This post is the annual update of my writing career, such as it is.
I published a book in October 2020.
Book of Snark: Wit & Wisdom for the Angry Professional Woman on the Bus– A laugh out loud parody of motivational self-help books, a collection of pointed anti-affirmation satire, quips that describe the day-to-day life of an unimpressed, middle aged female professional, who does not suffer fools.
It’s self-published so not such a big deal. Anyone who can pull together a script and slap a halfway decent cover on it can be a published author these days because print-on-demand services do not check for worthiness of content. My market is so niche’ I didn’t believe that any publishing house would consider it. It wouldn’t make them enough money to be worth their time. Still, by all accounts it has done well. I sold 142 copies in the first three months and since 300 copies in the first year is considered success, I am almost halfway there.
But I promoted it. A lot. I am completely unknown and people are suspicious of independent authors for the reasons listed above (no check on worthiness). I paid for ads that showed my book to potential buyers 183,000+ times, at Christmas, and I sold 142 copies. *SIGH* Good thing that I am in it for the long haul. Book of Snark 1 will continue to sell and Book of Snark 2 is already in the works. I have eight text reviews on Amazon and six text reviews on Goodreads, all good and not all from my friends and family. I even garnered a ‘drive-by’ anonymous 1-star rating without an associated text review on Amazon by whoever or whatever and a lovely text review on Goodreads from book blogger, Amie’s Book Reviews in Toronto, who said the book “will appeal to anyone and everyone who likes British humor”.
I have officially arrived.
I lost my mom in May 2020.
She succumbed to leukemia on Mother’s Day. I used my blog during the end of her life to communicate what was happening, process my grief as I walked through it, and keep a written record of all that was passing. It is my habit to keep daily personal journals, so I also have a raw written timeline of my day-to-day that my grief will not allow me to read yet. One day, I will be able to go back and sort all that out for myself, for my peace.
For now, I am using poetry to process. A friend invited me to an online poetry group in June 2020. I did not feel ready to write again but my partner Loren encouraged me to join. I needed to start somewhere. That lead to a poetry class in September 2020. Because of COVID-19, the university offered most of its curriculum online. I never formally studied poetry, so I attended the introduction to poetry class in the fall and will attend an intermediate poetry class this spring.
I bought my first home in February 2020.
I moved in on March 17 and left town March 21 just as the COVID-19 lockdowns began. I returned to Minneapolis after mom died on May 23, two days before George Floyd was killed. Between COVID-19, civil unrest, and grief, my writing career has languished. As I think about the last six months, I seriously can not recall what happened other than trying to continue my IT career through distance work, settle into my new home, and keep my head up in spite of it all.
My blog is the home of my writing career and it’s been running solid since 2017. This year, my stats are all out of whack because I picked up a number of spambots. I am unwilling to pay the extra money on hosting that would allow me to install a simple plugin that would repel them. What a racket. Still for posterity, here are the 2020 numbers:
28 blog posts: 10 were general life, 8 promoted Book of Snark, and 10 were related to my mom dying. If I attempt to remove the known spambot activity, I have roughly 1923 views and 1591 visitors who made 215 likes and 35 comments. I moved my blog posts from the home page. Visitors now have to use a direct link to blog posts or click through to the ‘BLOG’ page. Most spambots are not programmed to do this though I think I picked up one. Either that or it is a seriously random, persistent stalker.
It is now January 2021, what’s next?
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Dan Millman
For 2021, I will continue post on my blog, write poetry, and hopefully publish Book of Snark 2. But wait, there’s more! This year begins the groundwork for a major project scheduled to arrive in 2022. And this project dear reader, will be something that you can be part of if you so choose.
That’s really all I can say for now but know that there’s more behind mystery door #1…
Have a blessed and Happy New Year!
-Copyright C.M. Mounts, January 2021