October 31, 2006 | Karin's Blog | 16 comments

Happy Halloween.

So, as hubby carves the pumpkins into Jack o’ Lanterns, I’m upstairs in my office sipping another fresh cup of coffee, and loving life.

I came to an epiphany today. With all of the talk on the loops and blogs about self doubt, numbers, print runs, reviews, digging deep for that character, and just all around keeping yourself motivated it occurred to me, any and all neurosis I have suffered to this point is 100% self induced. I have stressed over things in which I have absolutely no control.

Here is what I do have control of: What I write. Period.

This brings me to the end result of a book. The readers. How do we as authors reach out and touch them?

One avenue is the internet.

When we begin this internet adventure we hope to build a reader base.
While I can blog, and blog hop, while I can give advice on loops, attend RWA meetings and conferences and give workshops, in many ways I’m preaching to the choir. Not that the choir doesn’t read and buy books, but the choir is a small concentrated portion of all readers. It seems to me viral marketing takes up entirely too much time. I mean think about it. Of the author blogs you visit, how many of them do you actually buy their books?

So here’s the question: Do I stop haunting the internet? Or could my time be better spent, say writing the best book I can and allowing my publisher to do what publishers are supposed to do?

In answer to the first question: no. Why? Because I happen to like people. I like to visit certain blogs and loops, it’s like visiting friends, and for that reason alone, I won’t stop.

The answer to the second question is, yes. I can spend time I would use on the net to better hone my stories. And so I will. It is what I have control over. I’ll reach readers more effectively with a great story about lasting characters. I’ll stop worrying about numbers. They will be what they will be. My internet net will no longer cast further then it is now, in fact, I will draw it in some.

Will I still do signings and events? Of course, it’s my social nature. But my time will be very carefully measured.

I feel so much like I have the weight of the world aka: worry, off my shoulders.

What do you do when you feel like you’re about ready to explode from frustration or worry? Do you do what a friend of mine does? She goes off to self medicate. If so what do you do to self medicate?

PS, the final Scent-u-ous question will be posted Friday.



  1. Edie Ramer

    Karin, I’m writing 5 pages a day before I allow myself to look at my email. I’ve done it for a week and a half, and it’s worked really well.

    And in answer to your questions, I am more likely to buy from someone I know through blogging. I’d be curious about their writing and I’d want to support their careers.

  2. Amanda

    When I regularly visit author’s blogs then I look for their books at the bookstore. When I need to unwind I write, I lose myself in the story, it carries me away. Or I get carried away with a good book already published by my fave authors.

  3. Karin

    Good going on the pages, Edie, you have been burning up the keyboard.
    I buy from people I meet on line as well, but my circle is limited. And frankly, most of the sites I visit regularly are people I know personally, so yes, I buy them. I have purchased a few books of writers who I interact with online, some just becasue I do want to support them and others because I am intrigued by their books.

    Amanda, I too will browse the bookselves for an author I have met online, the name recognition thing.

    But in the big picture, my thought is, is my time better spent in other venues, to reach out to readers? There is truth in, they will tell two friends who will tell two friends who will tell two friends, etc, etc.

  4. Hubby

    “What do you do when you feel like you’re about ready to explode from frustration or worry?”

    I help my wife research a scene for accuracy. Getting into the skin of a character is a great release…

  5. Edie Ramer

    ROFL. I’m sure Karin is grateful for all your research help, Officer Friendly.

  6. Elisabeth

    ROFLMAO, Officer Friendly. That was good.

  7. Karin

    Raine, I hear you. Sometimes solitude is bliss.
    I love sleeping! Especialy when it’s cold and rainy outside. It really does me good to snuggle deeper into the fannel sheets and just not think, do or worry.

    Hubby, you are naughty.

  8. raine

    Self-medicate?? :-O

    Whenever I feel like I’m about to blow, I have to pull in. I mean, isolation, thinking, doing mindless things, sleeping–all in isolation. I need it to get myself back into balance, strengthen my energy. I’m also a dangerous person to be around at such times, so isolating myself–at least for a short time–is a very good thing at that point.
    That, and figuring out what’s important, and what’s worth spending my energy on. Frustration and anger will eat you alive.

  9. Cece

    Raine and I have the same coping mechanism which is probably why when the kids are gone I hole up all alone with the tV and my laptop. If I’m really bent I go outside and do yardwork too. There’s nothing like hedge trimmers to work your anxiety with (ok I’m sure there is but you know what I mean).

  10. Karin

    Cece, I love my kids, but when they are gone and I need that down time? Pure bliss. Another outlet for me is walking. This am I just wanted to stay in bed. Hubby dragged me out and we hit the pavement. Within minutes I felt invigorated.
    lol, Cece, I’m envisioning you with hedge trimmers in Edward Scissorhands fashion.

  11. Michelle Diener

    I bake 🙂 Or read. Or go for a walk. Basically if I feel things are closing in, I take some me time and try to put things in perspective, look at them logically and then move on.

  12. Karin

    Gawd, Michelle, if I baked, I’d be as big as my house! I wish I could, there is just something about beating a batter into shape that sounds so…so…primal.

  13. Lynne

    I hear what you’re saying, Karin, and I often question how much time I put into social activities on the Internet. Although I’m starting to cut back a little, I doubt I’ll make any drastic changes. For one thing, as you said, I like people, and I’ve met some wonderful folks through blogs. I also think that it does help sales, because I make a special point of buying books by people whose blogs I enjoy reading. Not only do I want to support people I like, but I also think there’s a good chance I’ll love getting to know their characters.

    One of the most effective methods I have for blowing off steam is going walking. I must’ve had a lot of angst to walk off this year — I’ve lost fifteen pounds at it! 🙂

  14. Karin

    Lynne, I agree it does help sales, no doubt, but time spent vs actual sales? That is my question. Sigh, for me, I can’t drop friends I’ve met on the internet, and I won’t, I’ll just cut back going out and meeting new ones. Now, if a new face wants to stop by here? Heck, my door is always open.
    Walking is great for so many things. Great on losing the 15 pounds! I have another 20 to lose and I’ll be good to go. Okay, maybe 25.

  15. Jake

    I think you’re right, Karin. The only thing we can control 100% is what we write. I, too, love the friends I’ve made on the blogs, both writers and fans. Sometimes it’s hard to find a balance,though, and do the work we’re supposed to be doing—- writing!

    You can’t go wrong writing great stuff, and trying every time to make it better than the last one.

  16. Karin

    argh, I am the world’s worst balancer, Jake!

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