Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Indie Life: Keeping it Real

Being genuine. Keeping it Real. 

How to do that in an online, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Google + world?

I have spent a year trying to answer that question for myself. What I have learned is this: By jumping into the river and swimming, I begin to discover things. As I'm paddling and floating along, my heart and mind connect to things that turn me on, make me feel more alive, and help me grow my way of seeing myself, others, and the world around me.

Those are the things I retweet, share, and comment on. It feels good. There's an impulse to be random, formulaic, and mechanical, and I have experimented with that. For me, it might involve some time savings, but it never feels quite right.

I struggled a lot last year with my website and blog. Having blogged in the past, I knew what a time suck it could be. I didn't want to start up anything I would come to resent, or worse feel disconnected from. Like I was just going through the motions, or just doing it because everyone says I need an author platform.

There were a lot of false starts. I kind of went off in this direction and that one; I felt kind of stuck and uninspired. As the year wore on, I was reading a lot more and then I picked up Leaf Storm by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I fell in love with the stories in it and wanted to chatter about it. Out of all that, Eating Magic, my stream-of-consciousness eating journal, inspired by the Alice Hoffman quote: Books may well be the only true magic was born. 

I get more regular traffic from Eating Magic than anything else I've experimented with, and the truth is, I would continue with it even if I didn't get the traffic, because I love it and it's a lot of fun to write.

Russell Blake is a successful indie author who I follow on Twitter.  He made a comment on his post New Year, New Hurdles & Opportunities: They are singularities. He was referring to John Locke, Amanda Hocking, E.L. James, John Grisham, and Hemingway. He meant their particular road to success is not repeatable. So what are we to do if we can't mimic, copy, or follow behind in their footsteps?

It seems, indie authors--and authors--who experience break-out success don't follow any set rules; they follow their passions and find their own way to keep it real. I know that's the key to accessing the excitement that fired me up to take this journey in the first place.

So every now and then I ask myself: Are you keeping it real?

What about you? Does being genuine feel important to you as an indie author?

18 comments:

  1. I agree. We can't copy someone else's road to success. We have to follow our own and keep working hard!

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  2. Laura, thank you for stopping by, and I have to say that I am so excited about Indie Recon next week!

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  3. I love your new covers, Heidi. I agree, following your passions helps you keep it real. Is Book Two out yet?

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    1. thanks you! Yes, and The Dragon Carnivale (The Queen of the Realm of Faerie, #3) will be out in June 2013!

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  4. Great post! I, like you, thought I had to start a certain way, and now almost two years later, I write what I want, when I want (social media).

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    1. Claudia, thank you for stopping by and sharing your similar experience:)

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  5. I do believe that each person has to find his/her own path.

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    1. Andrew, thank you for swinging by. Yes, I think that is just the thing, finding our own path:)

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  6. Yes absolutely! This is one of the reasons my own name is on my book as the publisher. I didn't want to hide myself behind a fancy publishing name or hide the fact that I'm an Indie. I'm proud to be an Indie because it's me, and just me, publishing my book (soon to be books). I've never been one to follow trends either. If I love something, I'll tell everyone. Keeping it real is the best thing we can do. There is no success formula. Success is what we make it. Thanks for a great post.

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    1. Oops! I replied and then it wasn't there. Okay..

      K.A. Thank you for stopping by. Like you, I am a proud indie author:) Since I have started this journey I have worked--and written--harder than I ever have before. I love your enthusiasm, it reminds me why I do that!

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  7. We can only be ourselves, no matter how we might be tempted to try to act like someone else. What I like about the indie life is the freedom to try things that a publisher might not necessarily want to do.

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    1. J.L. Thank you for coming by. And you make an excellent point--that indie authors can try things a publisher wouldn't do or even think of. Another chance to get creative!

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  8. I love this post! I think when we love something it shows and readers will know. But it is something we should ask oursevles regularly. Thanks for the reminder! =)

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    1. E. Thank you for stopping by. I need constant reminders myself, which is guess is why i wrote the post:)

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  9. Exactly :) It seems we are on teh same page, Heidi! I think about this a lot :)

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  10. Faith, Thank you for dropping by. I really loved the point you made about trying harder on your post, you're so right. Sometimes trying harder isn't the answer. Sometimes it's just not your thing:)

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  11. I do agree about keeping real and doing things our own way instead of trying to copy how someone else does it. :)

    I hope you're having a good weekend!

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  12. Thanks for stopping by Cherie! I do love the weekends…and doing things our own way;)

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