This weekend I did something strange and bold. In fact, I’m still vibrating about its aftereffects. I can’t quite wrap my mind around what I did. Somehow it feels wrong but then again, it feels pure and more right than ever.
On Friday, I spoke with an established writer who does coaching. She sells fiction books, she consults, she knows her stuff. Her name’s KJ. She’d never met me before, I had never met her. In fact, I’d won this consultation through another successful writer’s website. I was happy to have the opportunity to speak with someone about my writing brand. I wanted to know what I was doing wrong and right with my writing. But I didn’t think much of it.
Well, KJ looked over my site and the materials I’d sent her. She thought the site was great but said, “Nowhere on the site do I really see you say you’re a writer.” I blinked. I thought I’d mentioned it. But she was right. I focused more on my expertise of gardening. I always felt funny about adding my fiction writing to the website. In fact, I’d been hiding. I came at our talk by thinking I had to change my menu. KJ came at it thinking I had to add a whole new site. We spoke at length about my fiction. Her expertise was amazing. And she was impressed with me. She was excited to read my work and wanted me to get readers excited about it too. To do that I needed to show the world what I’m doing. Then she gave me advice on how to do that. Her enthusiasm and praise and expertise rocked my world.
After our phone call, I looked over my notes. I asked myself why was I hiding this part of me when it was, more than anything, what I wanted to do? So I followed her advice. I broke my website into two sites. I’ve spent the last two days ignoring my husband and children. I moved The Cultivated Life to its own new website. A website that features its content much better and allows people to more easily explore its topics. After I did it, I realized what an utterly different mood it conveyed than what I do with my fiction. So the content will show well there. I gave up my SEO to do that. I can’t justify another $300 business plan through WordPress. But it’s alive and I’ll continue to add new content to a site I still believe in and on topics I love.
And the fiction writing? Well, here it is on this site. KJ understood my fiction goals instantly. She understood the mood I was trying to convey. In short, this woman understood who I was as a creative writer. She understood me! What a gift that is. And she guided me in how to create that mood on my website. It’s not completely finished, it needs smoothing and tweaking. But it’s here, named after me, which feels weird because I was taught to never brag and focus on others, but I suppose in life, just like a plant, you need to feel weird to grow.
I want to make a special shout out to KJ Waters, a generous authentic person who knows books and book marketing. Her website is KJ Waters.
I also want to mention I found KJ because I won a consultation through Rachel at Bad Redhead Media. Rachel is also a book marketing expert. She tirelessly helps writers every day. I highly recommend her as well.
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Karen Hugg is a writer and gardener living in the Seattle area. She is a certified ornamental horticulturalist and Master Pruner. When not digging in the dirt, she writes. She's been published in various journals, anthologies, websites, and more. Her life is happily hectic but she's lucky to have a patient husband and sweet children. Her pets aren't bad either. To learn more, explore http://www.karenhugg.com.