Monday, 4 May 2015

Celebrating my Fourth Blog Anniversary…Then and Now…

May the Fourth be with You...
THEN:
ALL SYSTEMS GO! (First posted May 4th, 2011)

May the ‘Fourth’ Be With You!

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. After all, it is Luke Skywalker Day.

First, let me introduce myself—my name is Sharon Ledwith and I write young adult fiction. My genres include: time travel mysteries (kind of like a mesh of fantasy with a splash of sci-fi meets Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys), as well as paranormal stories where teens deal with psychic powers like psychometry, telekinesis, animal communication—stuff like that.

My intention of this blog is to:

#1 Get you to know me as a writer, and post my experiences as an indie publisher of eBooks.

#2 Introduce and showcase my stories and characters.

In a nutshell—market myself and promote my work.

That’s it really. You see, writing is all about the reader. My goal is to influence and empower today’s youth—the next generation—through the stories I create. I believe everyone is here at this time with a mission and a purpose, and every child has something to add to our evolutionary advancement. Children truly are the keys to our future. It is my hope to unlock this portent.

NOW:
Wow! To be honest, I was so afraid when I started blogging and putting myself out in cyber-space. Reading my first post over again, I realize that I’ve come a long way in my writing journey. Back in 2011, I didn’t have a publisher and was still querying agents and publishers. This blog and my Facebook account was the beginning of my online presence, and I really felt like a fish out of water. But I kept blogging and posting on Facebook. I learned to share interesting and helpful posts for other authors as a way of connection. I figured out what works for me and what doesn’t—still an ongoing process, I must admit! And I continue to work on my author brand and platform through blogging and networking with other authors, readers, publishers, and bloggers.

I’ve also gotten better with time. Go figure. My intention has changed a lot since that first blog post. I’m much more confident and tech savvy then I was. Now I’m a published author, and represented by a literary agency. I’ve also learned to adapt to my environment, and go with the flow through the ups and downs of the publishing industry. So what have I learned in the last four years? In grand Oprah-like fashion, I’d like to share with you what I know for sure:

·         I’ve realized that I do NOT want to be an indie publisher, but rather be part of a publishing company. I’m more of a team player and had to figure that out for myself. I like having the support of a publisher behind me. Plus I didn’t have to look for, and invest in an editor, cover artist, and book formatter.
·         I’d rather write blogs that uplift or help authors and readers.
·         I love showcasing middle grade and young adult authors and their books and/or series on my blog for readers to find.
·         I enjoy doing Goodreads Giveaways. I’ve connected with so many readers this way!
·         Book blog tours are exhausting. I’ve learned to delegate blog tours to the professionals whenever possible!
·         Trying to fit into other authors’ shoes is painful and unproductive. Stand in your truth.
·         I can only be one place at a time. Too many social media accounts = too many distractions and not enough writing time. I decided to stick with Facebook, get on Twitter, join Google+ and Goodreads, and occasionally share on LinkedIn. That’s it!
·         I blog every Monday. I used to do it twice a week, but couldn’t keep up. I’ve learned being consistent keeps you out there and creates an audience.
·         I’ve learned to develop a positive mental attitude. Trust me, a PMA will keep you afloat on the days you just want to throw in the towel.
·         I’ve learned from other authors. Success leaves clues. Follow the clues.
·         Finally, I’ve learned that writing is both a business and a passion. It requires wearing two different hats. You need to juggle these hats if you want to be a successful author.


Where the Magic Happens...
I still believe writing is all about the reader. And I still hope to influence, uplift, and empower through my books. My personal motto is: I write to make people’s lives better, create something of value to make them smile. May the fourth be with you, everyone! Cheers! 

21 comments:

  1. Happy Blogiversary! It certainly is a journey, with all its ups and downs. Great post and best of luck to you as you continue forward :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Alan! To be honest you were one of my first mentors in this biz! Cheers!

      Delete
  2. Congratulations on 4 years of blogging! Your blogs are interesting and informative. Keep it up. I agree, it is good to be part of a publishing company, even if it is a small one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers for your kind feedback, Darlene! Appreciate you reading my blogs! Hugs!

      Delete
  3. You are awesome, Sharon, congratulations on four years of success and growth. I'm proud you're my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sloane! I couldn't have grown without you, and that's the truth! Hugs and cheers!

      Delete
  4. I just typed in an entire comment that somehow disappeared into the never-never-land which is the Internet. IF it comes back, great; if not, here's what I said: Four years--hard to believe. I congratulate you on your success, the insights you have gained, and most of all, the information you have always shared to help the rest of us. I admire your always-positive attitude, which can be difficult to adhere to in this business. You've come far, but as the saying goes: the best is yet to come!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Jan! Love that saying and hope it comes true! As for having a positive attitude, it's been a challenge some days, but wasn't doesn't kill me makes me stronger! Cheers for your kind feedback and support!

      Delete
  5. Your desk is so neat compared to mine. I also decided I'd rather not indie publish. I use the same social media as you and am cutting my blogging down to two days per week with an occasional third.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I realized there was garbage left in the bin after I posted! I do sometimes reserve my blog for other authors on Thursday, so at least there's always fresh content zooming throughout the cyberspace. Thank you for your continued support and kind words, Susan!

      Delete
  6. And congrats on your blog anniversary.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Keep up the good work, Sharon.

    P.S. Aren't the dog and cat missing from that picture? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugs for the pat on the back, Helen and Lorri. And yes they are...it was feeding time. Wink.

      Delete
  8. Wow! 4 years. That's awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melissa! Feels like yesterday!

      Delete
  9. Happy 4th, Sharon. Don't understate how much support you give others, it's a great quality. Thanks for all your tweets and comments along the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. High fives and back atcha, Steve! You support many authors and you're someone I look up to as well! You rock the Force!

      Delete
  10. The quality of energy you put out there rocks. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The quality of energy you put out there rocks. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugs, Elliot! Really appreciate your kind words! You rock the Force too!

      Delete