Site icon Crissi Langwell

Back on the grid

You must have thought I disappeared off the face of the planet. Or maybe you didn’t notice I was gone. In either way, I’ve been missing in action from my blog, my newsletter, and offering only random updates on social media.

I blame it on several things. The first and foremost, my computer died a terrible death. The video card went out on my dinosaur of a laptop, leaving a white screen of death to stare me in the face. Thankfully it also gave me a few hints before it went out altogether, allowing me to backup all my files (my novels!!!) and photos before it was gone. I’m not entirely without a computer (as you can see from this blog post) – I have my husband’s laptop to work from as is necessary. But you know how it is when you use someone else’s computer for your stuff – it’s just….different. It’s like staying in someone else’s house. It’s nice, but it’s not YOURS. None of my bookmarks are here, my programs, the familiar feel of the keyboard….

But until I have finished saving my pennies for the new computer (and I’m halfway there!), this one will do just fine.

The next is project overload. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I love all the things I’ve involved myself in. I am the new newsletter editor of my writing group, Redwood Writers – the one responsible for gathering all the info for the monthly newsletter and putting it together. I just sent out my first one yesterday, and then realized I am days away from announcing the looming deadline for the next one. Next, I am one of the coordinators for a summer camp I’ve been involved with since childhood. We’re down to the wire as summertime comes upon us, and the work is starting to build up. Third, my son’s baseball season has begun, and his team is frickin’ awesome! They’ve won 4 out of 4 games so far, but that’s not the best part. The best part is that they quickly learned how to work as a team, utilizing each other’s strengths and developing a real sense of camaraderie. I watch my son, and sometimes it feels like I’m watching someone else’s kid. When the heck did my son get so tall, so talented, so close to his adult years at only 13? It’s incredible, and a little scary.

And finally, the book.

Forever Thirteen published in March after months and months of preparation. When it finally published, let’s just say I was exhausted and kind of went off the grid. This was a total mistake, since the book isn’t going to market itself. The months beforehand I was sending out weekly newsletters, blogging like crazy, reminding my Facebook peeps, and just getting the word out there that the long awaited sequel to A Symphony of Cicadas was coming. When the publishing date finally arrived, I let the world know. And then….I stopped letting world know.

Here’s where I get transparent – I was afraid of being too annoying. It’s hard to know where the fine line is between announcing the news of a newly published novel, and spamming all your friends, family, and fans. Instead of focusing on all I needed to do to get this book off the ground, I dug into my hole to begin working on the next novel (which I’m halfway through writing now). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s a story that needs to be written. But it was also my way of avoiding the part I hate the most – marketing my book.

I’m too busy writing to be a marketer. That’s like saying I enjoy writing to no one, since no one is going to read my book.

Want me to get even more transparent? Forever Thirteen is out and only a dozen people have purchased it. And it’s all my fault.

At any rate, it’s about time for me to get my head on straight and formulate some sort of schedule. I am a firm believer in the almighty calendar, and it’s time I got back to using it. I am entering the busiest season of my year, but it’s still possible to fit in everything I need/want to do. I don’t want to leave this blog for more than a month at time. I don’t want to leave my newsletter peeps hanging. I don’t want only a dozen people to have read one of the most amazing books I’ve ever written. And I don’t want to feel like a chicken with its head cut off.

So here are my rules, written mostly for myself.

1. Say NO to any new projects.
2. Create a realistic schedule and stick to it.
3. Be kind to myself. I’m only one person.
4. Look into easy, frugal ways to market.
5. Just keep writing, a word at a time.

Before I go, I have a few other pieces of news.

First, A Symphony of Cicadas is being published a chapter at a time over at Wattpad. If you’re not familiar with Wattpad, this is a free platform for readers and writers. There you will find a ton of stories to read for free: some good, some not so good, and many fan-fics about the band, One Direction. Mine is sadly not about the band. But it is the first book in my current series, and a pretty incredible story. And it’s been getting good feedback from readers over there.

Second, while I am posting this story over at Wattpad, I have decreased the price of the Kindle version of this book to only 99 cents. I wanted to make it easy for Wattpad readers to download the entire story for cheap so they could read the whole story. Now you know too. So if you haven’t read this book yet, take advantage of my next-to-nothing pricing to grab your own copy —->

That’s all for today. I’ll try not to be so absent in the future!

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