What To Do With This Blog?

Okay, well, here I am. And wondering what the next step is. At this point, you can pretty much take my advice with a whole salt pan because clearly, I do not know what I am doing with my writing.

Actually no, that’s bollocks, I DO know what I am doing. I’ve learned HEAPS in the past year. But what is clear is that the way I am doing it is not right. They say one door shuts and another closes. 🙂

Anyway, this does lead me to question whether I want to continue with this blog. And for that I need you blog readers. I pretty much need to know if this crap I spew is of worth to people.

So my questions to you are thus:

1. Do you want to keep reading this blog?
2. If so, what do you like about it that keeps you coming back?
3. Is anything I say worthwhile and useful to you, and now that the M&B door has shut pretty firmly in my face, are you still interested in where I go from here?

27 thoughts on “What To Do With This Blog?”

  1. Stopping now would be tantamount to giving me a copy of your favorite mysetery novel to read, letting me get 3/4 of the way through, and then taking it back before I found out whodunnit. Then flushing it down the toilet. While waving your arms in a magick-y way while shouting “Ta daaa! I made it disappear!”

    Okay, maybe not that last part, but the rest for sure.

    We’ve come this far with you and we want, nay, DESERVE to know the end. We’ve shared virtual martini’s and chocolate and hugs and watched you get up and dust yourself off and keep plugging. We DESERVE to celebrate and dance on tables and share virtual champagne (and more chocolate and HAPPIER hugs) with you. And you deserve to have us there at the party when you make your first sale. Don’t cut us loose before the money shot, Jax. That would just suck.

    I know M&B was your pick, but there are a lot of horses in this race. I know you’ll find one that’s right for you and your stories and your voice. I, for one, would be really disappointed not to be there when you cross the finish line.

  2. I love your blog because you’re struggling with the same kind of writing problems that I am (and lots of other aspiring writers out there which is one of the reasons you have so many followers:) You’re so helpful and generous to other writers. I learn such a lot from your lightbulb moments.

    But I wonder how the M&B editors view your comments on rejection. Could they maybe feel a little uncomfortable with them?

  3. Everything that Christine said, but with a little proviso.

    I love reading your blog, I think your insights into writing are terrific. I also think the amount of emotion and care you put into your blogs shows and we all appreciate your honesty and integrity and your courage in putting it out there, because there’s nothing harder in the writing game than having to struggle thru all this shite on your own.

    All of that said, you’ve also got to ask yourself what is this blog giving you. It’s giving heaps to all your readers, but is it making you feel like a failure as a writer because you haven’t achieved X, Y and Z yet when anyone who’s read your writing (me being one of the privileged few) know that you’re not a failure. You just haven’t found the right fit yet. And let’s face it the M&B fit keeps fricking changing, which on the one hand is what makes them successful, but on the other makes it bloody hard to figure out what they want!

    I don;t want you to give up the blog, cos I love reading it and like Christine I want to witness the money shot, but at the same time maybe taking the pressure off for a while and taking time out to just enjoy your writing and explore where you want to go with it might be what you need. Or not. It’s up to you to decide.

  4. noooooo…. don’t go 🙁

    To answer your questions…

    1. Yes. I want to keep reading your blog.

    2. I like what you say, I like the way you say it. I like that you are so generous in sharing your feelings, your hurts and your triumphs. I like that you don’t sugar-coat how absolutely cruddy rejections make you feel. I like your humour. I like it all.

    3. Are you kidding !! I have printed out some of your posts and added them to my files of ‘most valuable stuff to refer back to’. So yea, your stuff is worthwhile. Really, really worthwhile. Not just the craft stuff but the reality of the journey too. And hell yeah, I want to know what happens next.

    Don’t walk away from this. Please.

  5. Actually Heidi makes a really good point… if having this blog is increasing the pressure on you, then definitely take a breather. We’ll still be here for you.

  6. Yes, yes and absolutely yes!

    Just to clarify, that wasn’t my When Harry Met Sally impression, those were the answers to your questions.

    I definitely think you should carry on because as Christine says, we all come here and read your blog because we like the subjects you blog on but mostly it’s because we are walking your journey WITH you.

    So wherever you go next with your writing, you can be certain you’ll have a band of followers cheering you on.

    But that door isn’t shut, it’s still ajar and one day I’m certain you’ll stroll right through.

    I don’t think anyone will feel slightly uncomfortable reading what is and always has been a very honest blog about your writing and your feelings. So big yay to you!

    Oh and here’s a cream cake because I bought two and if you don’t eat it then you’ll be responsible for me putting weight on this week!!

  7. Although I don’t visit regularly, I encourage you to keep it up. You’ve collected yourself a nice group of friends. We care what you have to say. (I’m on Twitter now and can see when you post!)

  8. I agree with Christine. There is more than one way to skin a cat. And while MB is a successful publisher, they aren’t the only one out there with great authors. Many of the epubs are much more fluid in their ideas of what a good romance looks like. And many authors write for both epublishers and MB so it doesn’t mean an end to that dream. Just something new to pursue for a while.

    And I, too, look forward to celebrating your eventual success.

  9. I have 40 subscriptions on my blog reader and yours is always the first one I choose to read. I love the way you write. I love your humour and your charisma. Please don’t stop. I WILL MISS YOU!

  10. Heidi is right. I’m selfish. I’d like you to keep blogging because it’s always fun to stop by.

    But if it’s become a huge time or energy drain, it’s okay to set it aside for a bit. I’ll still be here when you get back.

  11. Christine – Lol!! thank you. That is the most awesome comment. Perhaps you guys can help me pick the horse.:-)

    Alice – I’m so glad you find it useful. As to the M&B editors, maybe. But I’m not criticising them or anyone else. Hey, if anything, it’s myself I’m criticising for not getting it right. But maybe you’re right. Maybe I need to stop being so honest about it.

    Heidi – got it in one. Doing this on your own is shite. And yes, somtimes I do feel a failure when I hand out all this advice and yet can’t seem to get it right on my own. What I hate is disappointing people. So from that POV, the blog can be a pressure. But maybe it’s the pressure I need to keep going.
    But I’m with you on the M&B fit. I may once have nearly fitted but they changed the shape of the hole and now I don’t. 😉

    Jo – thanks!!!!!!! You are awesome. But like I said to Heidi, it may be a good kind of pressure.

    Joanne – love the cream cake. Thanks. That door…hmmm…I don’t know. It is pretty much shut but who knows? Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. I know honesty isn’t everyone’s bag though. Ah well, they don’t have to read it. 🙂

    Wendy – thanks I appreciate it.

    Julia – certainly something to think about re the epubs isn’t it? But I hear you. And thanks re the blog. It isn’t a drain actually, not normally, though it feels like it when things aren’t going well.

    Kristy – I have charisma? Ooooh, you are wonderful. I’ve never thought of myself like that at all! Thanks so much for the support.

  12. I love reading your blog (I really believe you could make a book from it alone!) – I value what you say and how you say it and the comments you inspire others to make.

    I like the fact you are honest with a big pinch of humour thrown in and also the fact that I and so many others can relate to how you are feeling and what you are going through.

    So yes what you say is both worthwhile and useful.
    As for the M&B door I don’t know what feedback they gave you but I think you can still push that door open if you want to, just maybe not right away – but even if you don’t I would feel cheated if you don’t let us know where you go from here.

    BUT I think thats all from a readers selfish view point – just because I get a lot from your blog doesn’t mean you are. I think Heidi has a valid point – if it is good for you then do it if its an added pressure stop.

    Nina x

  13. A very difficult question for me to answer because you know this is my favorite water cooler hang out. You KNOW I enjoy your posts and chatting about heroes or whatever the topic of the day might be.

    BUT. . .

    I think Heidi is right. You need to do what’s right for YOU. And Julia is right too. If you were to decide you want to take a break, I’ll still be here when you get back.

    ((HUGS))

  14. Very interesting in what you have to say of your journey!
    I have learnt heaps from you to do with craft and also highs and lows and perseverence!
    You can do it Jackie!!!
    Don’t give up 🙂

  15. I’m gonna throw the question back at you Jax – do you want to keep writing this blog? I always get the impression that writing it is pleasurable and useful for you, and for as long as it remains both of those then I wholeheartedly say keep it up.
    Personally, I very much enjoy reading it and following your journey. I love that you wear your heart on your sleeve, and I think it’s brave that you are willing to share so much of yourself here. Sometimes your posts make me laugh, other times they make me mad for you, but either way you have the power to move with your words.
    The long and short of it is that I come back to your blog often because it’s a damn good read, and i’ll buy your books for exactly that reason too.

  16. Found you from Aimee’s site – we are all in the same journey as writers, and are here for each other. You seem to have a great supportive community and should def keep writing the blog if you enjoy it. If it feels draining or depressing, take a break. Do what inspires you! I really liked your blog!

  17. Jackie – do what’s right for you. If you need a break, take it.

    But know this – when you come back we’ll all be here cheering for you, laughing with you and sharing your lightbulb moments.

    This writing milarkey is a damned rough ride, it’s hard and there’s so many unexpecteds just when we think we know what we’re doing. But sharing the journey with you makes it much more pleasurable.

    Hugs, Louise
    ps, oh and just quietly – I agree with Rachael 😉

  18. Nina – thanks, I love the honesty you guys give me in return. It means a lot to have you all there as support. No, I can’t push the door open. Yet. I really need to take stock before I do that. But this blog may help me keep going. So yeah, a good pressure.

    Kerrin – thanks! I don’t think I’ll give up writing. I just need to figure out my new direction. But so pleased it’s been helpful to you.

    Aimee – you know having you around means a lot. And I love that it’s your water cooler. 🙂 I’m still thinking about the pressure part of it.

    Jo – love ya! And that’s the best question – do I want to keep writing it? Yes, I do like writing it. I always have. But do I like sharing my failures? Not really. I love the support I get when I do share though. But you see, being honest about them is part of what people love. There are people who don’t think it’s a good idea either. Hey…blog post alert! 🙂

    Rach – you are wonderful! Blaze? Hmmm, I’m keeping my options open at this point.

    Jennifer – thanks for the support! It’s really awesome. I do like writing it. And on balance I like writing it more than not writing it. If that makes sense…

    Louise – yeah, that’s it exactly. Sharing the journey does make it that much more pleasurable. Hugs back to you. Still thinking about it…

  19. It’s been said that before Thomas Eddison made the first light-bulb work, he also discovered 999 ways of how not to make it work. I think one of his quotes was – I never failed once. It was just a 1000 step process.

    If you give up now, Jackie – you will never have that light-bulb moment that will catapult you into Published Author’s Heaven 🙂

    I’ve heard it’s a pretty cool place to be – and one day I hope to join you there – but in the mean time just remember – being published is one-tenth talent, nine-tenths determination. By my reckoning, you’re almost there.

    And yes – I looooove your blog and while I would understand if you needed a break from it, I’d also be sad to see it go.

    Luv, hugs and a virtual wine 🙂

  20. I definitely want to keep reading! But like others have said if you need a breather you should have one 🙂

    I’d also love to follow you wherever you go! Possibly not in a creepy, stalker-like way, but maybe… 😉

    ((HUGS))

  21. Amanda – thanks for the hugs and the virtual wine. I’ll be having both thanks. I love the Thomas Edison quote. Currently I’m at attempt 8. Only another 992 to go!

    Lacey – Thanks on the hugs too. No, perhaps not creepy stalker. But great all the same. 🙂

  22. For some reason I can hear Chicago playing in my head while I read this. You know, that annoying song, ‘If you leave me now….’? I hate that song. But boy do I love your blog! It’s raw, it’s honest, it’s inspiring, it’s funny, it’s clever, it’s wickedly informative. So would I like if you popped out for a while? Sure, but only if you promise to come back. I think I know you well enough to realise that you couldn’t physically stay away from here because first and foremost Jackie, you’re all about other people. You love to help and even if you feel like you’re of no help at all, you still get up every morning and take a good stab at trying.

    You work harder than anyone I know at this writing busines and you deserve a very shiny medal of sorts for effort alone. You rock Blog Land. Your insecurties as a writer are all of our insecurities but you choose to share and that takes courage. I don’t possess such courage so I come here and agree with everything you write.

    Your blog works for so many reasons but I suspect the real reason for its success is simply because you are you. And we love you. And in case I haven’t mentioned it lately, you’ve got the best hair out there!!!

    Hugs from a frosty, yet surprisingly warm Ireland,
    Aideen.

  23. Hi Jackie

    I’m another one who would like you to keep going with the blog, and glad to see I’m not the only one with useful bits printed out in a file 🙂 And whilst m&b may be the golden chalice, who knows, maybe there’s a platinum one waiting around the corner somewhere you just haven’t looked yet. Katie Fforde was mentioned yesterday when my CPs and I (hello Julia :p) talked about it, as someone who subbed to M&B for years then found the fit elsewhere, and very successfully too.

    If you need to take a break to clear some headspace, we’ll be back following the blog as soon as you’re back writing it.

    The path is there, even if you can’t see it right now.

    http://www.lizhodgkinson.com/lh/pages/journalismArticle/romantic_novels_katie_fforde_interview

    Jane

  24. I think everyone has already made such wise comments. I am unpubbed author and I think what you say DOES have value, but like Heidi, I think there’s nothing wrong with taking a break if it’s what you need.
    I was whining (sooking, whinging, chose whatever is culturally appropriate) to my husband last night about how I just want time to move faster, I just want to be “there” already. I’m not even talking about the Call (but I can dream!), but I just want to feel close, like I’m getting better and not worse. I’m a patient person in most areas of my life, so it’s surprised how impatient and down right frantic I feel at time.
    And my husband pointed out that I’m at the point in my learning called “conscious incompetence.” (no I didn’t hit him).
    I’m past the raw beginning where everything seemed wonderful no matter what I wrote but I’m not yet at the stage where fixing it is easy or even possible. I now know how much farther I have go.
    I’m not saying you are there!! It sounds like subbing elsewhere is definitely an option. I’m just saying I can sympathize with that feeling that the road to publication is more winding and longer than expected.

  25. Aideen – Love you, mate (as they say in Kiwi land) even though you made me cry just now. 🙂 Though I’m not sure I can forgive you for planting that song in my head. Still, you like my hair too and anyone who likes my hair is all right in my book. 🙂

    Jane – thanks for the faith. It really means a lot at this point in time.

    Jill – yep, that pretty much sums it up. I want to be there already. I think a long slow build up would have been better for me rather than a rush to the heights then a dizzying crash back to earth. But I guess what I want or deserve doesn’t really have anything to do with real life and I need to just settle in for the ride. 🙂

  26. Jackie, the decision about what to do with the blog is totally yours. You must do with it whatever feels right for you, and remember it can change, and change back again if you want it to!
    What I’d love you to do is sit down with your manuscripts and synopses. Decide which of them you love and know are ready. And draw up a list of 5 other publishers to sub to and sub them. The feedback you’ll get will be quicker, and positive. And then you’ll have no doubt that you are a writer to be reckoned with.
    Not only will you be published, but you will then have a great boost, confidence wise. You will also then know that if you sub again to M&B, if they don’t want it someone else will be begging for it. Which tilts the equation in your favour and will make you feel great!
    I saw this today…
    http://www.avonromance.com/impulse/?hc_guid=981205e4-43b8-4483-a9e6-c6a6958b1263
    may not be M&B but its Harper Collins…
    Lots of Love, Jax.

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