This time last year I was playing Farmville and concerned with virtual crop harvesting and getting Farmville coins so I could expand the ole farmstead and plant more crops!  When I wasn’t doing that, I was chatting on Facebook and cruising post updates.  When I wasn’t doing that, I was editing my book and dreaming about being published.  Yeah, I had my priorities a little screwed up.  Okay, a LOT screwed up.

For someone who has been dreaming about being a published author since the age of eight (many, many moons ago), I was not doing the right things to make that dream a reality.  I’m not sure what I was expecting…maybe a knock on my door by a stranger bearing balloons who says, “Congratulations!  I want to publish your book and make your dreams come true!  You’ve just won the Opportunity Knock’s Road to Stardom!!”  Yeah, some dream, huh? And a highly unlikely one.  Opportunity does not just come knocking.  You have to be actively seeking it, you have to be busy, busy, busy and focused.  You have to be doing everything you can to invite that knock.  Nowadays, it won’t be a knock in any case…it will be an email out of the blue saying “Your book sounds interesting, I’d like to help you promote it.” (Yes! Something like this really happened!) And the guy who did this just published an awesome guide that is my number one go-to how-to book “The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe“.  Seriously, if you are considering going Indie, and even if you have already done so, this book will be a HUGE help!

In October of 2011, I was hearing enough buzz on Facebook and other media outlets that independent publishing (i.e.”indie publishing”) is the way to go for writers wanting to get their books out into the world at large.  Amazon’s Kindle was taking off in popularity and everyone started hopping on the Kindle Train.  I decided to join the “free” ride.  I haven’t seen the farm since.  Those poor crops.

So what did I do?  I started buying Kindle books (because let’s face it, they are so darned affordable, why wouldn’t I?) on e-publishing. I took the most popular advice and found an editor.  That was the hard part, finding someone I could trust to edit my book and do so at a price I could afford.  I decided to truly invest in my dream and to believe I was worth it.  It was that, more than anything, that drove me to go for it!

I then started to work on building my “brand” and my on-line presence.  Although I’d heard about Twitter and wasn’t interested in it at all, the popular advice was to join, start following and get as many followers as possible.  Of course, that meant getting another indie book on how to do that!  One thing I have quickly learned…Indies (self-published authors) are generous.  They happily share their knowledge and success.  Indies help each other.  Each success they celebrate makes our own dream that much more attainable.  Seriously, if you are going to do something…look to those who are doing it and doing it well!  What’s so marvelous about all this is that it’s so affordable.  Granted, I’m buying more books than I have to time to read and my Kindle is filling up fast, but wow!  To have all those books at my fingertips.  The “how to” books I scan for information as needed, the novels I read whenever I need a break from the computer and all the exhaustive work involved with writing and promoting!

Another thing I started doing is blogging.  I’d been dragging my feet on it even though I’d heard many times over on the social airways and byways how important this is for a writer’s career .  Honestly, I’ve come to accept that every serious writer, one who means to write for a living, really should have one.  So, I started searching for blogs and reading blogs and subscribing to blogs and quickly became blogged down (couldn’t resist, sorry).  Reading and commenting on blogs takes time…lots of it…so it wasn’t long before I started worrying about finding time to read all the books I’d been buying.  Not to mention the fact that my writing time was getting more and more limited.  Now, on top of everything else, I had to add to my time shortage issue and write a blog one to three times a week.  Despite the worries and concerns, I stopped whining about it and started doing it.  Truly, I enjoy sharing little tidbits of things through blogging.  I’m also trying to learn to keep my blogs shorter.  Who has the time to read long blogs!!   I don’t.  I also try to keep in mind that I better be offering something useful to those taking valuable time out of their busy day to read what I’m sharing!

I’ve been very busy since October on chasing my dream and making it a reality.  I published my first book, Be Still, My Love, on December 13th, 2011.  Ever since then, I’ve been making goals and reading books that will help me accomplish them.  Right now my biggest goal is to make Amazon’s top ten fiction list! (yeah, it’s ambitious but go big or go home…right?)

I’ll share some of the books (one of which I’ve already done in a previous paragraph), blogs, websites and techniques I’ve been using to help me accomplish my writing dream but not yet…first to make Amazon’s top 100 best seller’s list. Then I will feel like my advice is worth something.  Still, I can say this…I’m published, people are buying my book, they are liking it and I’m getting great reviews.  For now that’s enough.  It’s a good beginning.  But I’ve a long way to go to reach that top-ten goal.  Wish me luck!  And wishing you luck in accomplishing your own dreams!

Until next time, many blessings to you and Peace Out!

By the way…if you want to share some techniques you are using to accomplish your dream, please do!  In helping each other…we help ourselves.  It’s an awesome set up.