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    Three years since my first blog post – look how far I’ve come. (An uncharacteristically self-congratulatory blog post)

    5/5/2015

    Mr Right and Other MongrelsI was talking to my mother today and I said I’d been at this blogging and self-publishing game for three years. I came on here to check and May 5th is the birthday of this blog. So three years exactly.

    I remember being terrified and excited and overwhelmed – not much has changed there.

    That month – May 2012 – I was bravely preparing to self-publish my first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know a single person in real life who had uploaded a work of fiction to sell online. I knew almost no one (certainly here in Australia) with an e-reader. I knew nothing.

    What a gift ignorance can be.

    If I knew how much I didn’t know I probably wouldn’t have jumped off the cliff. Ask any indie author and they will talk about what a steep learning curve it is. Not only that just when you think you know what you’re doing the rules change. I’ve had to unlearn and relearn things many times in the last few years.

    Forget what you knew yesterday – it’s wrong today.

    I often think “Monique, you lazy chick. You’re just not doing enough.” (I’m not that kind to myself, I’m a little judgmental, not so great at celebrating the fabulous.)

    So here is what I have achieved in three years:

    – I’ve written and published six full length novels and one novella under two names.
    – I’ve contributed to two charity anthologies and had a piece in a non-fiction publication.
    – I’ve had a novel included in an international author box-set.
    – I’ve written another five novels that will be released this year.
    – I’ve had over 100,000 copies of my novels downloaded (sadly they haven’t all been paid for but 100,000 plus people have a copy of my books).
    – I’ve hosted countless authors on my blog and kept it running for three years.
    – I’ve handled all my own marketing and PR.
    – I’ve hired cover designers, editors and book formatters to help make my books look good.

    – I’ve guest blogged all over the internet.
    – I’ve done signings and author talks, both of which terrify me.
    – I’ve made hundreds of new friends, both readers and writers.
    – I’ve given loads of advice and support to authors looking to head down this path.
    – I’ve kept going when I wanted to quit.

    I’ve done this on my own, I certainly haven’t done it all right. Some things I’ve done I would undo. Some day, some moments, some choices would be best erased.

    Still, today I choose to focus on the positive. The list of what I have achieved looks pretty good to me right now.

    If you know another author like me who is alone, starting out and fumbling in the dark then – be kind to them. They probably don’t talk about their journey with you because they are pretty sure you’re not that interested but listen to them, support them, buy their books, leave them reviews…it does matter, at least to them.

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    Comments

    Kerrie Paterson
    5/5/2015 04:23:07 pm

    Wow, what an awesome list of achievements! Well done!!
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    5/5/2015 04:32:39 pm

    Thanks Kerrie, I think as writers we sometimes forget to look at what we’ve achieved. 🙂

    lily malone
    5/5/2015 04:41:15 pm

    I’m with Kerrie – well done Monique. I’ve read Hearts Afire of yours and I really enjoyed it.
    Reply
    Monique
    5/5/2015 05:53:37 pm

    Thanks Lily…I know your output has been amazing these last few years. I can hardly keep up!

    Pamela Cook
    5/5/2015 05:10:47 pm

    Nice to see you acknowledging your achievements Monique. And they are massive! You constantly inspire me with your ever increasing word counts, brilliant networking skills and fabulous PR abilities. Not to mention the fun books you write and keep us all entertained with. And the support you give to all your writing buddies, including me. I know it’s been tough at times but hang in there – I’m sure you’ll reap the best is yet to come.
    Reply
    Monique
    5/5/2015 05:54:31 pm

    Thanks Pam…I appreciate having you in my corner, reading my work, taking my calls and listening to me moan. I could not have kept going without you.

    Deb Nam-Krane
    5/5/2015 09:59:15 pm

    Happy anniversary, congratulations and good job!
    Reply
    Monique
    5/6/2015 08:43:41 am

    Thanks Deb…you’ve been a great supporter on my journey.