I was a Los Angeles Police Officer for twenty-one years.From the title, you might think this article is going to talk about balancing on a roof while in a foot pursuit or running along a block wall.No, thatâ€™s not what Iâ€™m talking about.Let me give you a little background.
When I first hit the streets as a rookie officer, I can remember how every day seemed like a new adventure.Each day held the promise of the unknown, what new things Iâ€™d be learning, what different experiences Iâ€™d be exposed to.When my first set of scheduled days off came up, I was disappointed that I couldnâ€™t go to work.(Trust me – that effect wore off; but it took a while).However I think every cop Iâ€™ve talked to had the same feeling.The truth was, I couldnâ€™t believe I was getting paid to do my jobâ€¦it was that much fun.
I remember working about a month, as sick as a dog, so my favorite partner wouldnâ€™t have to work with someone else.I had a â€˜sick bagâ€™ Iâ€™d filled with boxes of Kleenex and throat lozenges so I could get through the graveyard shift.I also remember, as a training officer, working until one in the afternoon and having to be back at work at six-thirty the same night.I could have requested to take a few hours of compensatory time off for extra sleep and Iâ€™m sure my supervisors would have agreed, but I felt it was my duty to be there.I needed to find balance.
But after twenty-one years, it became necessary for me to retire â€“ in part to take care of my mother who suffers from Alzheimerâ€™s Disease, and to nurse a back injury Iâ€™d suffered on the job a year prior.My retirement left me feeling anxious and remorseful that my dream of being a police officer was now over.
But Iâ€™d been fostering another dream for a number of yearsâ€¦more years than I care to say.And that dream was to become a published author.Iâ€™d tried for several years to actively acquire an agent and publisher.About the time I was getting some interest, I started hearing about self-publishing and, for various reasons, opted to self-publish my book, a romantic suspense, A Dozen Deadly Roses.
After the release of my book, I was pleased to learn I seemed to be doing a little better than average with the sales of my book.I started discovering Facebook pages of other self-published authors, book review websites, Kindleboards, Nookboards, Goodreads, Shelfari and on and on.I learned that self-published authors spend a great deal of time promoting their books and trying to reach out to readers and have â€˜meaningful relationshipsâ€™ with those readers.
I joined groups, I read blogs, I commented on blogs, I joined blog hop tours, I gave away prizes.I friended on Facebook, I followed on Twitterâ€¦I became exhausted, and a part of me felt insincere.I discovered that I need balance.It seemed like my butt was glued to my chair, but I wasnâ€™t writing â€“ I was busy promoting.
Then, I discovered Iâ€™d hit the Top 100 List on Barnes and Noble of Nookbook Police Stories.A few days after that, I hit the Barnes and Noble Top 100 List of Nookbooks!Iâ€™d like to tell you my place on those lists was directly related to all my self-promotingâ€¦but there were hundreds of other writers doing the same amount of promotion â€“ if not more – and they werenâ€™t on those lists.I donâ€™t know how I got on those lists.Iâ€™m grateful I did, but I donâ€™t feel it was related to my frenzy of self-promotion.
So what do I, a girl without balance, immediately do?I promote more.I reach out to book buyers who may have missed the fact Iâ€™m on those lists.I make myself crazy.So, I sit down to write this guest blog, and decide: enough is enough.Iâ€™m jumping off the merry-go-round.
Instead, Iâ€™m choosing to focus on finishing the revisions of my next book.Iâ€™m going to develop REAL relationships with readersâ€¦as much as they will let me.I have a good (and real) relationship with many of the people who visit my blog. I hope my readers find me there, or on Facebook, or on Twitter or wherever else Iâ€™ve left my mark.
Donâ€™t get me wrongâ€¦I wonâ€™t stop my Facebook postings, or my tweets on Twitter, my comments on the Kindleboards, or the Nookboards.Iâ€™ll still do guest blogs. Iâ€™ll probably still give away prizes from time to time.Those activities will be a part of my day, but I wonâ€™t let them consume me.My efforts will be to make true connections with my readers.
You see, for twenty-one years I was proud to say I was a Los Angeles Police Officer.I did my job to the best of my ability with the hope of touching peopleâ€™s lives for the better.I want to to approach my career as a published author with the same amount of integrity and touch peopleâ€™s lives for the better.I learned as a cop itâ€™s important to have balance.Thankfully, Iâ€™ve learned early in my writing career, itâ€™s just as important to have balance as an author as well.