My Writing Life: Laura Shabott
“What I live by: I will produce the best work that I can with the time, money and resources that I have available to me right now.”
Laura Shabott’s latest book, Confessions of an eBook Virgin: What Everyone should know before they Publish on the Internet, deals with the steps an aspiring eBook author will take between words on a page and a finished eBook. She lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer?
I have always had a love of reading but the passion for telling stories and sharing them with the world happened in my early Fifties. In 2007, I started journal writing as a daily practice. That led to a blog, a novella and my newest e-Release, “Confessions of an eBook Virgin.”
“Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg was the book that showed me how to get out of my own way and start to put words on a page consistently.
Where do you get your story ideas?
I live in Provincetown, the oldest continuous arts colony in the United States at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
There is a creative pulse here at lands end that feeds the imagination of painters, actors and writers. A very colorful place, there is no lack of material – ever.
“Confessions of an eBook Virgin” was inspired by the power of the self publishing revolution. I had a burning desire to share what I have learned with other authors and people who dream
of writing and publishing their own work.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as a writer?
Cynthia Kling, my writing coach, asked me why I was always rushing. She had hit my Achilles Heel: the compulsive need to race through life. Cynthia told me to stop it, that writing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. Since that fateful conversation, I have learned to love the process of creation as much as the result.
Do you believe in Writer’s Block?
I believe that fear can kill a person’s ability to create, whatever the medium: paint, dance, stage or pen to paper. Sometimes I am all used up and think I can’t do it. But if I sit down, take a deep breath and let go of the concerns of the world around me, my inner mojo will kick in.
I wrote for many years under the constraint of a weekly deadline. Sometimes I thought I would NEVER be able to do it. Deadlines are like Miracle-Gro for many writers.
If there was one writer (alive or deceased) that you would love to meet, who would it be?
I would love to have a drink with Earnest Hemingway at a dive bar in Key West, Florida.
What made you decide to self-publish?
After I had written over 100,000 words during the course of four years for a website with a million person reach, I decided to take the plunge and e-Publish a novella under a pen name. What I learned from that experience is the fodder for “Confessions of an eBook Virgin.” I was deeply inspired to help other writers save time and gain confidence in the learning curve of author/self publisher.
Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share? What rules of craft or promotion do you live by?
I take freezer paper and line the wall next to my desk with it (shiny side down). Thoughts, contacts, marketing ideas and tasks inspired by Internet searches, email or social media get jotted down with a magic marker. It helps keeps me calm in the face of the huge amount of content out there about self publishing. This splatter of information gets culled into contact lists, writing ideas and task lists.
What I live by: I will produce the best work that I can with the time, money and resources that I have available to me right now.
What is next for you?
I dream about inspiring a woman in India to write that novel at the same moment a man on a subway in New York City is downloading my book onto their Kobo Glo. My next book will be about the global reach of eBooks and how writers can harness it