Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Word Power Wednesdays & the Indie Author

Gumption-
   [guhmp-shuhn]

1. initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness:
 2. courage; spunk; guts:
3. common sense; shrewdness.

I remember the first time I heard this word used by my grandmother although the way she said it meant audacity. Now being a grown-up (sometimes) and a grandmother, I found myself using this word yesterday with my own grandchild so I decided to look it up.

Gumption is something every author needs, not just indie authors. It pretty well sums up the indie spirit. It takes initiative and guts to go out and put your neck in the noose for everyone to see. It takes common sense and resourcefulness to market your books. It plain takes courage up to the eyeballs to accept criticism from total strangers in the form of bad reviews, emails, and assorted other things.

I have done little marketing since the first of the year and my last royalty check was meager, $22 from Amazon which is by far my biggest money maker. Sad, but life has a way of interfering with my writing life since I can't divide myself as Michael Keaton did in "Multiplicity." But still  common sense, reigns supreme. It is with shrewd intuition that I listen to my body and sometimes just stop to smell the flowers.

Which brings me to another point. Two years ago, my husband and I were walking through Wal-Mart. We ran across a rose bush which had seen better days. In fact it was discounted down to a couple dollars. I looked at the tag and told him I'd take it. He argued with me. He said he'd buy me a healthy rose bush to add to my rose garden. I won.

I brought my poor rose home. I took it out of the pot, dug a hole, filled it with manure. I watered the rose bush in, clipped all the dead branches off, and waited. A few months later there was a small bud of a rose on the green stem. I continued to cluck over it. The bloom opened to the size of a salad plate. A beautiful tangerine colored rose, just the one for that month. The next month there were five buds. This year, this raggedy bush that we bought two years ago, shot out two inch canes with twenty buds so far. It stands almost six-foot tall with new growth.

My husband is lost for words when he looks at it.. I brought in the tag which was on the rose when we bought it, it is called "Faith." So as a writer, think. With enough manure, time, faith, and skill what can be produced. Now that's what I call having gumption!

Keep writing and loving the Lord.


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