A Writer's Christmas Wish List

by - December 8, 2017

It's the most wonderful time of year. At least that's what Andy Williams says. Last night I drove home through a blizzard. I wasn't thinking it was the most wonderful time of year, I was thinking, 'all I want for Christmas is to be home, warm and safe by my crackling fire.' But...then I got home and I was safe, so I thought, 'yeah...there are a few other things I would like.'

Being an independent author comes with its share of burdens. Rewards? Yes! (Like this and this.) But definite burdens. Without the networking power of a flashy publishing house, all the weight of promotion falls to me, and promotion is not what I want to spend my days doing. What I want is to spend my days writing more stories for you!

At work this week I sat at my desk reflecting on how lucky I am to have the job I do have. I have grown tremendously as a person through the ups and downs of office politics. I've learned to advocate for myself and others. I've been pushed to push myself. I've learned important, transferable skills like graphic arts and web design - all this within a number of hours that buys groceries for my family but still allows room for other pursuits. What a blessing!

But in my reflecting, I also camped out on this beautiful idea of someday, instead of saying, "I'm going to work," I'll be saying, "I'm going to write."

And yes, writing is work, but it's not 'work'. Do you see?

Every journey comes with trials and obstacles. Remember when Tom Cruise was red in the face, veins popping on his forehead, yelling "Show me the money" into the phone, while on the other end, Cuba Gooding Jr. bounced around in his kitchen? Cuba is my heart and Tom is my head and they're both fully me and someday, I will stand at the door of my writing room, in my fuzzy socks, with my endless coffee, and with every ounce of romance I can muster, I will say, "You complete me."

So, it's about money. Like most things, unfortunately. But happily, my Christmas wish list is not. What it is, is a list of ways you can help me get closer to my goal of being a full time author/editor/publisher. It's really a list of actions. Think of them as challenges. I dare you.


Buy my book. Yeah, so I lied. Some of these cost a little money. But only a little. And I've been told the story's pretty good, so it's not like you're buying something that won't give you something back. Purchasing an author's book is the single greatest compliment you can give them - especially an indie author like myself. No royalties get pocketed by a top-skimming scrooge publisher or agent. All royalties go to the doer of the deed, giving me a few bucks to add to the coffers that will someday allow me to be fully who I want to be.

(click the banner below to see my christmas sale)


Have you already bought my book? Thank you! I love you! You are the peach in my pie and the sugar in my coffee. Consider buying one for a friend, or as a gift for your child's school teacher or bus driver. How about for the staff at the town hall? (Seriously, you guys, I'm doing whatever I can to get this book in as many places as I can!)

Don't have time for a novel? Believe me, I know about being busy. I get it! Why not try out my little short story, Eve Undone, sharing creation from the perspective of Eve. OR, consider grabbing a subscription to my indie lit magazine.

Write a review. A review is the second greatest compliment you can give an author. Unless it's a mean review, then maybe keep your opinions to yourself...Just kidding! Even a negative review is helpful. Because good or bad, the main thing is, it's got people talking. That said, don't be mean for the sake of being mean. Be constructive and honest. I would be so grateful (if you have read one of my books) if you'd take just a few minutes to share your thoughts on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Nobel, Chapters/Indigo, even your personal social media pages or blogs.

Nominate The Church in the Wildwood for a CBC Book of 2017. All it takes is a comment, tweet, post, or email, and you'll add my book to this list! You've got until December 15 to make recommendations!

Request a copy at your library. Not everyone has a book budget, and that's no reason why they shouldn't get a chance to try my book. Recommendations are free and helps me widen my exposure. It's a beautiful gift!

Encourage your book club to tackle The Church in the Wildwood. The discussions that have been spawned out of this story have amazed me. There are deep questions of ethics, family, choices, and relationships. If you're looking for a book that isn't long, but draws on some powerful themes and will take you on a little emotional journey - this is the one! Book club questions are available from the Wildwood website, plus if you're interested, I'd love to come to your meeting and be part of the conversation!

Keep pestering me about that sequel. You are never being annoying when you ask me when the next book is coming out. Every time I hear that, it further affirms my desire to keep plowing ahead. (I wish the same could be said for the plows around here. Not one out on the road as I crawled my way home last night!) I have a lot of projects in the works and am slowly, slowly, slowly, learning how to better manage my time in order to produce another finished product.

🎁 🎁 🎁

This all felt very self-indulgent. I'm sorry.

When I was a child, I would write superfluous letters to Santa Claus, asking about the elves and the reindeer and the weather and what kind of cookies Mrs. Claus was baking, and whether he was afraid of heights, and how in the world was he brave enough to ride in that sleigh...and then, at the end I'd throw in an 'oh, I almost forgot...I guess you'd like to know what I want for Christmas'. As if Santa didn't know exactly what I was doing; as if I cared more about the reindeer than what would be in my stocking come Christmas morning.

I didn't want to do that here. I've grown up a bit since then. You get results when you face something head on rather than beat around the bush.

So yes, this was all very self-indulgent. And I'm not sorry. This is who I am now. I have to ask for help. I have to plug my wares. Maybe I'm no better than the snake oil salesman, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Thank you for reading this to the end. You had me at hello. You're a good friend. Merry Christmas!

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© Alanna Rusnak