Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to measure success

It's September! Yay! I love Fall.

It's also time for another installment in the Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

This month, I ponder about why I started writing. How will I know I've "made it?" I never intended to be a #1 best seller, or have my book made into a movie (though, heck ya that would be awesome!). At first, I just wanted to be published. Then, I was hoping to be in bookstores and get a few more fans than my friends and family... I'm doing as much as I can to put myself out there, but I'm a worrier. Is all this effort worth it? I guess we all need validation, especially from others. Looking at the bright side, I really appreciate the reviews (every last one). I will just have to keep plugging away - it's not in me to give up. Thanks for listening!

What do you do to keep yourself moving forward?

Today is also the release day for my sweet friend, Elsie Elmore. I tempted you last month with her cool cover, now THE UNDEAD - PLAYING FOR KEEPS is out!

The Undead: Playing for Keeps, by Elsie Elmore
Genre: young-adult, paranormal-romance
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: September 3rd, 2014
Cover Artist: Alexandria Thompson

When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.

While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and discover why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. If she passes on her gift, his death-messenger destiny might be altered. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are way easier to deal with than the living.

Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.

About The Author:
Elsie Elmore lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.
With a science education degree from NCSU, she never imagined she would someday write stories that challenge the laws of nature. She loves the color red, has an appreciation for chocolate and coffee that borders on obsession, and wishes fall temperatures would linger year round.

Find Elsie Elmore Online:





And lastly, show us your SHELFIE! Grab your phone and snap a selfie with your book, or in front of a bookshelf, or take a pic of a bookshelf... anything to do with books! We need entries!


So far, we have:
Ellie Garrett
L. Diane Wolfe
Gina Stoneheart
Stephen Tremp

Here's a sample from my desk - my muse shelfie!

Come on! It's fun! And so many super fantastic prizes!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

39 comments:

Nick Wilford said...

You know you're meant to be doing this, and other people think so too as you've had great reviews. And keeping moving forward is what's important!

Congrats to Elsie. Cute shelfie!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I think our definition of success changes as we get older and move through our careers and lives. If you're learning and growing and improving and are happy with what you're doing, then keep doing it. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Caitlin Coppola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miranda Hardy said...

It's a very normal worry, but your determination will bring you far.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Elsie!
If you achieved your original goal, you made it. Everything else is bonus.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats to Elsie. I just keep trudging along too, Tara. Some days I feel very successful and some days the hill seems really steep.

Suzanne Furness said...

It's natural to worry about such things, but remember why you started in the first place - because you love it!

Murees Dupé said...

It's okay to be a worrier. I think you are doing amazingly well and will keep doing well. As long as you are happy that is all that counts.

ninjallamaempress said...

There are so many times I ask myself that same question: is it all worth it? The answer is always the same. YES. If it's something you love to do, then it's always worth it. Keep writing!

Carol Kilgore said...

Congrats to Elsie on her new release!

I think we all seek validation in one way or another. You're doing great.

Sarah Foster said...

I think the most important thing is to just keep writing.

I'm waiting for more people to post their shelfies before I do because I'm super awkward like that.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

congrats to Elsie!! and for me, staying motivated is hard--I set mini goals and also reading books by my fav authors helps a ton!

Stephen Tremp said...

Good luck to Elsie and The Undead! Love the Selfie Blog Hop. Just posted the badge on my side bar and will participate soon. Probably next week.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I look back and cringe at my earliest publications but I can't let those stop me now.

I posted my Shelfie today.

A. B. Keuser said...

I think as writers, our goals are ever changing. Unless you're that one random person in 100 who writes a novel and is done. your goals and measurement of success definately change as you grow as a writer, as you reach different mile stones. And that is never a bad thing.

Happy writing.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Hey, I love that cup on your shelf...bet some hot chick at a book convention gave it to you.

Here's the thing. We like to win (let's be honest with each other!) and WE keep moving the bar. First it was a book deal, then a book, then book two, then it was five reviews, ten reviews, ten books...oh, and don't even get me started on awards...elusive little suckers sure would be nice to hang on my wall. We are the cause of our own frustration. I think every now and then, we need to take a deep breath and remind ourselves- we are crossing things off the list. We are doing it.

See you in a few weeks!

Carrie-Anne said...

My dream is to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, but at the moment, that's just a faraway fantasy. Slow and steady wins the race.

Carrie-Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheena-kay Graham said...

I'll try to get a shelfie up this week. Tara you are a wonderful writer and let worry sit in a corner by itself. Congrats Elsie and Lyla has some tough choices. Claiming you have no choice means all the alternatives suck.

IWSG Co-Host

Juneta Key said...

I think you are doing a great job. I love the cover of your book. In fact, the cover made me grab a copy. I also grabbed a copy of your friends book, after reading the blurb, because normally I do not like undead, however the cover and premise together convinced me to try it.

You never know when some small thing you do makes a huge difference for someone else, be it buying a book or making a difference in someone elses life. Hang in there! I think you are doing great.

Juneta at Writer's Gambit

Emma Adams said...

I often wonder about this. I think our goals change over time (in the year I've been published, mine certainly have!). Publishing a book is an amazing achievement in itself! :)

Julie Flanders said...

I've wondered the same thing in recent months. Sometimes it can be hard to keep plugging away but I'm glad you're not giving up. I'm not either. :)

I love fall too, my favorite time of the year.

Liz A. said...

I guess we define what it is to "make it". And when we get there, we find a new goal to strive for, else we'd get stagnant.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I just wanted to get published and now I'd like to see my book on a shelf in a store...we keep reinventing our dreams...pushing ourselves forward...and I don't think that's a bad thing. Only know when to stop pushing and smell the roses. Your book into a movie you say??? Yes... another great dream...

Rhonda Albom said...

I think Pop Travel would be a great movie. I was a bit late getting my IWSG post up.

Stephanie said...

I keep telling myself that I'm doing this for me, because I love writing. That definitely helps when I get discouraged. And even if no one ever buys them, I still get a thrill at seeing my novels on Amazon :-)

Nicki Elson said...

Oh yay! There's still time for the shelfie. I saw it at L. Diane's & figured I'd missed the boat, but it looks like it's ship's ahoy, matey! I'll let you know when mine's up. ;)

I hear ya on that insecurity. I spent my first year after publication driving myself crazy thinking I could control my own universe & am only now finally accepting that I'll do what I can do, and what's meant to be will be. All we can really control is to keep keep writing new stuff because you never know which will be the one to take off...and then draw attention to your other babies.

Rena said...

I've noticed that success and "making it" (I used scare quotes! EEEP) have different faces for everyone. For instance, I once went to a book signing for a NYT bestseller. Signing in the same room was Mercedes Lackey. Lackey's line was so long, it curled around the room and have to have another holding pen. The NYT bestseller? I just walked up. No line. No waiting. We chatted for a while because she looked a little upset at having a line of people streaming past her table not for her. At that moment, I suspect she wasn't thinking about the six figure sales price for her book--something many of us would consider a benchmark for success!

Likewise, I sat in on a panel next to a self pubber who has sold 300,000 copies of his book. The convention wouldn't let him on any panels because he didn't have "good enough numbers."

So what is success? I don't know. I know that it's different for everyone, but if you wait to feel like you made it, you'll be waiting for a long time. It's a moving target.

Georgina Morales said...

For me success means you are done. You wanted something and you achieved it; now it's time to move to the next thing. Because a writer can always improve (be a better writer, get a better contract, earn more money, gain more recognition) then it is an ongoing thing. I wouldn't say I'm a successful writer, though I have succeeded in getting published several times. I don't know if I'll ever feel like I'm successful, but as long as I'm happy with the way my writing is going and I feel like I'm improving everyday, then I think I'll feel happy. =)

Tyrean Martinson said...


I think the summer months were a "drag" on everyone's book sales and marketing or maybe that was just true for me.

Keep writing. You are gifted!

Melissa Sugar said...

I'm still in the group who just want to be published, but I can relate to your doubts and insecurities. No matter what stage we are in via our writing career, we always want (need) validation. It's normal. Congratulations on making it as far as you have. I know the rest will follow. Best of luck to you.

Heather Holden said...

Hurray for fall! It's easily my favorite season... :)

The "Is this worth it?" question always nags at me, too. It can be so hard to keep going sometimes! (Yet I do, even though I don't know why, haha.)

A Beer For The Shower said...

Our definition of success is always changing. But I think as long as we keep striving for improvement, that's all that matters.

Plus, meeting random people on the street who know who we are and think we're total Internet celebrities (uh, we're not) is such a mindblowing thing.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm not sure what keeps me writing. I just know I love being lost in a story that I can make any way I want. I like being on the other side of reading.

Nicole said...

I write because there are stories to tell, and characters to fall in love with (and who won't shut up), and because I really don't think I could stop. :) Congrats to Elsie!

Gina Stoneheart said...

I think our success is heightened by the people who we inspire. Although it's been hard to get word out about my children's book, my school visits and volunteer work with children has really kept me going. When I receive Thank You letters and cards from teachers and students, my heart flutters with success. Sales would help but the feeling you get when you encourage someone to follow their dreams... well, this is irreplaceable.
I shared a "Shelfie" of my desk. Thanks for hosting the giveaway, Tara!

Romance Book Haven said...

It's normal to be worried about it, but your determination will see you through! All the best!

Medeia Sharif said...

My book ideas keep coming and I can't ignore them, so that keeps me writing.

A movie would be something. :)

Congrats to Elsie on her release.

Trisha F said...

Love your muse Shelfie :)