Chatting on writers' panel - Sat Oct 22, Plymouth Literature Festival 3pm to 4pm. FREE. Plymouth Athenaeum.
Just to mention that I am joining this panel tomorrow and all are welcome - writers and readers. It is to be a fun and informal session, chatting about publishing and sharing tips. Looking forward to it!
For more information about the festival, click on the image for the website link.
I recently finished a new book. It’s now with my agent for pitching and it suddenly hit me that getting published doesn’t end all the ups and downs and the worrying and the wondering. It just allows you to step onto this marvellous rolling road. It’s then down to you whether to go with the flow – whether to let the rolling road determine the speed or whether to walk as well. Or run. Or race...
Whether, in short, to worry, to run so fast you trip...or smile in wonder.
Facing up to this for a moment gave me a wobble. Fact is, it is much too easy as an author to glance around too often. I’m so delighted with what I have achieved…but glance too much and there is a danger you will put yourself down because there will always be others doing better. Selling more books. Making bigger deals.
The important thing, I learn, is to remember always how very lucky we are to be here at all. To this end, I have deliberately positioned my little bookshelf of published novels en route to my kitchen. It means I pass it every day – an important reminder that the dream has come true already.
And so if I get a momentary worry about a current project, an edit or a pitch, I simply pick up the Korean version of my debut. Yes...Korean. My words....in Korean. I remind myself how completely crazy this is and tell myself to give thanks.
You are published in Korean, Teresa. Stop worrying. Sure - keeping this dream alive is now down to me. But choosing how to live it is also down to me.
I write because I love to write. And I want to get better, not to compete with others, but to be better than the writer I was yesterday. Which is why I wanted to use this quote for my blog.
So I share it today with pride and thanks to all those who have helped me on the journey so far. Also to sign off to do the only sensible thing after any writer types THE END and is going on sub all over again..
Which, of course, is not to think too much about how the pitching is going...but to start a new book….
When I first set out on this amazing author journey, I had no idea how much I would need to learn. Not just about writing – though that has, of course, been the greatest joy. ( I cannot begin to tell you how much I have grown as a writer from working with a terrific editor and agent throughout the publication of my first two novels).
No. The constant surprise which I just want to mention in this blog is how non-techy little ol’ moi has managed, one way or another, to grapple with all the marketing bits and bobs which are so crucial these days for any author.
Rewind just a short time and I was watching You tube videos trying to work out how on earth to set up this very website (it really was a self- taught crash course, trust me!). Next I had to learn how to improve my social media technique – playing with apps to jazz up the visuals I was using on Twitter and Facebook.
And today? Well today, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am immensely proud ( and just a little bit shocked) as I have finally set up my own Reader Group using Mailchimp so that I can keep my lovely readers informed of new books, exciting news, discounts and competitions etc.
This follows months and months of me pulling a face whenever a savvy author said to me in passing: ‘You do have your own reader list, Teresa?’…. Er….*coughs into hand* ‘Working on that’.
I did at first wonder how exactly my Reader Group might work. I certainly hate spam myself so don’t want to be pestering people when we all have such very busy in-boxes. But my readers have been so very gorgeous and kind with their feedback, I realised that I did want to find a way to be in touch personally and directly with IMPORTANT news about releases, discounts and competitions.
But setting up the Reader Group list was another steep learning curve. For any author planning to do this, there are lots of terrific blogs out there with basic step-by-step advice. I just googled the process, so you can too. The only hiccups I can report were as follows:
If you would care to sign up right now to reassure me that the whole system actually works, I might just love you forever! Meantime – do enjoy your own writing.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.