Two more sleeps and my work is out in the world ~ what a lovely thought.
Hope you love reading it as much as I loved writing it. Here’s a short “what’s it about?”
While I would want to spend more time marketing and on social media, Covid-19, in addition to my own health odyssey have inspired me to take action NOW.
I want my family and friends to feel happier during these unprecedented times. I want to give them some kind of sense of love and joy – and the best way I can think of doing that is by releasing my new book earlier.
So excited to share my work with everyone I love!
In November of 2019, my body gave me lots of signs that I needed to pay attention to my health.
I had two choices: succumb to fear and the very dark places your mind likes to go or realize…I have no information other than they’re running some tests and I need to go on with my life. I chose the latter. I lived in this weird state of “it’s probably nothing, it could be something” but my kids need a snack and help with homework right now so I need to be a mom and not freak out. Besides, there was a birthday and Christmas to plan.
My husband became unusually quiet and more helpful than he usually is – which was a bonus. Extra help? I’ll take it.
I will always remember that in between time as a loop of go to the doctor, get some more information and then wait for another test…go to the doctor for results, but they need more information so wait for another test…and so on. In the meantime, I focused on my mental health, my emotional health and my faith in order to truly complete each step of my physical health journey in a way which would ensure to bring my body back into balance and ease.
I am recovering from surgery and waiting for more results to see what happens from here. I have a general overview of things – but in this process I’ve learned specifics come when the time is right. Talk about a lesson in SURRENDERING!
So why am I sharing something so intimate about my health? Because I cannot believe what I have learned!!!
I have time to read and to meditate – to learn about my spirituality in ways I hadn’t been able to before. For once, I don’t feel like I’m stealing time in order to do the things that fill my cup. I am being cared for by all of the people I love and most of all I am learning compassion and self-love in a deeper way which I will take with me for the rest of my life and hopefully pass on to my children.
My physical yoga practice is so different. I have been on my mat every single day since my surgery. I have modified my practice and I have been in the asanas I struggled with the most – stillness in savasana? Camel that is merely looking up without the effort to reach my heels? And I have learned that ease, love, compassion, and breath will bring my body back into balance. (I am aware that I will probably keel over the first time I attempt a power yoga class when I am well…but that’s a problem for another day).
I have learned gratitude; to ask for help; to receive help; to receive the outpouring of love with a feeling of worthiness.
Each moment has become more sweet. Losing my father in my twenties taught me to always appreciate and enjoy life…perhaps, somewhere along the way of having kids, managing a career and a marriage some of that lesson was lost…Life has a way of making sure we stay true to the lessons learned…
This time at home has afforded me so much on my path to full health, and I can’t help but think, perhaps this forced journey to health was a blessing in disguise.
Yet, again, I find myself taking a lesson from my yoga mat and applying it to the real world.
In yoga, we refer to Sthira/Sukha. How strength and softness can exist simultaneously. You can feel both the hardness of a pose and you can melt into it’s difficulty with breath. With softness. With ease. And, voila. You’re not struggling any more. Difficult pose…muscles not happy…and you’re just fine.
Well, I’ve taken this concept and brought it to my writing life. As a soon-to-be indie author, there is so much I’m learning. And, so much, I know I don’t know, as I’ve mentioned on this blog in the past.
One of the things which I was doing a very good job avoiding was marketing. And, while I know nothing about marketing, I know enough to understand I need a platform through which I can communicate with lovers of historical romance. Enter Facebook and Instagram.
The trouble is…I really struggled with how to go about it. I normally use these two platforms as ways of keeping abreast with the lives of my family and friends. Not for building an audience or a business.
I’m not a business executive. I have no idea how to do this or where to go! I’m just a woman with a book who thinks other people will enjoy reading.
So, I whittled my immense fear of marketing down to this simple and basic concept: I just want to meet people who love to read, write and discuss historical romance, whom might hopefully enjoy reading my book too!
It is a good place to start. The other marketing stuff will come when it is time for it to come. So far, I’m happy to say, I’ve met some lovely people on-line whom I hope will one day enjoy my book. In the meantime, I’m enjoying communicating with them and trading stories about our reading and writing journeys.
Suddenly, it doesn’t feel so hard. After all, it’s just about people. People reading and writing great historical romances. And, now I am one of those people.
Find me on Instagram @carynemme
Find me on Facebook Caryn Emme
Find me on Twitter Caryn_Emme
Hope to connect with you there too!
I’m happiest when I’m creating. The after part…editing, polishing, perfecting…that’s fun too because I’m making my story come alive for future readers.
But, the business side? The blurb…oh goodness the blurb…the social media campaign…the learning of each and every platform… It has taken the wind from my sails and made the publishing of my first novel come to a halt.
I am a writer at heart. A lover of stories. A whimsical romantic whom loves happy endings…or at least, neat endings. This whole other side is slowing me down and making me doubt my intentions…my goals…
Then, I remember why I started. I come back to the absolute certainty that my work will be read and enjoyed (of course! …hopefully?) by readers. I wanted to read about a strong heroine who was emotionally broken…yet, still managed to find her happily ever after. I wrote her story and I’m excited to bring her to the world.
I will continue this journey with my heart leading the way. I will stay true to the love I have for this project and my desire to have others engage with it. Perhaps, I should express gratitude to the procrastination and fear because in recognizing these feelings, I have been able to ascertain that I absolutely want for this to happen.
Are you an indie-author? A person with a side-hustle or passion-project you have difficulty finding time for? How do you keep on track and say yes to your goals?
I’ve entered a world I know nothing about. It completely brings to life what I learned in yoga teacher training not too long ago.
There is so much I don’t know. And, although on some days that makes me want to throw my hands up and give up. On most days, I remember that I am a work in progress and the work is learning. Constant learning.
I’ve come so far, I can’t possibly give up now.
I feel overwhelmed about where to put my focus with the precious morning hour or so that I give myself to work because the rest of the day is taken up by summer time activities with the family.
Do I blog? Work on social media connections? Keep formatting my book on Vellum? Keep writing book #2?
It’s A LOT!
Then I remind myself how I have approached this entire enterprise from the beginning. It’s supposed to be fun. I actually have enjoyed all of it. From writing the first draft all the way to editing the shit out of it that it’s lightyears away from the original – except the core of the plot has retained it’s integrity. Smile.
So, right now my main focus is formatting and figuring out how I’m going to get a professional looking cover.
Everything else comes after. Whenever I can squeeze it in.
How do you prioritize all the things with work? How do you decide what comes first and what can be squeezed in?
My reading lists are not long because I have been forced to face reality: I am a working mother of two children who is also trying to publish her first book.
I’ve tried extensive summer reading lists and have failed miserably at them. My kiddos and hubby are home all summer long.
In the past, I have really struggled with sharing my summer reading and writing time with my family. Part of my personal growth has been to accept that this season with my children is short. It won’t be long before they’re out the door or their friends are over in search of entertainment outside of mommy and daddy.
So, I’ve learned to appreciate the slower pace of the summer. I’ve come to truly love my time at home with them because it is precious and fleeting. I’ve also discovered there is nothing more romantic than watching my husband care for our kids and our family. He steps up and takes care of us all summer long. I cherish our summers together. However, as our children are just a little bit older, I’ve noticed I get a little bit more time to sit…even if just for twenty minutes at a time!
During those moments of down-time…of lounging in the shade while the kids splash in the pool, instead of reaching for a dose of Insta…I’ll reach for one of these instead:
Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn are my all-time favourite historical romance writers and I’m reading Steven Neil in support of #IndieApril…yes, I realize it’s June…but see above for reasons my reading is slow.
There are some non-fiction reads I’ll throw on the list too since my journey into yoga and self-knowledge is now a part of me. But, these three will certainly satisfy my thirst for romance for the next couple of months.
What will you be reading this summer? Share below…I may just start an autumn TBR now 🙂
At yoga practice, the instructor made a comment about the ways we tend to distract ourselves on our mat when we find a pose difficult or challenging or perhaps, in our perception, too easy. If we pay attention, we can see these tendencies off the mat.
Now that my understanding of yoga practice and philosophy have deepened, I understand that whatever I face on the mat is exactly what I need and where I need to be.
My mat reminds me to stay when things are difficult. My mat reminds me to rest and be kind to myself when things are easy.
This is a valuable lesson for my writing life. I am currently overwhelmed by all I’ve discovered about what I don’t know. And, I know, there is still so much I don’t know that I don’t know…yet.
I fidget and fuss by researching and researching and researching some more. When in reality, I just need to go through this step-by-step and address issues as they come up. I fidget and fuss by not allowing myself to absorb the small victories in this writing and publishing process. I read and re-read, edit and re-edit, go into highs and lows of this is awesome! to what am I doing?
As a first-time writer of historical romance, and long-time lover of reading it, I am proud of the way my book has fared in contests. I have received incredible praise and feedback from judges. I am proud of the incredible and detailed rejection letters I’ve received. I’m proud of having worked with an editor from Harlequin Historical because she loved my book. All of this from a question late one night a few years ago after finishing one of my many regency novels…I wonder if I can do this?
I am just about finished the final edit. And, I know it is the final edit because it feels right. It has been through multiple reads from friends to complete strangers to editors and all feedback and research I’ve discovered about historical romance and editing fiction along the way has been applied.
Capturing a Countess’ Heart is ready.
Next steps: continue blogging, formatting my book…and something I’m really excited about, commissioning my cover! I’m sure I’ll find ways to fidget and fuss throughout each of these processes – but, my process is my own. And, in recognizing my tendencies, I can use them to my advantage instead of letting them deter me.
How do you fidget and fuss to avoid accepting where you on your journey?
Excited to sit with my next read courtesy of #IndieApril. I realize it’s May; however, I committed to reading and reviewing this book in April. I believe that still counts!
A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris. When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet? Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father? The central character is Harriet Howard and the action takes place between 1836 and 1873. The plot centres on Harriet’s relationships with Louis Napoleon and famous Grand National winning jockey, Jem Mason. The backdrop to the action includes significant characters from the age, including Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria and the Duke of Grafton, as well as Emperor Napoleon III. The worlds of horse racing, hunting and government provide the scope for rural settings to contrast with the city scenes of London and Paris and for racing skulduggery to vie with political chicanery.https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36514982-the-merest-loss
Looking forward to what sounds like a great read!
Regardless of how much or how little is accomplished, I do something, anything, every day which gets me one step closer to my goal.
The list is long and it is absolutely a labor of love…of passion for writing and working on getting my work out into the world.
I could spend entire days after days on amping up my social media presence…preparing future blog posts…finishing the final read through of my present MS…completing the next MS in the series….
The truth is, I can’t.
I beg, borrow and steal time to chip away at this monumental dream I have of publishing my first novel. And, while some days feel like this is impossible…I may as well give up….on most days, I know I can’t.
Giving up would mean waking up in ten years and thinking why didn’t I just try? It would also mean a lot more sleep and time for my family…but I’m prepared to make sacrifices, to let go of the small things which need to be done in order to focus on this huge thing which needs to be done. For me. For my soul. For reaching readers who like me want romance set in the Regency which focuses on smart, whole hearted heroines and dashing, strong heroes – and, whom are both vulnerable and real.
I make a commitment every day to engage in action which will lead me to my goal – I write or edit or blog or tweet or post or research or simply manifest the day it happens and what it will be like.
One thing I know for sure – every little bit counts. The universe understands my goal and is in creation with me.
Capturing a Countess’ Heart will be in reader’s hands and I absolutely can’t wait for you to have it!