The First Novel – A new direction

It has been a tumultuous couple of months. Despite some upsets, much good has come of them. Taking a break from blogging made me realize how much effort and time I had been devoting to thinking up new material to post about. I have been distracted from my primary goal: writing and publishing novels.

In redirecting my efforts, I realized I almost need to start over in this process. Four of my novels in The Bucks County Series are published on Amazon. The fifth is in the hands of my beta readers —that one can sit on the back burner for the time being. So far self publishing has proven to be less than successful. Why? Because all the marketing and promotion fall back on the author. I have neither the time or the stomach for it.

And that is how I fell into the trap of blogging on nearly a daily basis. I love writing —that is what I want to do. I was telling myself that a popular blog would help me to promote my books. That hasn’t happened. Granted, I’m also not hitting the reader in the face with book promotion every time I write a post. That’s how timid I am about marketing. What I need is someone to do the marketing for me.

Back in early 2015, when I finished my first novel, I tried finding an agent but my fragile ego couldn’t take rejection. After only six tries, I gave up and self published through Amazon. That is not how it works. Many popular and successful authors have been rejected numerous times —sometimes for years before an agent finally agrees to represent them to a publisher. I need to brace myself for this possibility and not let it derail my process.

I also realized that my self published novels need to be the very best they can be. If an agent is even remotely interested in your query and the first five pages you send along with it, they are going to look for you in the cyber world. They will find your Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, LinkdIn, and WordPress blog. They will find your Amazon and Goodreads Author Pages. They will see that I have four self published novels. These need to be ready for view —even a brief one.

With that in mind, I have revisited my first novel: Three Empty Frames.  Three Empty Frames_02_HR_front_2In three years since I wrote the first draft of this book, I have learned so much. Fortunately, I feel like the story is strong and it’s just the writing that needs polish. And that is what I have been doing the last couple of months —putting my efforts into making Three Empty Frames ready for an agent. And while I do, I am educating myself on the query process, taking webinars on finding an agent and reading everything I can about how to do this successfully. Hopefully I won’t have to wait years for someone to take a chance.

Playing Doctor…

A look at my other life…

I don’t talk about my “real job” very much. But I had an interesting and very different week from normal this week. So let me tell you about it.

I am a chiropractor. And while most people think of chiropractors as the doctor you see when you have a sore back or a stiff neck, it’s really way more than that.  Chiropractic is a science, art and philosophy. A philosophy? What does that mean, exactly?

Without going into exhaustive detail, it means that this profession was founded on principles that remain true to this day:

  • The human body has an innate ability to heal itself.
  • It can do so perfectly if there is no interference to those systems that the body utilizes for healing.
  • Interference can manifest itself as a vertebral subluxation – an impingement of the nerves leading from the spinal cord to all the organs and systems of the body.
  • This impingement can occur when the bones of the spine, the vertebra, lose their proper position in relation to their neighbors above and below. Again that is a simplification. The physiological effects are much more complex.  But think about it, your brain and spinal cord, the central nervous system, are the primary communication system by which our beautiful brains tell the rest of the body what to do, how to respond and so forth. How can a body heal itself if it can’t get the message from the brain or to the brain from the periphery?
  • Chiropractors assist in removing this interference when they adjust the spine, restoring the vertebrae to its proper position.

So obviously, I have a love and reverence for my primary profession.  I attended a Continuing Education seminar this week that focused on this “inside-out” principle. I had a wonderful time hanging out with my colleagues, exchanging ideas and sharing stories.

I am rather isolated when it comes to my current practice. It wasn’t always that way, however. After graduation in 1993, I went to work in a busy multi-doctor office and stayed for ten years, until the primary doctor retired. Then I joined another single doctor who wanted to expand his practice and worked there for another ten years. Both of these practices were about an hour away from where I live. The commute started to get old. So at the end of 2013, I walked away. Left the busy office behind and started seeing patients out of my house. The change was a relief. But there were other consequences…

As a solo, small office, taking no insurance, having no staff to supervise…. All good. However, my financial contribution has significantly diminished. Being able to work from home gives you a feeling that you’re not really working at all. It’s weird. And I am not happy with not “pulling my fair share” even though I contribute in other ways. Nevertheless, I have also begun to realize that I am a domestic failure. If I’m home, I take care of the house, right?

Well, truly, there is nothing that makes me more miserable than housework. As a result, the laundry sits in the washing machine until its moldy because I forget I threw a load in. We run out of silverware all the time. The dry cleaning sits in the back of my car because well, that goes right out of my head the minute it hits the trunk.  (And wow, I’m totally getting off topic…) But I should be able to handle this, right? What the hell is wrong with me? Maybe I have vertebral subluxation….. Just about the only thing I take joy in is cooking. The rest of it? Meh.

Ok, back on topic. The other out of the ordinary thing I did this week was return to my old practice an hour away. I covered my former colleague’s vacation this week. It was fun and tiring. When you drive an hour each way, have a ten hour day of patients in between, you come home cross-eyed. Oh and by the way? It’s a very physical job. Those of you who see a chiropractor know what I mean. I’m on my feet all day, moving bodies, sometimes big bodies, around to adjust their spines. It requires a lot of exertion on the part of the doctor. I drove home the other night acutely remembering why I gave it up.

And yet…

Yes, I have more free time. Yes, I get to write and blog and interact with you lovely people throughout the day. And I do see a nice group of patients here at the house. But…

Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing anything well. Personally, domestically, privately, professionally… And then I feel like I’m just playing doctor. I don’t know if you all noticed but I even changed the way my name appears when I comment on your posts. It used to read drmegsorick. Now it reads Meg Sorick. Subtle but telling, no?