Diving In

This week I self published my first book. This  was not something I took lightly and took me years to come to this. I finally came to a point I either needed to dive in or swim away. Even after my book was edited and the cover was made, I sat on this project for a few months.

I’ve tried going the traditional route to get published, and I still will. I have enough rejections to fill my bedroom to the ceiling. Don’t get me wrong, rejection sucks but it’s part of the process. I have gotten some feedback on my rejections which is helpful. It’s better than getting no response at all. Taking criticism is part of becoming a better writer.

I went into this journey as a learning one, and I hope to grow from it. Self publishing is not easy. There are very few that become an overnight success, and I’ve gone into this knowing I will get nothing back in return. I’ve had fun and am viewing it as working towards a goal.

It is nice to have a finished work under my belt. I have a few other projects I’m working on and hope to submit to some publishers soon. Is anyone else going through the same process? Tell me your experience with self publishing or going the traditional route.

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The Rush

So many story ideas and not enough time to write them, at least not all at once. It’s hard to buckle down on one project because my mind tends to wander. At any given time I’m working on a novel, a novella and a short story.

I get in a mad rush.

I’m trying to change these habits and work on one at a time, but it’s hard to do. It feels like I’m not doing enough but doing more isn’t always the answer. Burn out and writers block make me not want to write.

I’m trying to simplify it. Even if I only write 500 words a day that’s still 168,000 words a year. That’s quite a bit! That’s a couple of novels and some short stories.

Being a writer can be a very tedious journey, especially when trying to get your foot in the door. For now, I’ll keep it simple and only do what I can, without going too crazy.

Anyone else in the same boat?

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My Quota

Pick up a book on becoming a writer and somewhere tossed in there is having a quota. This ranges from 1000-2000 words a day. If you can write more that’s better.

I have a quota but it’s not strict. I write more on my days off work and sometimes I don’t write at all. It also depends on what project I’m doing.

Editing may not add any word count to your project, so do you consider it a quota? I do. Most writers hate the editing process. It’s the least amount of fun. We want to create, not line edit and find all the flaws in our work.

I have a quota system with editing. I’ll edit 500 to 1000 words at a time. This ensures I get a small break in between and don’t get burnt out. I’ll edit and then work on something else so that I’m still writing and creating something new. This doesn’t happen everyday, but I do my best.

During the holidays I took a break and wrote little. Now I’m back in full swing. My goal is to get something out there in 2017. Not sure if I’m going to self publish or keep going the publisher route. It’s all a learning process, the hardest part for me is to not rush it. The need for good stories will always be there. At this point I need to make sure it’s the best it can be.

In the meantime, let’s hope I can hit my quota. How is everyone else’s writing going?

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My 2016

I know what we’re all thinking, the year is almost over. 2016 was a decent year for me but I still have a lot to accomplish in 2017. To reflect, I thought to post some things I did achieve this year.

Started my blog.

I started blogging in August and have been able to connect with some of my favorite authors and talk to others. It’s nice to read about others in the same boat as me. I really do appreciate all the support I’ve received and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

I turned 30.

One of my first posts was Crap I’m 30, which was more of me poking fun at myself. 30 isn’t so bad, I just want to take time to enjoy life. I need to quit stressing about petty things I can’t control. My 30th birthday was awesome.

I got closer to being published.

I actually received good feedback from a short story I submitted. It didn’t get picked to be published, but it’s the farthest I’ve ever gone so for that, I’m proud.

Future Goals

I have a lot more to achieve in 2017 but I’m glad to get this far. It’s a battle each day to keep going, when my inner voice tells me to stop writing and focus on other things. I can’t let that happen. I have several projects in the works. I just need to tighten up my writing and get working with an editor.

Thank you again for all the feedback and comments. I hope for more to come in 2017.

 

 

 

 

The Wall

I think every writer comes to a point where they hit the dreaded wall. It happens to me all the time. For example, last week I had brilliant ideas for my stories. I’d wake up excited to write and ended up writing over 12,000 words this last week. That’s quite a lot for me. Except yesterday, I tried to write and nothing appeared on screen. I found myself checking Twitter or watching YouTube videos.

It’s frustrating when the creativity disappears, to have it one day gone like it never existed. When this happens, I have to take a step back and reevaluate. A few things that help are hitting the gym, watching a movie or reading a book. Another helpful thing is listening to movie soundtracks depending on the mood I want to achieve. I try to find something to inspire and motivate me.

One thing I’ve learned is trying to write when stressed is never a good thing; it leads to more frustration. The most important thing is to not let it get to you, don’t quit trying. take a day off if you need to, but then get back on the horse. I’m sure many of you have heard this quote, but it’s a nice reminder to keep pushing.

“If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” R.A. Salvatore.

I want to be a writer and the more I work towards my goal, it becomes true. I’m to the point where I can’t quit, where I need to see it through to the end. Even when I hit that dreaded wall, I’m going to take my imaginary bulldozer and knock it on over.

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Image from StockSnap

Genres

Do you only write one genre? What’s your favorite? Mine are horror, suspense, paranormal and romance. I can’t stick to just one.

Truth is, I get bored easily. Some days I’m working on a romance, and then I want something to freak me out. It flip-flops all the time, usually everyday. If you’ve checked out the Books I’m Reading, posts, you can see that.

Many authors are known for a specific type of book they write. Stephen King writes horror and then Nicolas Sparks writes feel good, romance novels. I wonder if this will hinder me. My mind goes too many directions, and it’s hard to focus on one topic for too long. They all have my voice and style, but is that enough?

From what I’ve read, much of it has to do with marketing. I understand the end goal is to make money (for publishers). They hardly care about the creative process or hindering yours, at least that’s how I view it. Publishers stick with an author to keep readers coming back for more. 

What if a best selling thriller writer wants to write erotica, would some roll their eyes? Would they let them try it out? This is a topic I will dive into, with upcoming posts. 

Does anyone else branch out and write different work? What are your thoughts on writing different genres?

 

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My Tips for Writing More

First of all, thank you for everyone who commented on my last post, What Scares You? I received a lot of feedback and I appreciate it. You can still include your input!

I’ve had a few people ask me how I get inspired or how I write. So I’d like to share my tips to write more.

Treat it like a job.

Yes, we all hate work, but writing sometimes has to be treated like a job. There’s commitment when writing a novel or short story. I make time in the morning and evening to sit down and get to work. I’ve been trying to treat my blog the same. I make a point each day to read other posts and connect with others.

You don’t have to go all in.

Don’t we all wish we could write 2000 words a day? It can be difficult with a full-time job and other responsibilities. I make an effort to get something on paper. Even if it’s only  a page or 500 words. It’ll add up over time. If I don’t feel like writing I’ll edit part of my work.

Don’t wait for inspiration to strike, ideas are everywhere.

All it takes is a simple idea to get going. I often find it in the most unusual places. One day I checked the mail, and an idea popped into my head. Look at everything as an idea for a story. Anything and anyone can influence you.

Have fun!

This sounds cliche, but writing really is a world of its own. You live in a world of make believe all the time, embrace it! At my day job I often think about my characters or new story ideas. I’m always jotting down ideas or creating a scene in my head.

If anyone has tips, please share in the comments!

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