Guest post: "Like a Virgin… Author," by Tanya Masse

My 10 year old daughter Lexie:  “Mom? Why do you have to work SO HARD and SO LONG just to write a book?”

Me:  “Because I don’t know what I’m doing!”

It’s true. I am a virgin author and I really don’t know what I’m doing. Since the day I decided to write and publish an entire book, I am reminded of this every. single. day. So if you are at any stage of the writing, publishing or promoting process and you are struggling because you really don’t know what you’re doing … it’s ok! You’re not alone! Don’t give up and don’t let it discourage you. You will learn and you can still be successful.

Writing is something that has always come naturally to me. Although I did study business writing academically, people in my circle of life would attest that writing is my true talent and my passion. While I agree that academic skills are important, I think that talent and passion is what ultimately makes a writer truly successful as a published author. You really can’t fake that and readers will call you out on it if you try.

I write from my mind, heart and soul. Because I have to. Because I want to share my knowledge and contribute to the world in a positive way. I even prefer to communicate with people in writing when I have something important to say or when my emotions get in the way. <--- I know that makes me sound like I’m a poet. But I’m definitely not even close!  I am, however, a digital cartoonist. And I stress “digital”. Please don’t ask me to draw anything by hand because I suck. (heheh)

I will admit that I’m not your average author. Being a digital cartoonist does add a unique twist to my writing. I think that in this day and age when so many people are writing and publishing books and literary works, it is SO important to make an effort to stand out in some way.

I also think that it’s equally important as a new author to build a name for yourself BEFORE you embark on your real deal publishing journey. The World Wide Web makes this possible and the best part is you no longer need to be a technology guru to figure out how to publish a website or establish social media platforms. These networking platforms are essential if you plan to promote your literary works successfully. So if you have not yet embraced technology (tisk, tisk, tisk), I highly suggest that you do so. And don’t you dare roll your eyes. I’m serious. This is the key element to my writing and publishing journey that landed me a book deal!  I started with a Facebook page and a blog. Twitter is also a very important platform to be on as an author (I just figured this out recently).

Once you are on the internet highway, need to entertain, educate, engage and network, network, network with readers, bloggers, publishers and other authors! Networking and making these connections is critical. You will realize this when you enter the marketing and promotion phase of the book writing process. Even if you are with a publisher, YOU still need to market and promote your own book!

My final advice to any novice/virgin author is don’t let criticism or rejection prevent you from getting that manuscript published! Listen, read and learn from the experts and do whatever it takes to achieve success. If things don’t work out the way you plan, try changing the plan before you change the goal! =)


Find out about Tanya's book on Amazon 

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“Internet famous” for her humorous and inspirational self-syndicated webcomics about surviving the insanity of life and parenthood, Tanya Masse, AKA: “Comic Strip Mama” is a mama, a writer, a cartoonist and an entrepreneur who has faced a tremendous amount of adversity throughout the challenges of her life and has risen above it all!

Through her comics, award winning blog, social media platforms and literary works, she entertains and encourages others to:

Make the best of the busyness, craziness, chaos, frustrations and challenges of life and parenthood!
Live on the AWESOME side!
STOP taking life SO SERIOUSLY!
Embrace the INSANITY!
Focus on the POSITIVE lessons!
Recognize the BLESSINGS!
Find the HUMOR whenever possible, and
CELEBRATE LIFE!

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