Why I Want to Be Kristen Lamb When I Grow Up

A few weeks ago, I ordered Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer directly from social media maven Kristen Lamb. I’d already read and loved her book Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World. I’ve been struggling with my blog lately, so I was eager for some new ideas about how to approach it. I couldn’t wait to read Are You There Blog?, because I was sure it would inspire me.

RiseoftheMachines_KristenLamb_FullCover_Final

I sent off my check and then I heard the news. Kristen was sick. Really sick. An allergic reaction had triggered an episode of shingles. She was in pain, medicated, in and out of the ER. As I followed her posts on Facebook, I told myself not to expect the book any time soon. She was not going to have time for something so trivial while her body was causing her so much trouble.

To my astonishment, the book arrived promptly. Not only did I get it long before I expected to, but it was signed with a personal greeting from Kristen that thanked me for supporting her. I was flabbergasted.

And then I was awed.

Kristen walks the talk. She tells us writers that we must behave as professionals in order to succeed, that we must be disciplined and do what needs doing, no matter what. Despite the many excuses she could have used to delay filling my trivial order for a single book, she took care of it at once, and she even made the effort to sign the book thoughtfully when she must have been feeling rotten. She refused to let what she was feeling at the moment keep her from achieving her long-term goals.

Health issues have been a limiting factor for me for many years. so Kristen’s example is a powerful one to me. I’ve had many days when I’ve had to lower my expectations and take care of myself rather than accomplish the things I hoped to because I wasn’t well enough to do them. Fortunately, the last year has been one of healing, resulting in steady improvement in my energy and health. I can get through a packed schedule now without being too tired to move the next day.

Knowing that Kristen is still getting the job done despite her illness is inspiring to me. I know she’s had to get help and delegate a lot of her usual duties as mother and wife in order to keep up with her career while dealing with her health, but she’s done it. If she can do it, so can I.

For the record: Are You There Blog? It’s Me Writer has given me more ideas about improving my blog. I’ve also read Rise of the Machines three times in order to dig out every diamond of advice she’s packed into that book. (You can read my review of it here.)

I have a new role model to look to as I write my novels, learn more about publishing, and keep working on my blog. Kristen Lamb leads by example and there is no question that what she does works. Time for me to put her great advice into action.

How about you? Who are the role models you learn from in pursuing your life goals? What about them has inspired you?

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

8 thoughts on “Why I Want to Be Kristen Lamb When I Grow Up”

  1. I’ve definitely learned a lot about social media and platform building from Kristen’s books and her blog. I need to reread “Rise of the Machines” because, as you said, it’s packed full of helpful info.

    Like you, I’ve struggled with some health issues over the past few years, and there are some days when I can push through, others were it’s in my best interest to rest up. I’ve had to learn not to feel guilty for not showing up at the page on days when I need rest instead of work.

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    1. The trick for me has been to accept that I can’t when I really honestly shouldn’t but to make sure I do when I am able. For a long time, I was nearly incapacitated, and I got in the habit of not doing. It’s taken a lot of effort to get back to being a productive person as well as a healthy one (although I still have days when I have to rest more than I would like).

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    1. I know she’s saving me loads of time. I’d have been floundering otherwise. I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m so glad someone whose made the journey already is willing to hand me a map!

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  2. I’d never heard of Kristen Lamb before reading your post. I’m out of the loop. Now I will be searching out both of those books. Thank you for writing such a generous and helpful blog post. Thank you, Kit! sue

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    1. Happy to spread the word about Kristen. She’s really dedicated to helping writers figure out how to use the changes in the publishing world and technology to their advantage. I hope you like her books as much as I do!

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