Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans. And local writer, Anne Allen, is living proof of that. As outlined in yesterday's Tribune column ("By the Bay by Judy Salamacha"), Anne 's writing career got started, then stalled and stalled as the writing world kept changing. Small publishing houses and small, independent bookstores went the way of the dodo, mega-giant publishers galloped like lemmings to the next big thing -- Vampires! Vampires AND Zombies -- thereby bypassing so many, many mid-level writers with wonderful non-zombie books left sitting in the dust.
To keep sane and keep her writing brain in good order, Anne started a blog: "Anne R. Allen's Blog: Writing About Writing Mostly." ( http://annerallen.blogspot.com/ ) The blog was a witty, how-to blog on writing and publishing perils, how to get an agent, what to do, not to do, and soon it expanded to include discussions of the amazing transformation occurring in the publishing world -- the rise of the e-book, the growing popularity of Publish On Demand (POD) books which is now showing such promise that even traditional brick 'n mortar publishing house authors are heading in that direction. Who needs a traditional publisher when you can POD your book, list it on Amazon, market it yourself and keep a nice piece of the profit yourself.
Before long, Anne's blog attracted other writers doing guest-posts and soon the blog was rapidly being linked to other writing blogs and turning into a must-read for anyone interested in writing or even non-writing "outsiders" interested in getting the inside dope on what was happening in the rapidly changing world of publishing and books.
And before you knew it, Anne and Cambria author ("Pay it Forward," among many other wonderful books) Catherine Ryan Hyde had completed a new book: "How to be a Write in the E-Age . . . and keep Your E-Sanity," and, in part due to the popularity of the blog, Anne's back list of previously published books were picked up by new small presses and, true to the new e-age, were back in e-print as well as paperback.
From published author to unpublished author to blogger and back to published author. All it took, besides talent and patience and a whole lot of hard work, was a willingness to take a different path. And have faith that if you ignored your destination and instead focused on turning that new path into the best journey possible, you would eventually end up exactly where you wanted to be in the first place.