Writer vs. Published Author

A post over at The Forget-Me-Not Cultivation blog got me to pondering this morning.  And I left a comment…

Which Sophie responded to and asked me questions I realized I couldn’t in good conscience respond to without appearing to hijack her comments area as my own personal blog space – so here’s my answer in reply to your query, all umpteen hundred words safely nestled on my slice of cyberspace:

“May I ask why you have decided to self publish? Have you had your work read or critiqued as yet and if so can I also ask how?”

I’ve decided to self-publish, because I can.

It’s really as simple as that.  My computer has a file folder titled “Writing” and so many sub-folders it’s ridiculous.   Before I had a PC, I carted with me various notebooks/folders/three-ring binders that had short stories, poems, prose and journals stacked within them.   Like you, Sophie, I’ve always been a writer and with the dawning of the ePublications age, I see no reason why not to upload my work and see what happens.

The mechanics of ePublishing does not occur to me to be very hard – there are numerous tutorials on how to format, etc.  I’m no graphic artist, but I know my way around Photoshop well enough to design websites and my wants for my cover design are not past my skill level.

I follow so many different blogs from writers and self-published authors there is no shortage of information regarding how-to and how-not-to.   I’ve ordered many self-published works in the past – some were good, some were not.

I’ve seen what is out there and I believe my work will have an audience and stand up to critiquing from that audience (as long as my high school English teacher proofreads it for me!  LOL)

Do I expect to become a self-supporting author shortly after publishing?  No.

Because I do not, and because I’ve already written these works and had previously designed the covers after envisioning the series of them one day during my afternoon “Daydreaming” hour, I really don’t have anything to lose by self-publishing.    Most of the time and effort have already been spent.  I simply must correct the typos/grammar errors given to me by my red-penciled angels, select my fonts and upload.

Any sales I make will be awesome because I haven’t taken out a loan to pay others to help me get the work “publication ready.”

So far, I’m sure my observations have made some in the self-published world cringe – there are perhaps some souls who believe me, and those like me, to be the bane of the eBook world and wish for us lackadaisical folks to quit ruining the reputation of the ‘published it myself’ crowd with our less than polished submissions.

I will not apologize.  I’ll submit the best of my best.   My cover may not make Madison Avenue exclaim, “It Pops!” but it is what I want.   I will always hire a proofreader to ensure a typo-free copy for upload.  I will format my manuscript for easy navigation (thanks to my many years as a database and website developer).   I will tell my story the best I know how and…

… the rest is up to Destiny.

Work Critiques

The only work I’ve had critiqued is the articles and book copy I’ve written for the publications of others.  Sometimes I got a credit/byline and sometimes I did not.   This prior experience may make me a tad more confident in my writing abilities than I should be.

I have not trucked my work around to writer’s groups to have it critiqued.  Some years ago, a friend joined a writer’s group and I went along for the ride to one or two meetings when I was visiting her.

While I’m not judging (truly, I’m not), I must say not one in the group was a writer.    All of them had recently read “The Four Hour Work Week” and were set to become millionaires maintaining their ‘information publication website’.   They all had knowledge that was useful to share – and worthy of charging for the sharing – but after seeing some of the manuscripts, they were not, quite yet, writers.

Not that I believe all writers groups to be like this, but the experience reminded me how often over the years various works had been thrust into my hands to be read with an added, “What do you think?   Could I get published?”

Now why, you might ask, was I the recipient of these missives?   Because I’m a writer – – which means not only do I write for enjoyment, but I never spend very long at any job before I’m the go-to gal for helping write the perfect memo, resignation, letter, manual, report, brochure, web copy, etc….

I’ve been a ghost writer for years – there are many who know what they want to say, but cannot write it effectively.   It makes me happy to do website copy for someone and hear:

“Amazing!  It’s exactly what I wanted only so much better!  How did you get all of this just by us having coffee and a chat?”

Because I’m a storyteller who can write…

So my life experience tells me I am a writer.   My soul says I’m a writer.

Why not take the leap to become a published author?

So if you’re so casual about it, why do it at all?

Because I must.


The Leibster Award

liebsterI confess, I was nominated for awards, twice, during my “I’m on sabbatical” period in early June.  AND, I managed to somehow move the nomination emails from my Inbox to Lost-In-Cyberspace, instead of “AToDo” folder – or at least that’s what I think happened..

If you were the blessed soul who nominated me for this award, please, please shoot me …. no, I mean, send me a comment or email so I can get a link to your awesomeness posted here.

UPDATE! – I found the nomination link!  Right on my own ‘About Me” page – DUH!  

Thanks ever so much to newbloggycat for nominating me!   I just recently started following and am overjoyed with the daily jokes, quips and quotes to be found here.   If you’re looking for pick-me-ups and belly laughs to intersperse throughout your day as a break from those of us who simply can’t post anything without breaking the 2,000 word mark – this is where you should be!

As for the Rules for Liebster:

  • Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer your nominator’s 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 deserving blogs with less than 200 followers and ask them 11 questions.

I love this!   A chance to show some support for those blogs I follow that are just getting up and running with their readership!

11 Random Facts about myself:

I truly, truly am not as awful as the fact of losing a nomination may indicate – – I think….

I have calico hair – medium brown in winter, light brown in summer and glints of red and gold in the sunlight.

My junior high nemesis used to call me “Tam-Bra” to make fun of the fact that I was such a stick, I didn’t even need one till high school.

I started working for neighbors when I was 11 – and for companies by age 13.  I’ve worked so many full-time, part-time & temp gigs over the years that whenever I’m required to list everywhere I’ve worked, all skill sets/certifications and my age for any job that requires background checks and clearances, the polygraph technician always believes me to be lying.  Haven’t failed one yet – and some, I even go to coffee with after –  I’m a treasure chest full of war stories…

I believe storytelling to be our greatest gift and most cherished resource.

I believe telling ourselves and others stories that aren’t in our best interests to be the bane of our existence.

I try to be an Optimistic Realist – – some days I fail and come across as a Cynic.

One lifetime can never, ever be enough – so I’m trying to pack in as much as I can, just in case the reincarnationists are wrong.

I believe my two greatest gifts to the world are my sons.

I miss the long history discussions I used to have with my Dad.

I’m a Colorado native – tried moving elsewhere a few times, but never lasted more than a few months.  I love it here.

Answer 11 questions from the nominator

Please, please – whoever gave me the blessing that I let fall through the cracks – ask away – I promise to answer!

Update! Found it!

Here’s the questions:

1. Who is the most important person in your life?

My son.

2. Three must-haves on a desert island.

Food, Water & Shelter

3. Who is your favourite actor/actress?

Sam Elliott/Sandra Bullock

4. What’s your most over-used phrase?

Fantabulous and Be Aware of your Surroundings

5. Did you have an imaginary friend?

No – but I have a whole brain committee to debate with whenever I want.

6. If your life has a theme song, what would it be?

“You Can’t Stop Love”

7. What’s your favourite sport?

Viewing – Ice Skating and any Equestrian sport.   Engaging In – Volleyball and Racing.

8. If you could be anyone for one day, who would it be and why?

My dog – so I know if I’m doing a good job of being a pet owner or not.

9. What is your most embarrassing moment?

When I reminded a trooper over the air that the computer was down, but I would run clearances when I could – what came out was: “It’s still down, but when I get it up, I’ll give it to you.”

10. Please complete this sentence: “…………..makes me laugh.”

People, including myself, make me laugh

11. Coffee or tea?


Show some love for other bloggers:

There are a couple here who didn’t have their follower stats showing, but due to comment/likes numbers and number of posts, I decided I would be safe in adding them to the ‘under 200 followers’ list.  There are some here who are very, very close to 200 – So c’mon community!   Let’s shower them with views!


You can’t hide the spark!


I’m not rescinding the nomination, just because I figured out who nominated me!

Looking out the Window

Dirt Therapy

Sugarbelle Shoots

Keeping My Eye On the Sparrow

The Forget-me-Not Cultivation Blog

A Simple Life

Kids in a Candy Store

Heru’s Light



And here’s my 11 questions for you:

  • What do you like best about the WordPress community?
  • Devil’s or Angel Food Cake?
  • What is your favorite season of the year?
  • Beer, Wine or None of the Above?
  • What helps to keep  your creative spark ignited?
  • Did you set out to blog professionally or just for fun?
  • First paying job?
  • Favorite teacher from school or school-of-Life?
  • What are your hopes for your blog?
  • Your three best characteristics
  • What you depend on your community for

Enjoy getting to know one another!


There is one on the list who has way more followers than my reader stats indicated when I picked the nominees and another who jumped over the 200 mark – But I’m not rescinding the nominations – just wanted to let you know…