Goodness, this is my first blog post of 2011!

Not that I haven’t thought about blogging. I’ve even felt guilty about not blogging. But I’ve posted on Facebook (even developed a new Facebook page–please LIKE me!) and tweeted on Twitter (FOLLOW me, please). Does that count? Even if I haven’t blogged since 2010?  Writing the next book? Not so much.

Yes, I know that social networking is the marketing mode of choice. I know I have to do it. I’m doing it. I see results, actually, as when I tweet several times a day I gain a new follower or two. Facebook, well, I saw a small bounce in my book sales when I mentioned a “promotion” during National Read an Ebook Week, which was also on International Women’s Day (is there a National Week for Self-Published Authors? Or Baby Boomers on Facebook/Twitter?).

Sometimes, when I get somewhat frustrated with all this, I ask myself why I’m doing this. I mean, what did or do I want from even publishing the book? A runaway best-seller would be nice, but, clearly, that’s not happening. Do I need book revenue to live, eat, buy clothes, travel? No, thank goodness. BUT, having expended years of effort in writing, not to mention a nice financial sum for editing, self-publishing, and traveling to speak, it would be nice to make a little profit. And, slowly, I am. Very slowly. Just ask my husband.

So, what’s my motivation, if not money? I’ve worked hard to tell a good story, at least that’s what people who like it tell me it is. (Do you detect an element of self-doubt here? No, I’m still just surprised). So, I want to share the story. The fact that I’ve published to do so means I have some desire for recognition, preferably positive. On some level I’ve always wanted to make my mark as a writer.  Not necessarily as a novelist, but it’s certainly been a new challenge and source of accomplishment. Maybe that should be enough. (“Congratulations, Mom, for just doing it.”)

But I’ve got to tell you that, sometimes in these past few months, I’ve wondered how this all got to be a source of stress, tension, and time-management angst. That was NOT what I wanted, especially since retiring from 30+ years as an investment broker at the end of 2010. To be honest, I’ve looked at me and my book vs. everything that’s going on in the rest of the world that I care about–Japan, the Middle East, joblessness, education, reproductive choice–and I think I’ve got to put this in perspective. If I, a woman of a certain age who cares about so many REALLY IMPORTANT things (plus my family and friends), why is success with the book so important? If I don’t tweet ten times a day (or even once a day) or blog for almost three months, it won’t change the world, probably not even my world.

All that said, I’m competitive–sometimes, even unbecomingly so, when I read about huge success stories with books or contemplate the publication of a book by someone I know. I’d like to think that, having accomplished MORE in my life than just publishing a book, this doesn’t define me or the totality of my life. It doesn’t.

But, let’s face it, I’m hoping that all my efforts to create buzz will ultimately make my book like Sarah’s Key, the French Holocaust story that “made it” in the US about two years after first publication–and has been on best-seller lists for another two+ years.

In the meantime, I have to remember that blogging, posting, and tweeting–while all forms of the written word–are not WRITING. Especially not the next book. Blog posts or the next book? I’m trying to do more of both. Stay tuned.

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