Rollercoasters of praise and rejection, which one will you dare to ride?

Huge rollar coaster at Six Flags Texas

Ride the waves of your writing career!     Being a writer, is not unlike being a bipolor, manic-depressive.  Would you not agree?   One minute, you are full of emotion, supercharged with motivation, and typing away furiously on the computer with your latest story idea.   The next, you are staring at the computer wondering why no one has like your brilliant tweet or blog post.    Can you relate to this juxtaposition?

Many writing coaches and publishers will tell you, the writing is easy.  It is marketing yourself and your work that is the killer.   It is flat out exhausting.   Tweeting, facebooking, links, and hashtags.  Talk, talk, talking about your book to grocery store workers, women at the salon, book clubs, book signings, and book festivals.   Seemingly, there are not enough hours in the day.     This constant demand on your time can fuel the rollarcoaster of emotions.   You, like your public will find that you vassilate between self confidence and self-flaggelation.    You are not alone.

Recently, there was a presentation at the Lexicon Writer’s conference entitled, Marketing your business on a shoestring, by Julie Hall, owner of Custom Websites 2 Go.    She talked about the importance of getting the word out there constantly about your book, especially with the short attention spans of your potential buyers.    At some point, you might consider investing in a service that would help you automate your tweets and generate connections for  yourself.   If you are Twitter naive or Facebook naive, take a course.    Only you can make your facebook and blog postings personal.    But at some point you have to care for yourself too.    Research and invest on small business that specialize in promotion of writers.  Several have been mentioned in previous posts (Ralphs Designs and DeliAskthepublishingGuru; AuthorMedia).

In utilizing these specialized services, they can help extend the connections that will make an impact for your book and your sanity.   The hard part is patience.  It can take from three to six weeks for the results of your marketing to show.   Not every effort, or blog post, or tweet will “go viral.”    Don’t you secretly wish they would?   But stay the course.   Keep putting one foot in front of the other.    Pay it foward by supporting other authors.    Like pages you really like!   Retweet posts that mean something to you.   But be genuine!    Establish your voice and brand.   Don’t just “like” to “like.”    Make those followup phonecalls;  log those book signings and book festivals;  and keep on writing.

The waves of emotion come in whether your book or poem is praised or rejected.    You surf to Amazon hoping to see likes, wait on baited breath to see your book review,  or eat a tub of Ben and Jerry’s after reading a not-so-positive review.    One minute you are being praised at a signing.  The next minute no one opened your mass email containing your book reviews.    It happens.

The biggest lesson, which is the hardest of all?    Don’t be afraid of the big coaster.    The journey up it can be terrifying, but the payoff for your efforts is a huge, exhilarating high at the end.

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A Rollar Coaster for Sure

The trip to Six Flags was a rollar coaster of highs and lows indeed.   My sweet boy was elated to go.  When you have Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, you degenerate a little every day.   I try to make the most out of the saying carpe diem.  We seize the day to make it a good one.   We made a pact to try the rides he felt comfortable with doing.  Ones that would not load his spine to worsen compression fractures from the osteopenia and osteoporosis.   We thought we had a plan.   Lot’s of big “football” type boys and ride workers helped me load him into some rides.

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Sombrero, check.   Log ride, check.   Tobogan, check.   Bubba tubs, check, check and check.   He loved those.  He was doing okay.  We were into about the seventh ride when disaster struck.   When we were lifting him into the Scrambler, the seat was higher than we thought.  His leg bent at an angle higher than his hip.   SMACK, CRACK, a shriek of pain he cried out.   Harrison never complains!  I knew something was instantly wrong.   He was in agony and tears.

I felt like the worst mother in the world, trying to show him a good time and now this.   He was hurt!    We tried to get through the rest of the day.   I so wanted to deny that anything was wrong.  He did too.  But to no avail.  He was just miserable.   The nurse in me knew.   Something was broken.   Surely.

We got through the night, but in the morning, when he was still hurting, it was time for the ER.   We sat, fully of anxiety and fear of the unknown.   I advocated for an IV and some IV Morphine for pain relief prior to the x-rays.  The ER doc agreed.    His pain was at the top of the scale, as he bravely mucked through the testing.    Some wonderfully, gentle ER techs carefully lifted my boy to the stretcher.

The first x-rays were negative.  Pelvis and hips intact.  But the doc just didn’t believe it.  She knew something was amiss.   And, it was.   Further x-rays revealed a buckle fracture to the neck of the femur.   My spirit was crushed for him.   I was terrified about what kind of long term healing that meant.   It was not surgically repairable!    They were talking about six weeks in a spica-sitting hard cast.  How could I possibly lift that?   What about work?   I would be broke!   The housepayment.  I surely didn’t have six weeks of paid time off.

I felt the bottom drop out of my courage stronghold.  I felt broken, helpless, and hopeless for him.   I began to pray.    Would God pick up the yolk?  Surely this was too much.

As his father arrived and I shared the news, Dr. Wong phoned.  She was visiting with the orthopedic surgeons about options.    With the osteopenia these boys endure, bone healing would be a challenge.

What to do. . . . and then a disposition was given.   No surgery.  No casting.   It would have to heal on its own.   Just gentle care and lifting.   No stretches or adduction inward of the leg.  Just TLC and pain meds.

TLC.  Meds.  I could do that.   I had a week of vacation to just be a Mom to my son.   I could do that.   By some miracle, some interventions from above, we were going to get through it.   My mother always told me that God would never send me anything that I could not handle.   Sometimes, I am pushed to the brink fighting this disease.  It nearly breaks me.   This event nearly did.   But that is what motivates me to keep going.   To keep blogging.  To keep writing.  To keep peddling as fast as I can.   My boy and his indomitable spirit.