Since I learned to see by watching for patterns, I often misjudge the universe’s intentions and compile all the negatives that enter my life into one huge warning or stop sign. This is especially true for my writing. It’s something so personal and intertwined into every fiber of my being that I’m ready to defend its honor and be critical of it at the same time.
That is until the universe steps in and drops a golden apple on my head. This one came in the form of an email from the reading room manager of creativegirlsadventurebookclub.net. It said in part:
I wanted to send a quick thank you note for your page, it’s been super helpful for our group! Some talented young writers and I have been meeting for a workshop, it’s been great to watch their growth and to see how seriously they take writing. They’re all interested in publishing one day so I’ve been scouring the web for helpful books/sites I can share with them, which is how I stumbled onto your page here, http://lonehorsespirit.com/resources/writing ..It’s been tough finding resources about publishing that aren’t spammy so you have our thanks!
Someone thanking me for something I did related to my writing? Me inspiring a whole club of future writers?
I had to pause for a moment and take it all in. Then I decided to write this blog post because it was a momentous occasion that touched me deeply. I mean, here I am a writer struggling to be noticed in a world where everyone else is shouting over everyone else about the same thing. When I first started out, it wasn’t that way. You had to go through the Big Five and if you made it great, if not oh well. I didn’t care, I just wanted my words to help and inspire people, if only by making them pause and think. Blogging gave me a self-propelled outlet I figured could use to satisfy that desire until I made a book deal happen.
For six years I had Right the Writer. It was my platform where I made connections and built an audience. Then I decided to move and I felt like I was back to yelling in a silent void. It didn’t help that me, a web developer, screwed up the redirects or forgot to unblock the search engines after I launched the site.
Well, it looks like they found me again, so no more echoes of silence in that area of my writing.
I don’t offer random links in my resource section, I fully vet them. This comes from my natural desire to make sure that things are right and just, but also because I tend to get annoyed a lot quicker than most users by the gimmicks, ads, and cons that saturate the internet. It comes from having to clean up the mess that such debauchery can create one too many times.
As a token of their appreciation for finding the non-spammy links, the club and one of its members in particular, Alexa, offered me a great tidbit that I want to share with other writers. It comes from TurboTax and it’s all about book royalties and taxes. Some of the highlights include:
- Earning $400 or more after expenses may result in self-employment taxes
- The type of writing, one-shot deal versus career, determines the form that needs to accompany the 1040
- Treat writing like a business and not a hobby allows and having a book costs more to produce than it makes allows for counting this loss against other income
The inspiration goes on.
When I read the email to my marketing person, they literally screamed in my ear, “I have an idea!”
She described it and I yelled back, “Yes, let’s do it.”
We are going to start anthology called Writers’ Victories. It will involve writers submitting stories about their struggles and overcoming them. The victories don’t have to be huge, just meaningful. They will be part of this blog on an ongoing basis and if I get enough, we’ll publish it as a book
In the next few days, I will post a form where any author can submit their story. I also want to put up one for anyone interested in having a Meet the Author spot. Both things go along with my philosophy that social media and blogging aren’t about preaching, they are about building community.
So thank you Alexa, Jan, and the rest of the gang at Creative Girls Adventure Book Club. Not only have you reenergized a writer, you may have inspired a whole community of like-minded creative folk.