Writer’s lament.




I once read that writing is the loneliest profession.  One must love to be alone to choose to write. Or at least learn to tolerate it, or you won’t get much written.  I write best in total silence and solitude.  Days like to today, when the boys are off on another adventure, snowmobiling together in their Very Big Back Yard this side of the Divide, now is the time to write.

Completing the first draft of my third book.

And tonight I will celebrate!

Tomorrow I will put that manuscript aside to brew and ferment, bubbling and gurgling in the dark corners of my mind while again my focus returns to finish the story I was working on this time last year.  A Story of Two Virginias. It has had its time to percolate.  Now it is time to pop open the lid, stir it up, and see what we’ve got.

Don’t plan on kicking back, sipping and savoring the aroma.

More like:  Right. Time to re-write.


dried leaves


Back to the beginning.  The first book. The Color of the Wild

I finally got it!

Before the storm, or maybe in the middle of it, by snowmobile Bob brings home a box from town, and there inside are a dozen hard copies of my book.  My first book.  It is beautiful. Wow. Sammie, Dee, Nadene… my friends  at Norlights Press… it really is beautiful.  Thank you.  My first signed copy goes to Forrest.  Maybe now he’ll read it.

So, here it is, finally.  On my coffee table, a book with my name on it. Forget how many years it took to get here. It’s here.  There, alongside a book of poetry from Wendell Berry, and a new copy of Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac, and a well worn copy of John Palmer’s How to Brew.  I like it.  I could get used to this.  I hope I do.  Hopefully this is the first of many.

By this morning, I already see dog hair, dried crumbs and spots of red wine on the cover. It’s a part of the house. Old news.  Time to move to the next…


But not so fast…  I used to think it worked like that.  (And believe me, I wish it did!)  All I had to do was write. But now I’m learning about this marketing thing.


Wait. Before we go there. First, a few cold hard facts.

  1. My awesome publisher and growing friend, Sammie, has started a blog.  You can see it here:  http://norlightspressblog.wordpress.com/.  Writers – it’s worth watching. The thing I really like about it is this.  She is putting a face, a real living, breathing person behind the otherwise overwhelming and austere profession of Publishing.  She comes at it from an interesting angle.  She’s also a reader AND a writer.  Many of us writers look at publishers as a separate species. Sammie shows you otherwise.  How the good ones at least (and I consider her now among the best!) think.  To think they are no different than you and me!
  2. The Color of the Wild is now available at Barnes & Nobles on-line, and this week, starting at midnight tonight, there will be an autographed copy of The Color of the Wild on the GoodReads Giveaway.  We’re working on some wonderful bookstores, too.  I’ll keep you posted, and please, keep me posted if you have any ideas and suggestions and I’ll be happy to contact them myself.  I like to keep it personal, and I think bookstores do matter.
  3. Which brings me to this. One more thing I’ve learned from Sammie and this marketing adventure.  She calls it the “Grass Roots” approach to what had for a lot of years turned into Big Business.  Now we’re turning the tables and bringing it back home again. It’s not just Sammie and me.  It’s a big part of this whole industry. We’re being human beings. Real people. Writers, readers, publishers, printers, even cover designers and all the rest that go into this exciting process of making books.  And when we do that, you know what?  It’s nice. It’s easier for me.  I can be myself.  I can’t pretend to be something else.  And I think I’m not alone in this thinking.
  4. And the Grassroots approach does mean this.  I need you.  For spreading the word. And, yes: Reviews.  If I were closer to some of you, I’d be prodding a few of those who agreed to read and review, and might not quite have had time to do either one just yet.  I need your help! Reviews matter!  And in this grassroots world of marketing that we are entering into, it’s all about people like me and YOU.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Color of the Wild by Gin Getz

The Color of the Wild

by Gin Getz

Giveaway ends March 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win



Phew.  Enough for today.  I need to get back to work. Writing.  You probably need to get back to work too (don’t tell your boss you’ve been here reading…).

More on the marketing tomorrow…


raven out the window


13 thoughts on “Writer’s lament.

  1. Hi Gin,
    You seem to be a lot better connected than most of the frustrated writers who populate the social media including Facebook and the LinkedIn writer’s groups. People say that my memoirs sell themselves. That’s good, but it takes a concerted effort to promote your works. I’m plodding along trying to increase my web site audience through my blogs. Unfortunately, most of the people who visit web sites are voyeurs and don’t interact with them. I’m also lowering the cost of my e-books and print on demand paperback books through Create Space/Amazon. You are definitely smarter than me. If you have any good ideas, I’d love to hear them. Yes, writing is a lonely occupation but it fills up the hours with all kinds of interesting things to think about and to do. That’s the reward, including helping others. It also drives my prison program and my interests in improving the lot of inmates reentering society.

    • I agree, Dick, that finding the right outlets to share is essential. There are so many out there, and if you tried them all, you’d spread yourself thin, and more often than not, barking up the wrong tree. I think it always comes down to this: sincerity. And as a friend wrote this morning – always write for yourself – to share, yes, but using words and ways true to yourself. Ultimately, it is our words that will share themselves.

  2. I sure do appreciate your kind comments about NorLightsPress. I wish we could find a magic bullet for marketing, but so far we’re plodding along with our books like Dick, who wrote above. You are doing a marvelous job, and the main key is to never give up. Some of our books have taken off after simmering for months. One book published in 2009 is suddenly starting to sell. You never know!

    • As you have said, Sammie, there are no easy answers and no one right way, and we can learn and change as we go along – from each other, from our own mistakes and successes. More on this tomorrow morning as I get my thoughts more clear to share! Thank you again for everything, Sammie! And please, keep blogging :)

    • As you have said, Sammie, there are no easy answers and no one right way, and we can learn and change as we go along – from each other, from our own mistakes and successes. More on this tomorrow morning as I get my thoughts more clear to share! Thank you again for everything, Sammie! And please, keep blogging :)

  3. Guess what, Gin…I’m STILL waiting for that order from Amazon. This is the last time I attempt to do business with them. No, don’t suggest you send me a free copy. Artists have to learn to allow friends to buy their work…

    When I enlarged your leaf photo, my finger (accidentally) gently brushed over the pad and the leaves quivered. I nearly fell off my chair. Now I can’t duplicate it!

    • Dang, Amy… I can’t believe that. I am sorry. The only choice: come and get one here! (Maybe there is another way, but that still sounds the like the best…) Crazy about that spring wind making it through the internet and blowing the last of the leaves…

        • Oh, Sammie, that would be wonderful! Can we give it a try? Amy is in BC. Oh and Sammie, please see her blog when you have time. She’s been doing it a while and does it well – it is brilliant.

          • Ah, Canada. That’s the problem. Did she order from Amazon Canada? We really don’t like shipping out of the U.S., but if she doesn’t get the book soon, we’ll do it. She should be able to track the status of her order on Amazon’s web site.


            Sammie Justesen, Publisher NorLightsPress.com 762 State Road 458 Bedford, IN 47421 Telephone: 812-675-8054 sammie@norlightspress.com http://www.norlightspress.com

            • Good idea, Sammie. Amy – when you check back in, please, if you don’t mind letting Sammie or I know if you were able to track the order and we’ll move on from there! Hoping for the best, though… I remember when Forrest was in University there, a care package of cookies would take two weeks. He’d get them stale. I stopped doing that!

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