Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group - April



Once again, thank you, Alex, for launching this wonderful group. Please visit Alex at www.alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com for all the details about how to participate.








I've not been blogging this month because most of the blogosphere is participating in the A-Z challenge and I've chosen not to do blog hops anymore.


I've been thinking about why I'm not writing. I know I'm busy with my two performing groups, rehearsing and doing gigs. And I'm taking tap dance lessons as well. But those activities are not the only reason. I think I'm disheartened. I try not to have expectations about results when I do things, whether it's writing or performing. But having spent six years of my life and many thousands of dollars to produce a book and to have virtually no sales is, well, disheartening.

The truth is, other than the small book tour I did when it launched, I did no other marketing. What does that tell me? Was I sabotaging myself? Am I too old for this game? Is there a lesson for me here that I'm just not seeing?

I don't have answers to these questions because I only just realized I was feeling disheartened yesterday. I do know that I was meant to write the book. That I couldn't not write it. Maybe that was enough for me. I learned so much about myself during that process and grew and changed as a result. Maybe that was the purpose. Who knows?

What I do know is that I can't allow what I deem to be a non-success stop me from writing other things. It's just that right now, that particular Muse remains silent.

Blessings,
Karen

27 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The stories that hold our hearts aren't always the ones other people will understand. Of my 7 books, I definitely have a favorite, and it is not one of my better sellers. But that's okay. I needed to tell that story for me. It was my therapy.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think sometimes it's also helpful to remember that success with publishing can take place over time...it's frequently not after a release. There's a book of mine that I'm particularly fond of and it didn't reach a successful level until after several years had gone by. Glad you're continuing to write!

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Diane and Elizabeth. Helps me to know I'm not alone with this particular issue.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I think this is the hardest part, once the book is out and yet it's nearly impossible to let go of it. I'm not doing the A to Z this month either but I've been enjoying many of my favorite bloggers daily posts.

Chris Votey said...

I too have had no sales after spending nearly $1000 to release my book, and it is disheartening. If so much of my life didn't rely on my writing career taking off, I might opt out of it. However, it may be the only thing to save me, so I have to just take the good with the bad.

But it helps to remember that even J.K. Rowling didn't get big with her first book, and it may just be a waiting game.

Karen Walker said...

Karen, yes, it is almost impossible. It sure is fun to see what everyone else is doing with the challenge and not feeling the pressure of posting every day.
Chris, I feel your pain. I so wish you good luck with writing as a career. My saving grace is I don't need to make the money. It's not about that. It's about knowing people are liking the book and wanting to read it.

Stephanie Faris said...

My mom wrote a book and didn't do any marketing. She just wanted to write and get it out there. I don't blame her. I think it doesn't matter if you sell ten books or 10,000 books as long as you're doing what makes you happy!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's hard when readers don't find what you feel is your best book ever. Just have to move on.

Robin said...

Since I have yet to publish anything, I don't feel all that qualified to answer your question.

However, maybe you answered. Maybe the big gain with this book wasn't in sales. The big gain was in how you changed. You grew a lot. You can't put a pricetag on that.

Nicola said...

I loved your book, Karen and felt every word. To me, it is a success. You touched my heart and I can still remember the story as if I read it yesterday. There are not many books that stay in my head. Keep shining the way that you do.

Karen Walker said...

Stephanie, thanks so much for sharing that.
Alex, wise words. Thanks
Robin, I think that's what I need to focus on.
Nicola, you have no idea what your words mean to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart

Stephanie Bird said...

I've been in that same space you describe, regarding not promoting enough, and not even feeling motivated to do so. It could be age or wisdom, intuition, all three...who knows? We seem to know how to take care the older we get, that's for sure. I like the sound of your book, the title and the cover. I will check it out! See--you did the soft sell.;)

susanbruck.com said...

Thanks for sharing your struggle. I just joined ISWG. I've written a couple novels, but they aren't published yet. To me it feels like getting them published is the big goal--and it is a big goal--but it's really just one step in the journey. I will check out your book, too.

Karen Walker said...

Hi Stephanie, I like the idea of calling it age, wisdom and intuition. Wow, thanks for the willingness to check the book out.
Susan, yes, publishing is a huge goal and I wish you all the best with that journey. Thank you as well, for wanting to check it out.
That really isn't why I wrote this post.

Mason Canyon said...

Karen, your book had to be written and in time readers will come to realize just how awesome it is.

Karen Walker said...

Mason, your comment took my breath away. Thank you so much.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Karen,

You are a success! You created your book and it was published! Keep writing if you enjoy it... I haven't written anything new in a few years because I am holding out for them to be published. They may never be, but if I don't keep trying, I'll never know.

I think my first book was therapeutic. I spent YEARS on it with HUNDREDS of revisions. I still go back to it because I believe in the story... I have never had a request for even a partial for it, yet my other story has had multiple requests, which sadly went now where. Even to the point where the president of the SCBWI read it and told me he couldn't put it down. But still, it remains unpublished. So you see, you are one step ahead of me. Don't give up writing if you truly love to write...

Karen Walker said...

Oh, Michael, it's not an easy journey, this writing path, is it? Thank you, dear man.

Julie Flanders said...

I can understand how you are feeling as I've been disheartened by sales too, but I agree with others that you answered your own question as far as the purpose of the book. It clearly had such an important purpose! Writing has been extremely therapeutic for me and I try to remind myself of that when I get down, but I know it can be easier said than done. You have so much to be proud of though with all you have accomplished through your books, I hope you can turn to that when disappointments rear their ugly heads. Take care, Karen.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks s much, Julie.

Tabitha Bird said...

i so understand that feeling. don't give up. Sometimes we water a garden and it seems nothing sprouts. No green. Only winter. but here's the thing. Sometimes what is growing is not the garden, but beautiful landscapes inside the heart of the gardener. Keep on keeping on, my friend.

Karen Walker said...

Will do, Tab. Thanks for the beautiful imagery.

Arlee Bird said...

Thanks for your honesty. Your experience and the ones I've heard from others is partly what holds me back from finishing any books I've started or dreamed of writing. That's a wrongheaded attitude I know, but still I'm hesitant to make the necessary investments. I'm game for the marketing aspect, but still the stories I've heard of the shortfalls others have experienced ward me off.

I'll get over it I think and hopefully you will be ready for your next book soon. When you've got stories to tell I think it's important to tell them even if it takes a while for them to be appreciated.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Karen Walker said...

Lee, for me, I really couldn't not write the books. Deciding to publish is a whole different story. So if you have a story to tell, perhaps you could choose to just tell it for now. Decide about publishing it after it's done.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I think when we are feeling disheartened, that maybe it is time to take a breather and take some time for ourselves. Sounds like you rarely have "you" time :)

Gina Gao said...

Sometimes we all feel disheartened. Thank you for your honesty.

https://ficklemillennial.wordpress.com

Belva said...

I sat out most of the month too. First year I've missed A-Z.
I feel the world is not at peace. People are grabbing hold of
false pleasures and reading goes by the wayside.
Your Muse will spring to life again.