Stories that Matter

Winging It

I’ve never been great at blogging, even though I’ve been doing it for years. Even before I was published or knew I was going to be or that I even wanted to be. I just love to write. These days, it’s all about platform, tribes, Twitter… The ways we can connect with one another are staggering. But I think the Blog is perhaps one of the best. It allows for a bit of transparency you might not get over Twitter or Facebook. Reading blogs is often like stopping by for a cup of coffee. Those are the kinds of blogs I enjoy. That’s the kind of blog I’d like to have.

So, in the spirit of adventure, I’m going for it.

I’ve decided to quit worrying about how many ‘followers’ I have. Who’s reading, who’s not. I don’t want to lay awake thinking about how I can attract more people to my blog because the more people that read my blog, the more people that might be interested in my book, and the more people that buy it….you get the idea. It’s exhausting.

Not having a thousand followers on my blog or twitter feed does not make me any less of a writer.

It doesn’t mean I’m not likeable.

It doesn’t mean anything. 

Not really. Not in a big picture world.

Would I like to be a best-selling author and see my book on some list someplace and have people clamoring to get to the front of the line at a book signing? I don’t know. That’s my honest answer. Maybe. Maybe not. I’m such an introvert that part of me wants to hide under the table at the very idea. But the truth is, I do have a book out there. Another on the way. I have achieved my dream of becoming a published author, but now I have to adjust that dream, that reality, take it in at the seams a bit and make sure it’s a good fit. For me. I want to be good at what I do. I want to create meaningful stories that touch readers and leave them wanting more. But I don’t need to kill myself trying to get on the ‘A’ list. Although the world tells me otherwise, it’s not all about the numbers.

It’s about being me. About being transparent. About reaching out when everyone around me is reaching for – trying to lay their hands on some prize they think might make all the difference in the world.

I left my old blog and started this ‘new’ blog – about books – because I thought something different might be nice. Truthfully, it’s fun. I love books. I love writing them. I love reading them. And I love the people that write them too – having all these cool authors stop by on Fridays is super amazing! But if it’s just all about books, you won’t really get to know me.

So here’s what I’m going to do. On Mondays, I’ll get a little personal. Maybe not each week.  You’ll never know until you check. It’ll be like that prize in the cereal box. I may blather on about things that bore you to death, I might annoy you, I might even scare you off from coming back to this blog ever again. On the other hand, you might find out I’m a little more like you than you thought. You might make I friend. I might make one too.

I hope so.

So here’s the skinny on me:

I call myself a Christian but I don’t always act like one. Or like I think a Christian is supposed to act. I’m still trying to figure out what that’s supposed to look like. This art of loving God, loving Jesus. Being Jesus with skin on. It’s sometimes too wonderful and terrible and confusing and awesome to wrap my brain around. So I guess you could say I’m on a faith journey. I know where I’m going, I’m just not familiar with the road map and sometimes my GPS goes on the fritz.

I am a wife and a mother, but not a terribly good one. I mess up a lot. Say stupid things and I can be incredibly selfish. I have an amazing husband who puts up with all my crap and I put up with his, and we’re good like that. I love hanging out with him. After twenty-five years, I find this fact amazing. I am Mom to a photographer daughter and a guitar playing, soul-singing son, and they are walking testimonies to the fact that God is in control of all things. I raised them, and they’re not mentally insane, in jail or heading toward a career in politics. They’re actually productive members of society, love Jesus, and both of them have a butt load of talent that just blows me away. I am also a doggie mom to Noah, my three year-old border collie – my third child.

I am a published author. This kind of freaks me out. Sometimes I’ll pick up my book and just stare at it. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to wake up one day and find out I dreamed it all. I’m scared that I’ll never have another one published or if I do, it’ll bomb and everyone will laugh at me. I get freaked out when I don’t hear from my agent or editor and I’m pretty OCD about checking email every five seconds. And I hate that I have to live with myself. I’m a little kooky sometimes.

I’m insecure. I can be shy and at times you might think I’m rude, but I’m really not trying to be. If I was trying to be, you’d know it. I have quite a sarcastic sense of humor and some people just don’t ‘get me’. (I actually DO have friends, I promise). So you know, if you’re reading this and thinking I’m just really weird, well, yeah. I was adopted at birth and searched for my birth mother and found out she was Maxine. Okay, kidding. But I really was adopted and I really did find my birth mother. She wasn’t Maxine. Maybe we’ll talk about that someday.

I live on a tiny island called Bermuda. It’s beautiful. It’s a little whacked. I’m not sure I want to live anywhere else, but some days I do.

I love the life I have and I’m trying to do good things with it, love God, love people and have a whole lot of fun along the way.

What do you think? Do you like impersonal, informative blogs or do you prefer getting to know a person?

Speak if you’ve got something to say, I’m listening.

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  1. Katie Ganshert on February 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I LOVED this Cathy. I loved the honesty, the realness, the transparency. Love, love, love! I love that you want to reach out, instead of reach for. I want that too. I love that you’re not sure you want to be the most popular author. I can relate to that. Because sometimes the idea of insane success scares me just as much as failure. Although I’m not going to lie – insane success is fun to think about. But that’s just the thing…..what’s fun to think about isn’t always what’s fun to live, ya know? And sometimes it’s success that pulls us further from God and failure that drives us to our knees. Not that we should pray for failure….it’s just an observation. A reminder to be humble at all times and remember from whom all blessings flow.

    • Cathy West on February 6, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Well, it only took me almost a year as a published author to figure this out, 🙂 but I don’t know, yesterday something just clicked. As I went to check Amazon numbers yet again, it was like God said, “Girl, what are you doing? WHY are you doing this? WHO are you doing it for?” Know what I mean. Ouch. Reality check.
      It’s a new day.

  2. bethkvogt on February 6, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Yes, Cathy, you do have friends.
    And I’m glad I’m one of them.
    I mean, you can’t stand beside and elevator with a person and talk, talk, talk –letting the doors open and shut, open and shut — and not consider yourself friends with a person, right?
    I like all sorts of blogs … but today’s post is one of my favorites of yours.

    • Cathy West on February 6, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Thanks, Beth!! And yes, I’m so GLAD, actually BLESSED, to have friends like you. I love that I can be honest and not worry about being judged. These days that is unfortunately rare. We will definitely have more talks like that. 🙂 I just need to make up an excuse to come to Colorado – OR you could just come here!!

  3. Sarah Varland on February 6, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I love the idea! I was just thinking yesterday about how much I love to read blogs that don’t actually SEEM focused on anything in particular, especially self-promotion. Not that it’s bad, I just like reading blogs that are, as you said, written as though I’m having coffee with a friend. I appreciated your transparency, especially in relation to how being published has changed your outlook. =)


  4. Casey Herringshaw on February 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I loved your post, Cathy! These kind of posts are always fun to me, when written in the style that you did here. Fun, quirky, interactive, well-written bio. Makes me want to spend more time with you. 😉 Once we dig down past the insecurities, really all humans are exactly the same on so many levels and it’s wonderful to just be real.

    • Cathy West on February 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks Casey! I do believe in keeping it real. I think if we can do that, especially in our writing, we have a far better chance of changing the world, one book at a time. 🙂 Yes, let’s hang out more next conference. Are you going to be in Dallas in September?

  5. tamararh on February 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Cathy, I love your post and your wonderful sense of humor! I enjoy getting to know bloggers on a more personal level – so thank you for sharing from your heart. I feel like I have a new friend already! 🙂

    Blessings to You.

    • Cathy West on February 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I’ll look forward to getting to know you! 🙂

  6. Steven Belanger on February 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I loved what you said about not caring about #s of pageviews, or followers, etc. Writers have to network, but still the best way for a writer to get noticed is to get his writing published. Somewhere. Anywhere. Word of mouth, more than anything else, will get a writer in the public eye.

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