I still can’t believe that its been more than a year of being a ‘published’ author. It is really an amazing thing. Last year I made enough money from my books (mostly from the paperbacks I sell myself) that I was able to buy myself a registered doe this spring. Yes, it isn’t nearly enough to support myself, but the money from book sales really has helped. I know now that it will be my ranch that covers costs and makes ends meet for me. I write my books for the joy it brings me and for the little bit of additional income. I think that my biggest accomplishment so far is having my five books on Barnes & Noble. They are on eBay and Amazon too, of course. But Barnes & Noble has always been a name that has stood out to me and screamed “Real Author“!
In the last year, I’ve seen my books change. I’ve learned new techniques and have found my own personal writing style. No, my books aren’t perfect. I know I still tend to shift tenses (i.e. past tense to present tense), have yet to master editing, and most of my books are novellas. But I am happy. That, I believe, is what matters. I know I would feel differently if I was still trying to make a living off my books, but I’ve finally realized that it just won’t happen. So I’ll be happy if I make a few hundred dollars a year off my books. I’m not going to get rich being an author, I know that and I’ve made my peace with that fact. I will continue to write books, hopefully publishing two or more a year, but I can’t afford to stress over it any more. I remember how heart-broken I used to be when I didn’t get a single book sale in over four months. But I can’t sweat the small stuff anymore. There’s too many other things in life that deserves to have me panicking over. Like the fact that I have three new mothers (my two ewes and yearling doe) due to give birth in the next few months. That is a stressful event in itself, especially since I’ve heard from multiple people that it has been unnaturally difficult year to keep goats. It must be the dry weather that has the goats stressing, but whatever the reason, I’m worried. My friend lost three mother goats and seven kids this spring. She has been raising goats for four years and that has never happened before. So needless to say, I’m worried about my new mothers. I’m also bottle feeding two kids (Zeena and Zayva) and attempting to tame a third (my registered doe, ‘Clover’). My brother’s goat hurt himself last night, and now I’m scrambling to find him a ‘room-mate’. Between that and getting new predator-proof pens and shelters built, I’m also dealing with cows. One of my cows lost her calf a few weeks ago, but luckily my dad had a motherless calf on hand that we managed to get her to accept. We’re also dealing with some bloat problems at the moment, and may have to move the whole herd to another pasture soon.
And here in another month or so, farming season with start. That, in itself, can keep up busy from early in the morning to late at night…and that’s if nothing goes wrong! There’s also the permit in the mountains to keep up with, which means fence building will be beginning in the next few weeks, as well as branding and vaccinating calves.
See where I’m going here? Yes, my books are still important to me but I simply can’t spend time worrying over things I can’t control, such as no book sales, low ratings, and bad reviews. All I can do right now is smile and find the good things in life. Like today. Today is my 21st birthday. No, I don’t drink, so that’s not why this birthday is a mile-stone for me. But because I am now ‘officially’ an adult. When I was younger, I told myself that I had to do something important before I was grown up. And that’s what I did. No, I didn’t get my name in the history books like I was hoping for, but that doesn’t matter to me any more. I’m an author. I’m a rancher. I’m a cowgirl. I’m a shepherd and a goat herder. I’m Briana Vedsted.
I managed to do all that before I was grown up. I showed the world (maybe not the whole world ;) ) what I could do as a child, now it’s time I show the world what I can do as an adult. I’m betting that my adult years are going to be even harder, but I’ve heard that the Lord doesn’t give you a harder like than you can handle, and I believe that’s true!
I looked up which song was Number One on the Country charts when I was born, and here it is. My song. :)
Now, for the pictures! :) I may be absent for awhile, so these will have to hold you over until I get back!
Draculara’s new grey baby! Herefords! My “Texas”
Me and my pregnant ewes, Mavis and Matilda Mother-to-be, ‘Princess’
Zeena Zayva Clover