an inspiration with all that you do. Many thanks for being such a good friend too!

    1. Thank you Lizzie:) It is hard to find the time to do all the things we want to isn’t it? You do a wonderful job supporting other authors, too on Facebook and Twitter. I wish I was able to respond as D.L. Finn on Facebook, but I keep up to date. I love following along your creative look launches. Aw, thanks you are a good friend, too.

  9. 77 books in a year? I could probably do that ten or twenty years ago, before I started really working on my writing. And there’s always that pesky full-time day job … I’m lucky to read a book a month, although I do listen to audiobooks while I run, so I suppose that counts 😀 Kudos to you for getting more involved; I’ve done much the same with our local Sisters in Crime chapter. So many books, so many great authors, so little time 😉 Have a great rest of your week, Denise!

    1. I never intended to read so many Julie;) Luckily I’m a fast reader, but unfortunately I get a lot less sleep. I’m up reading until 1 or 2 in morning. I used to read only during the summer or weekends so this is new for me. You are right though there isn’t enough time to do the things we enjoy. Listening to audio books is a great way to do it. Yes getting more involved is important and another new adventure for me. Have a great weekend!

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