It hardly seems possible that THREE years has gone by since I started this blog. Wow! Seriously, just wow!

My first ever blog POSTS appeared the last week of November 2007. I remember frantically setting up a website (which has undergone two major renovations) and beginning to blog on my now inactive MySpace page as I try to establish my corner of the Internet as a new author. It was such a crazy time. My first book (then titled) “The Healer’s Garden” was scheduled for release at the end of December that year. Funny how that book has been re-released through ELLORA’S CAVE as “Healer’s Garden” and has also become my first book in print. Lots of firsts with that one. πŸ™‚

Looking back it is amazing to me the things that I’ve learned in such a short time. The learning curve for an Environmental Educator thrown into the publishing world has been steep, but I really wouldn’t trade it. I love learning and being challenged by new things. But never would I have imagined this journey. I’m so happy to have it documented because even I couldn’t imagine the highs and lows of a writing career.

Hmmm, let me see some of the things I’ve learned and even taken time to blog about …
1. That being successful at a writing career means more than just writing … you gotta learn to market yourself as well
2. That the internet is full of people who want to help and eventually become really good friends
3. That sometimes RWA can piss you off, but by and large it’s a great organization
4. That being a contest slut can certainly get you some great and sound advice
5. That EDIT isn’t one of THOSE four letter words
6. That writing is rewarding … but it’s also really HARD
7. That sometimes in this business you have to have a REALLY thick skin
8. Even though you have plenty of excuses no one ever bought a story that was still in your head.
9. That editors don’t all do their jobs the same, but they sure are important to putting out a great book!
10. That writing conference are far from boring.
11. That sometimes writers aren’t who we may think they are
12. That despite advice from others sometimes you have to go with your gut
13. That everyone loves a little eye candy now and again!
14. That EVERYTHING changes even publishing
15. That cover day is just as exciting as getting the contract.

I’m sure there is so much more, but those are the bigger things.

Well, I just feel in the mood for something fun in celebration of my anniversary. I’d like to give something away to my readers and writer friends. I’ll pull together a fun little box of goodies from my promo closet (including a print copy of “Healer’s Garden“) and choose one person at random from those who comments on this post between now and noon DECEMBER 6, EST. And just because I’m feeling really generous I’ll also give away an ebook of “Hearts of Fire-May” which includes my vampire novella “Shadows of Fire“.

Just tell me something you’ve learned as a reader or a writer since you started following writers on the internet or began writing. Something that surprised you or made you pause or you thought … yeah, well, dur … what did you think? I’d love to hear from you.

62 Responses to How Can it Be??

  • Loved reading about what you’ve learned, especially number 8! What have I learned since becoming a writer? Gosh, you took all the good ones, but I could add – The nervousness and anxiety around a submission never goes away nor does the excitement of a cover or release day! At least not for me. Not yet, anyway :).

    • Kaily – I totally agree. I’m still just as nervous submitting a new manuscript to my editor and release day … it’s the best isn’t it?

  • I am an avid reader and have been following a lot of authors on the internet. I was surprised to learn about them and how varied their lifestyles are and their interests. They are super women who followed their dreams. I am glad they did.

    • Joye – That’s what’s so fascinating to me as well. Everyone of us has a different path to the same goal. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Happy Anniversary, Nina! I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now, and it is a keeper! πŸ˜‰

    This blog-o-sphere is wonderful for a novice writer. I’ve learned a tremendous amount, among it:
    1.) Suzanne Lazear on what a good contest entry consists of from a judges perspective (Nina, you are right about a contest slut!)
    2.) Somewhere in the sci-fi blog-o-sphere a writer on when to tell, in science fiction, and when to show. In other words, there are times when it doesn’t make sense to make your readers guess about the fundamentals in a complicated science fiction story; when you want them to concentrate on the real mystery/conflict going on in the story. He also had some techniques for knowing when those situations arise. A really illuminating blog! They always say ‘show’ don’t ‘tell’, but every good author knows that the showing and the telling go on equally, and you have to know when to use what technique.

    • Claudia – You’ve totally made my day mentioning that you enjoy my blog! Mwah!

      I love entering contests. I’ve done it since the beginning and finally, FINALLY I finalled in the Epic. I am so stoked! And writing good science fiction is a tough balance. It is a skill to learn when to just blurt it out and tell the reader and when to show them what’s going on. But then again … everything about writing a story is a balance.

  • I really enjoyed this post. Happy Anniversary Nina!
    XXOO Kat

  • Happy Anniversary, Nina. May you have many, many more. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks NJ. I hope that’s the case. I’ve only just begun. I still feel like a babe in the woods in this crazy business!

  • I, as a reader, have learned that most authors don’t have a say in their book cover; this surprised me!

    I’ve learned that there is so much more to writing a book and getting it published than one would have ever thought.

    I’ve learned or decided on my own that most authors are ‘crafty’ people- besides writing some knit, crochet, paint, sing etc.


    • Robyn – Amen … lots of people don’t realize that cover art isn’t always something authors can control. And there sure is more to writing a book and getting it published. That first summer I sat down to write a novel … man was I naive!

      I totally agree with you on the author part. I think the creative side, where all the writing comes from, in author’s brains is overactive and writing alone usually isn’t enough of an outlet for them. I love taking pictures and creating pretty photo albums. And I used to knit and crochet until my hands got bad. I think many many many authors have several artistic outlets.

  • Happy anniversary, Nina!!

  • I’m not commenting to enter. I just wanted to throw a ferret at you.

  • Zrinka – What large organization doesn’t have its pitfalls. You can’t like everything about RWA, but I do think they continue to try and change with the times.

    And if your dream is to be published then with perseverance and a little luck I have no doubt you’ll get there.

    Thanks for letting me know you enjoy my blog. Just my chance to ramble about this crazy writing journey I’m on!

  • Just visited your blog for the 1st time. Full of interesting bits of information. Nicely done. So anxious to see news that your house has sold and you are finally in RI with Mr. Nina. Best wishes

  • Congrats! Three already? You are so old!!! Just kidding. I love your blog, it’s so professional!

    • Julia – Thank you. Professional? Really, thank you, I’m not sure I would have described my ramblings quite that way. LOL!

  • Congratulations, Nina

    Can’t believe you’ve been at it for three years. Keep up the wonderful work.

    When I started writing I thought I was the only one who had conversations with my charaters that was until I found MERWA and learned there where others out there like me.


  • Happy anniversary, Nina! I think what I’ve appreciated most since having the chance to meet and follow authors on-line is how warm and approachable most of them are, and what a pleasure it is to have the chance to interact with them. Before the advent of such easy access, I would never have considered writing to an author to express my appreciation or opinion about one of her stories; now if I’m touched or moved or upset by something I read, I feel almost a responsibility to express that to the writer. Maybe it isn’t so good for the authors I’ve met, but it sure has been a blessing to me! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for writing and blogging, Nina–it’s a really wonderful thing for us readers!

    • Fedora – Authors LOVE to hear from readers. Good and bad. Never hesitate to email or post on their facebook wall. It’s so heartwarming when people take the time to do that. We authors appreciate it more than you know.

      Have a wonderful day!

  • i love following authors online and learning about their life. I love talking to them as they plot their stories. I find they get thir inspiration from the unlikeliest places.

    • Jennifer – It is fun to listen to how authors get their inspiration for stories. Like you said … often times very unlikely places.

  • Happy Anniversary!

    I’m a reader, not a writer. I think what’s surprised me is how ordinary writers are (OMG you’re just like us!). One envisions Jackie Collins or Barbara Cartland, but most of you have a regular job in addition to writing and aren’t wealthy.

    • Susan – Yep, just regular people. And there’s always hope one of our books will find just the right niche and actually make us rich. (Oh, Nina … dare to dream πŸ˜‰ )

  • Wow three years. I am not writer and it just amazes me how you guys do it. It is so cool to read and learn what and how you go about writing and I do so love reading the books.

  • Hi Nina πŸ™‚
    Great blog & congrats on your 3RD anniversary 8D
    Howtrue about being a contest slut
    As a reader I have the same addiction,through reading and internet I’ve met some of the coolest people on the planet.

    Mindy πŸ™‚

    • Mindy – The internet has definitely made the world a smaller place and made it easier for readers to keep in touch with their favorite authors in a way that’s never been available before.

  • Congratulations on your anniversary! I’ve learned tons about the business from the writers in my local chapter. So, it’s important to CONNECT.

    • Brinda – Authors are amazing in their willingness to share with others the pitfalls to avoid. I wouldn’t be where I am without my friends in the Maine chapter of RWA. They really showed me the ropes when I first began writing.

  • Since I started following authors blogs and so on I have learned that there are a lot of really great authors out there. A lot I had never heard of before reading blog and so on. And that the authors are a lot of fun to read about and learn more about them. πŸ™‚

    • Larena – Before I started writing I got all my books from the library. Now that I’m hanging out and chatting with authors I’m buying my books online, both print and electronic. My TBB list is very very very long. πŸ˜‰

  • Happy Anniversary, Nina! Geesh, it’s only been three years? Seems like forever! Haha! Just kidding. Seriously, congratulations on all your accomplishments. You’re rockin’ in the writing world. Hope to be there soon. Let’s see, things I’ve learned – Writers are not in control of anything but what they write. That pretty much sums it all up. We can do a lot of things, but when it comes to publishing, so much is out of our hands. We can only write and the rest is out of our hands.

    • Brenna – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much you do control. I think sometimes it feels that so much is out of our hands because we only hear the horror stories of authors who were not happy with the path their story took to publication. But I have to say, all in all, I feel like I control the product that gets out to my readers.

      And yes … it is ONLY three years. For some I know it seems like I’ve been around a decade or two. But you know you love me. LOL!

  • Zuradia – And that’s the truth. Authors are a great support system for one another. Where there’s one … you’ll often find many. Thanks for stopping by.

  • That I can be good at promoting. Thanks to other writers, I learned the ropes and how to think outside the box.

    Congrats, Nina, on the third anniversary. πŸ˜€

    • Sapphire – That’s such a huge part of the publishing world. I actually enjoy promoting as well, but lots of authors don’t enjoy it.

  • So sorry I’m late. But I popped back in to wish you a happy anniversary. Love this blog!

  • Happy Anniversary!

    I learned that authors are normal people with very vivid imaginations.

  • Hi Nina,

    I am just starting the journey you started three years ago. How comforting to read you felt as I do now, and to see what you’ve learned!


    • Traci – That awe and wonder hasn’t left me yet. And yes, I’ve learned a lot but there is sooooo much more ahead of me! Thank goodness other authors are so generous with their patience and wisdom! Best of luck on your journey.

  • I hope you have this blog for many more years. I’m a reader only but I have learned that writing is hard. After you write you have to advertised, blogged, and do alot more then write. You are so good at it all.


  • I learned that there are a lot of publishing houses out there and writers have to be careful of the fly-by-night ones.
    That writing well crafted stories is hard work.
    And lastly, just because someone writes something, it does not make them a writer. I have read many stories that made no sense, contained broken sentences, and constantly had the lead characters names mixed up. Really?
    I’m a reader, not a writer. I leave that to the professionals who do it so well.

    • Gayle – That is so true about publishers especially in this age of digital books. It’s important to find a reputable place to send your book. That being said, there have been plenty of authors who started with a new publishing house that has now grown into something bigger and their books are doing well.

      And for me … writing is definitely hard. But incredibly rewarding! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Love your site and all the tidbits. You are an inspiration to so many and I hope you realize this. I am β€œJewel”s β€œwicked” step-mom and know what a tremendous support, source of encouragement and friend you are to her. How could I not love you.

    • Barbara – I don’t know about the inspiration, but thank you for the compliment. Jewel is a gem just like her name. Thanks so much for hanging out here.

  • Happy Week late Anniversary Nina,

    I love your list and you’re right it is really hard to find it’s already been 3 years. The great thing is sucess hasn’t gone to your head.

    I’ve watched you enjoy the highs over this period and offer a tissue or 2 when some people weren’t so nice to some of your babies. You’ve been an inspiration to me and I still remember your first day at our meeting when it came time to introduce yourself and after you said your name you went on to say and I write Erotic Romance and plan to sell by the end of this year. I just grinned inside because, we all feel that way. But, Damn if you didn’t do it pretty close to your own personal deadline.

    Here is to many more wonderful and highly sucessful years.


    • Donna – You’ve been there through the tears and the celebrations. You have no idea how much that means to me. You’re right on my heels there lady! Lifting a brew to many years of success to both of us! Mwah!

    Thank you to everyone who took time to comment on my anniversary post.

    Terra won the prize pack
    Fedora won an ebook of “Shadows of Fire”

    Check back often to see what other goodies I’ll pull from my prize closet!