So this last summer I had the amazing opportunity to attend RWA (Romance Writers of America) Annual Conference. And I learned so much, and met a host of other authors who were in the same boat as I was. Trying to make our writing stand out from the pack and make a living with our writing.
One session I attended said the following: ‘If you don’t treat your writing like a serious business, how do you expect anyone else to take is seriously.’
This struck a deep cord within me, and I realized I had been treating my writing like a hobby. Even with 4 books published I still haven’t been treating my writing as the business it should be.
So after I heard that I took a couple of months (I’m not kidding but I wish I were), to understand what that meant to me and my writing. I really believe this means something different to everyone. But for me I know without a shadow of a doubt that I have been treating my writing as a hobby because when I didn’t feel like doing any writing I just wouldn’t. If I felt boxed in with anything that had to do with writing I just walked away. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written anything in over a year….
But now what? Just recognizing that I am treating my writing like a hobby wasn’t enough, I needed to make some important changes in order to move from hobby to living.
CHANGE 1: creating a business mindset. I don’t know about you but when I am writing the last thing on my mind is business.
CHANGE 2: Carve out time during the week to deal with the business of my writing. Marketing, list building, social media, blogging. I have failed mightily in these areas in the last several years.
CHANGE 3: My writing has been mish mash for the last year, and if I want to make it a business I have to write. So I am carving time out of every day to write. Some day’s that means I am only writing for 15 min but at least I am getting words on a page.
CHANGE 4: Setting appropriate goals. ie: when I want my next book finished, how I will grow my email list, building a tribe a like minded writers. I know this one is tough because writing is such a solitary process but having like minded authors and readers will increase my reading base and accountability
CHANGE 5: Taking classes, and learning how to make my writing better. It’s always good to increase your knowledge base.
Wow reading through these kinda makes my head swim, but if I want to make my writing my business I have to treat it like it is.
Hope this helped out, if you are struggling with making your writing a business you are not alone. Let me know in the comments.
diving and I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a crowd out there to catch me. Thank god there were!
|My table at the book signing|
|Another view of me and my table!!|
|Me and a great friend who came to support me.|
Here are some of the other great authors at the book signing with me:
|Best Selling author: Lisa Bingham|
|Author: Kelli Ann Morgan|
|Author: Darby Briar|
Upcoming Book Signing
Location: Community United Methodist Church Holiday Boutique, Washington Terrace, 163 W 4800 S, Ogden, Ut.
Date: November 13-14, 2015
Time: Fri-1:00pm to 6:00pm & Sat-9:00am to 4:00pm
I will have awesome swag and everyone who buys a book will get a free coffee mug.
If you think you can’t wait for my next live event you can always order a signed copy of one of my books here.
Where you can find me
I’m sitting in a nondescript coffee house in Salt Lake City, UT. (Beans & Brew). Because I’ve been told: “Just because you write the shit, doesn’t mean you are trustworthy to visit.” Which I find rather ironic. I mean I did write it didn’t I?
So with that in mind I am waiting for Ryder, and I assume Kyra to come to me because I am not allowed to go The Staten. And again the irony of the situation is not lost on me. I’m sipping my favorite coffee, a Caramel Cielo and wondering briefly if meeting in a coffee house for a Tracker’s sense of smell isn’t a bad idea maybe I should have picked a book store or a park. But then I hear it the deep rumble of a motorcycle, you know the kind that you feel deep in your chest before your ears register the sound. And part of me wants to jump up and run to the windows. But I force myself to stay in my chair, I notice several of the women in the coffee house look up to appreciate the view, and I know it’s him. And I wonder for a second if I should have scoped out the back exit. After all, I wrote him, and I know how freaking dangerous he is.
As the door opens and the air is displaced the first thing I realize about him is that he is so much bigger in real life. Like HOLY SHIT, he is larger than life! And I’m in awe, the next thing I notice is the way he scans the entire restaurant in one glance. I wonder if the other patrons realize that the larger than life guy that just walked in is capable of killing them with his bare hands.
And Kyra is following him, and she is just as beautiful as he is out of this world. Her nostrils flare as she takes in the different smells. I can almost see her cataloging all the different smells and lives. And I wonder what I have created here. I lock eyes with Kyra, and she winks as she pushes past Ryder on her way to the counter and places an order. Once that is done they both make their way over to the booth, I am sitting in and Kyra slides in first the Ryder.
Kyra gives me a large smile, “How are you today Christie?” she asks. I’m just speechless for a moment.
“Are you mute?” Ryder finally asks, and I turn to him.
“No.” I stumble. “I just can’t believe I’m sitting here. It’s a serial feeling.”
Kyra laughs softly, “Tell us about it.”
I nod, and motion to my notepad full of questions, “Um do you just want me to get started?”
Ryder glares at my notepad and reaches over and grabs it, “Hey!” I say, he can’t just take things away from me I should be in charge. But he raises one eyebrow at me like I’m going to stop him, right?
“My favorite color is black. I train in my spare time. My most important thing in the world is Kyra and my brothers. Favorite food is steak. Favorite drink is water. Shoe size? Seriously?” he rolled his eyes. Guess that means he wasn’t going to answer that one. “Music? I listen to whatever Kyra puts on my iPod. I don’t watch movies or TV. Scariest monster I have ever come across?” He sighed and rolled his eyes again. I think he might have gotten that trait from Kyra because she does that a lot. And I was getting sick to my stomach because this interview was not going the way I had planned. But luckily I was saved because the barrister called out their order, and he threw my notepad down on the table.
Kyra grabbed it and looked at it, “Can I give you some advice?”
“Please.” Because I needed all the help I could get at this point.
“Stop letting him control the interview,” Kyra said with a smile. “He thinks he can intimidate you.” I look over at Ryder and then it’s me that’s rolling my eyes, “Have you seen the man? He’s like…” and I want to rest my head against the coolness of the tabletop.
“Yes, I know,” Kyra says with a pat on my hand. “But take control, you can do it.” She pulls her hand away as Ryder returns with two coffee cups. One for himself and one for Kyra.
“Ryder?” I say taking a deep breath, I use my mother tone, the one that makes my kids listen to me. “What kind of coffee are you drinking?” I ask.
He blinked, which made me blink. “Eye Opener.” See I was expecting black. Surprise, surprise.
“What do you do when nobody is looking?”
Me: “What are you reading?”
Ryder: “None of your business.”
Kyra chuckled, and I knew I had to have this answer.
Me: “You promised you would answer all my questions.”
Kyra: “You did promise.”
Ryder: “Did you know women are very hard to understand?”
Me: “Matter of opinion.”
Ryder: “Fact. I don’t understand women. I don’t think I ever will.”
Me: “So you are doing something to rectify this?”
Ryder shrugged, “Trying to figure you out. I tried some self-help books, but that was all bullshit. So I’ve been reading some romance novels.”
My mouth fell open, actually fell open. Kyra reached over and closed it for me. “I think I might have heard you wrong. Can you please repeat that last part for me?”
He speaks very slowly for me, “I said I have been ready romance novels in the hope of understanding women.” Kyra nodded as he spoke, and I turn to her. “I don’t understand what he is trying to accomplish.”
Ryder looked at Kyra and then back to me, “See that’s because she is a woman. Women are complicated creatures. Ask Marcus he will agree, and he and Celeste are connected with a mind link.”
Me: “Um not about to ask Marcus to explain women to me with Celeste sitting next to him.”
Ryder grunts, “Yeah, pretty sure Celeste would kick your ass.” I can’t agree more.
“Okay, so who are you currently reading?” I can’t wait to hear this. “Do you read paranormal? Chick-lit? Erotica?”
Ryder looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, “I read all sorts of romance. I don’t pigeon hole myself to just one genre’. But I don’t read paranormal because it just pisses me off with how wrong they all get it.” I guess that makes sense.
“So who are you currently reading?” I ask again. And I swear if Ryder was ever going to blush this was the time, but I don’t think Ryder is capable of blushing I just don’t think it’s in his genes.
“His favorite at the moment is Nora Roberts,” Kyra explains, of course, everyone loves her I think. “Julie Garwood historical stuff” Another excellent author. “And Johanna Lindsay.”
I’m pretty speechless, “So is it helping?”
Kyra gives me a huge smile, and Ryder looks uncomfortable. “None of your business.”
Me: “So you won’t say if you understand women better?”
Ryder: “Women are still a mystery. Do you have any other questions?”
I think for a moment not daring to even look at my notepad for help. “What do you want the fans to know about the Trackers?”
Ryder: “Not a fucking thing.”
Me: “Ouch, guess I walked right into that one.”
Ryder gave me the first real smile since this interview started. And instead of reassuring me it sends chills down my spine.
Me: “What are you and Kyra working on right now?”
Ryder: “Secret mission, so if I told you I’d have to kill you.”
I look from Ryder to Kyra, and they are both unreadable. Again the irony of the situation isn’t lost on me.
Me: “You realize I’m the author here right?”
Ryder: “Yup, but even you don’t know everything all the time. Sometimes we characters are building arc’s in the background while shit is happening in other places.” He winks at me and the chills I have increased tenfold.
Me: “There sure are a lot of irons in the fire right now Ryder. The Tribunal is messing around right now. The Reapers are in a lot of trouble, and your brothers are getting more involved than ever.” I warn.
Ryder: “Shit never goes the way it’s supposed to, does it, Christie.” He slides out of the booth and holds out his hand for Kyra.
Kyra gives me a smile, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes, “Keep yourself safe and keep writing your stories because the real history needs to be written. Something the Druids forgot to do a long time ago.” I slide out of the booth, and Kyra wraps her arms around me, and the fear from seconds before is washed away.
I extend my hand to Ryder, “Thank you for the interview, Ryder.”
He looks from my hand to my face and then finally takes my hand. His hand is warm and large enveloping mine as he shakes, and then release’s it. I following them to the door and watch as they climb onto the large Harley they never look back as they pull away and drive off.
Where you can find me
Healthy Writer Wednesday: Try Something New
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.
This goes the same when working out and eating healthy. You’ve probably heard this before, and I’m not asking you to do something outrageously different. If you’ve read any of my Healthy Writer Wednesday posts you know I just want you to make small changes.
So what is considered a small change? If you are only doing cardio? I want you to throw in some weight lifting. Now I don’t mean going into the weight lifting area of your gym and doing something that will make you so sore that you never want to look at another set of dumbbells for the rest of your life. No, I want you to start small. If you are doing 30 min. of cardio a day (which is what the American Heart Assoc. recommends) Then I want you to throw some light weights into the mix, like for the last ten minutes of your cardio work out I want you to do 5lb dumbbell curls. Or if you want you can venture into the weight room and do some upper body. Keep in mind you will want to do light weights. Do NOT jump into a weight lifting routine with heavy weights just because you have been doing cardio for the last six month. Over doing anything will only burn yourself out and leave you so sore you won’t be able to do anything. It’s about starting slow and then moving up to more heavy weights. You can download wonderful apps on your phone or print out great workouts from the internet. I love www.bodybuilding.com for ideas on different kinds of workouts. Another great resource for workouts is pintrest boards you can find fun and great works there as well. But don’t get stuck looking at workouts and forget that you actually need to do the workout.
Another thing to keep in mind is stagnation. If you feel that your workout has stalled and isn’t going anywhere you need to try something else. This happens when you have been doing the same thing over and over again. I know this has happened to me before, I find something I like and do it until my body gets used to the exercise and I almost do it by memory. My body and my metabolism finds a way to work around it and I stop losing weight and I get tired again. It’s the definition of insanity, I am eating right and exercising like a crazy person. But I’m not losing any weight, you see it all the time at the gym and on the scale. So here are a couple of ideas to mix it up: (this is by no means a definitive list, and please before starting any exercise routine or something new check with your physician to make sure it is safe for you and your body.)
- Try Zumba if you have never done it, it’s a fun and wonderful way to mix up your exercise routine.
- Step class! Throw on that headband, step class isn’t just for hard core 1990’s spandex junky.
- Try yoga, if you’ve never done yoga now is the time for lean strong muscle.
- Bikram yoga. Hot, hot, hot yoga. Bring a towel and find a hot studio near you today.
- Aerial yoga, and go weightless. Hang ten, or upside down. New craze sweeping through the nation.
- Boxing anyone? Kick some ass to mix up your workout routine.
- How about some Kickboxing, Tae-bo still a popular way to burn some extra calories.
- Cycling either inside or out, it’s a blast. Get your but in a seat today.
- Row Row Row your rowing machine. Find a rowing class today for a full body workout.
- Swimming class isn’t just for the old. Dive into a swimming pool and swim yourself thin.
- Cross fit – for those wanting a hard core fitness experience.
Changing it up, sends a signal to your body and metabolism do something different and you will burn more calories. Your body is amazing like that. And who knows you might find something you love and enjoy.
Where you can find me
My Opinion Monday – Superstar Status or making the Bestsellers Lists
So I’ve been asked recently about making the bestseller’s lists. And like every writer out there I have some strong opinions about it. Now don’t get me wrong, like ever writer I want to make the bestsellers lists and if a writer or author tells you different they are lying to you. It’s human nature to want to be the best. We would never have climbed out of the swamps if we hadn’t wanted to better ourselves.
So yes I want to make the bestsellers list, I want to be able to put on the covers of my novels that I am a bestseller. But more than that when I sit down in front of my computer and it’s just me and my words, me and my imagination, me and the characters I write? I want to touch people, I want to know that in some way my writing is making a difference. Because authors have done that for me, books have touched me in a way that make me a better author. Books have opened my imagination, built a fire in my imaginary world to such extremes I can do nothing but write.
But back to the bestsellers list. There are several lists: The New York Times, USA Today, Amazon Top 100, Barnes and Noble Top 100, Publishers Weekly Bestseller, NPR, even the Wall Street Journal has a bestseller list. These are all nationally polled lists and the majority if not all the authors on these lists are published via large publishing companies. I am a humble indie-published writer, does that mean I will never be a bestseller? Hell no! I am working my butt off writing my stories. Publishing my books, not to become a bestseller specifically but to get my stories told. Being a bestseller would be a wonderful, spectacular, life affirming perk. But that’s all it would be a perk. It won’t change how I write or why I write.
Better than a bestseller? Fans telling me how much they love my books, fans telling me my books helped them, fans telling me that reading my books motivated them to write their own books. Now that would be awesome!
Where you can find me
Well it’s Snippet Sunday and I agonized over what I should do. Should I do something from a past novel or from book 4…
And lucky lucky you I have decided to share a little of book 4 with you.
I hope you enjoyed Snippet Sunday!!
Where you can find me
Well it’s Re-Wind Friday and since Shadow Play is free for a limited time on Amazon I thought I would give you all a taste of what you can expect if you ran out and got your copy.
Seriously you don’t want to miss this sale. Now I may be bias because I wrote the damn thing… lol but don’t just take by word for it here are some of the reviews:
— Marked by Books
— Lauren Johnson
So here is the teaser I promised you enjoy.
“I’m the one asking the questions. And if you’ll remember, I only ask once. So if you want to answer my questions, now would be a good time.”
Hoped you enjoyed the teaser! Now run out and buy your copy. Here is the link. Amazon
Where you can find me
What I’ve learned from going through Security at the Airport.
So I’m not the most well-traveled person in the world. But I have traveled outside of the USA several times. And I’ve traveled through my fair share of airport security, and here is what I’ve learned.
- You can’t avoid airport security so suck it up buttercup you’re going to have to put your items in that cold little tub and walk through the x-ray machine like everyone else.
- The security people typically don’t like you either. They deal with hundreds (if not more) of people a day. Do you honestly think YOU are special?
- Speaking in code, regardless of the reason, is a bad idea when standing in a security line. (If you would like the back story please ask me next time you see me in person. I think it’s hysterical, my husband not so much.)
- Speaking as a person of olive skin color I get searched 8 out of 10 times. My husband an Irish gentleman, gets waved through… Am I upset? NO I’m happy that the flight I am on is secure. End of story.
- The x-ray machine?!?! I’m just happy someone wants to see me in all my glory.
- Baggage fee’s suck. (Okay this might just be a pet peeve but seriously, really airlines? ReallY?)
In a nutshell? I am super nice to the security at the airport, they have to deal with a lot of sh!t. I can’t begin to imagine what their jobs are like and I know I would HATE to do that job. I just know I wouldn’t be able to do it. Just one person complaining about taking their shoes off and I would beat them to death with that plastic tub. Let’s see you make your flight now.
The Airport is its own world, why make it worse by messing with security!
Where you can find me
originally published: Sept. 24, 2014
After writing for so long you would think it would be hard to pin-point exactly when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t always want to be writer, in fact I had a reading disability when I was young. Going back and asking a young Christie if being a writer is something I would have wanted to be it wouldn’t have been on my radar until—I was in my teens and I read a certain trilogy. A trilogy I didn’t like — I loved, and twenty years later I still love this trilogy.
But here is the thing I might have loved the trilogy, but I detested the ending.
How can you love a set of three books but detest the finally? Ohh, it’s so easy look at the books on the market today. Twenty years ago it was a very rare, but today not so much.
Anyway back to my story, hated the ending. So at fourteen I sat down and put pencil to paper (no really, pencil and paper no computer, no pen) and I wrote a new story. About how the hero and the heroin found each other and had a happy ever after. Because dammit that is how it’s supposed to end up!!!
And that is how it started. That was how the seed was planted, my imagination door in my mind sprung open and I haven’t ever been able to close it. And frankly I never wanted to close it.
Every once in a while I will pull that story out and read it, I do have several collector versions of that trilogy and it will always be one of my favorites. For starting something inside of me, and for just being a damn good story.