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Control your content

Hello friends,

Sometimes my writing journey feels like this…

Wooo! It’s easy to feel like I’m getting absolutely nowhere. But I’m determined AF, and so when I come to a realization, I like to share it so that you can move an inch or so forward with me.

Here’s what I want to say…

ONLY SHARE YOUR WORK ON YOUR WEBSITE.

Now I’m not talking about writing guests posts or publishing poems or articles in magazines. I’m talking about using sites like Patreon, Wattpad, Chapterbuzz, or any other such site. But Allie, you say, you’ve used these sites?

Why yes, my darlings, I have, and that’s why I urge you not to use them. I have three main reasons why and here they are:

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Reason One: Those sites are a time suck. I spent so much time working on my Patreon, Wattpad, and Chapterbuzz accounts that I neglected my blog, my poetry, and my novels. In order to find any readers, you have to scratch other writers’ backs to get them to scratch yours. This is to basically falsely inflate your numbers to make it look like you have a lot of readers. It’s getting the sheep to follow a buzz you’ve manufactured. I wish people thought for themselves and dug to find writing they like but really they (not all but a lot)  follow the crowd. Therefore, you have to spend more of your writing time fabricating some buzz. (Patreon actually recommends you find creators to mutually support to grow your numbers. But it’s all false! I want REAL followers.)

Reason Two: Every time you post to these sites and then share via your social media, you’re drawing potential new readers to an external site. Why not draw them to your own? Showcase yourself and your kick-ass website, not someone else’s.

Reason Three: Your readers are yours to keep (as long as you keep them entertained.) Why work so hard to grow the followings of Wattpad, Patreon, or Chapterbuzz when they can decide to kick you off at any moment? If they don’t like or agree with something you wrote, they can boot you. Let’s face it, sharing ideas or stories freely in this day and age is dangerous business. I also don’t want to support any websites who silence anyone who disagrees with a CEO’s political or personal views. I know some may applaud the silencing but remember, one day they may come for you, too, dear writer. Free is free. And on my own website, I’m free to be me.

So, while it might take me longer to find readers, I’m still finding them. It may be a long process, but I’m in for the long haul because writing is my passion.

I’m grateful to all of you who have followed this blog, signed up for my newsletter, leave comments, and have purchased my books. You’re amazing! I will continue to share chapters of my works-in-progress under the sneak peeks tab.

And remember, you can find the link to purchase my books on the books tab or by clicking here or here to purchase a signed copy.

If you’ve read my books, I’d like to ask you to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews go a long way in helping indie authors like me to find new readers.

I’m going to keep on putting one word after another and I have no doubt that I’ll grow a following of readers who connect them.

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Thanks!

Allie

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On a happy note…

I’m happy to announce that you can now purchase signed copies of both Aster the Spirit Talker and A Night Game on Etsy in the WhistlePigPublishing shop.

books for kidskids books

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Listen to yourself.

Hello friends,

I’m a little late on putting out my weekly post. I’ve been busy all month, and I decided to be lazy over the weekend. It felt great, and I feel refreshed.

I have lots of words to make up for NaNoWriMo, but I still feel like I’m going to complete the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month. I know some people that insist that writers must write every day but as I’ve said before, I disagree with that.

While I was taking my break, I thought about my story and what would happen. I jotted down a few notes in the margins. In those ways, I was still working on my novel. Not adding to my word count didn’t put me behind because I know where I’m going and I feel like I want to go there now.

I think it works for some people to chip away at their stories slowly every day. Some of us, though, work internally on our stories for a while before it’s all ready to spill out. We may end up writing as much or more than we would if we forced the words out slowly. It’s like everything else, we need to listen to our bodies and spirits. We know what’s best for us and drowning out other voices is an important thing to learn in the creative process.

Okay, I’ve got words to catch up on. Cheers!

Allie

Please visit my Amazon author page, check out my books, and consider buying one by clicking here.

Listen to yourself

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What is success anyway?

Hello friends,

Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month – where writers try to write 50,000 words in one month) is upon us again. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate this year. I’ve done it a few times now–along with Camp Nano (which happens in April)–and I’ve lost sometimes, and I’ve won sometimes.

But what is winning? And what is losing?

I always thought I lost Nanowrimo if I didn’t make it to 50,000 words in one month but when I was debating whether or not I wanted to participate this time, I realized that even if I didn’t “win” I’d end up trying hard and I’d end up writing more than I would otherwise.

In the writing world, there’s a whole pile of people deciding what makes others successful.

So I’ve decided I really need to get every voice out of my head other than my own and those of writers who support one another no matter what. No matter the publishing path, level, genre, or background.

I’m participating in Nanowrimo. I’m already a winner.

I’m a winner because I want to write and share my stories and I’m taking the steps I need to do that.

What could ever be losing about that?

If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer and you start putting words on a page, congratulations to you! No matter who you are or what your end goals are, you’re brave and you’re a winner. With each attempt you’re getting closer to where you want to be. There are plenty of people who want to write a book and never even get started. It might take you a while but you’ll get there if you keep working.

Success!

rocky

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Social anxiety, anyone?

Hello, friends!

I wouldn’t say I have social anxiety disorder. I’m an introvert and going out to parties, and social situations exhaust me, but I would never say I have a disorder. Usually, when I feel like doing these things, I have a great time but am always ready to be home again.  However, I have an event coming up this weekend, and I feel absolutely sick about it. I wouldn’t be lying if I said I was so anxious about it that I was considering hiding in a park somewhere rather than actually showing up.

The social anxiety institute lists the following symptoms for social anxiety disorder:

People with social anxiety disorder usually experience significant emotional distress in the following situations:

  • Being introduced to other people

  • Being teased or criticized

  • Being the center of attention

  • Being watched while doing something

  • Meeting people in authority (“important people”)

  • Most social encounters, especially with strangers

  • Going around the room (or table) in a circle and having to say something

  • Interpersonal relationships, whether friendships or romantic

So all these fit for me except for the first and last. And, btw, who would be okay with the second? Are there really people who don’t mind being teased or criticized?

Anyway, I know I need to do events like this to promote myself as an author and my books. But the thought of being with no one I know and chatting with strangers all day makes me feel physically ill.

I’m afraid I’ll look ugly.

I’m afraid I’ll say stupid things. Enter too many umms and uhs. Stumble over what I want to say. Basically, I’ll look like a big fat idiot.

Also, while I always got good grades in school, never got less than As in all my math classes, dealing with money makes me feel sick. Will I give the wrong change and appear to be an idiot? Will I fumble with using my square reader?

Ugh, I’m going to be a complete douche bonnet. I just know it.

I’m scared.

One good thing about me is my imagination. It allows me to travel to other worlds and write them down.

One bad thing about me is my imagination. Every time I imagine myself dealing with anyone, I imagine out all the worst things that can happen and all the awkward and stupid things I’ll do.

*Sigh*

*Deep breath*

*Muttering* I can do this.

I can be brave. I’m going to be brave. I’m going to fake confidence and hold my chin up.

Does it matter if I’m the only one who knows how terrified I am inside?

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Blog · Distant Spring · Sneak Peeks

Distant Spring

Chapter One

Lottie Stephens was running late. She despised running late. Always chronically early, her armpits were drenched and her hands shook as she searched for her keys. Why didn’t she hang them on the hook when she came in last night? 

 But she knew why she hadn’t. She was drunk. And angry. And, hmm, had she tossed them against the wall? Suddenly ducking under the hallway table, she searched. Ugh, they’re not there. Her flickering memory was hinting that that’s where they’d be. Twisting her head under the table she turned to see them dangling, stuck between the back of the table and the wall. Also, wedged between the back of the drawer and table back a bent photograph hung out. She grabbed the corner and tugged it free. The breath pulled from her body as she glanced at it. 

David. 

As she shoved the picture into her pocket, Lottie hit her head on the table as she stood. She clutched it and pulled the table away from the wall enough to let the keys drop. She scooped them off the floor, scuttled through the kitchen and into the garage, swiping her purse off the arm of the couch, and flew into the garage. 

Lottie hopped in her car, momentarily fantasizing about the cup of coffee she never got the chance to make, and hit the door button, cursing it for raising so slowly. While she waited she slid her hand into her pocket and pulled out the picture of David, sighing before curling it into the cupholder. She backed down the driveway and headed off to her dental appointment, seemingly hitting every single red light along the way. 

A blue pickup joined her about a quarter of her way along and followed her, riding her ass. Fire grew inside her. “It’s not like I can go any faster!” She screamed to the silhouette in the rearview mirror. “What do you expect me to do? There’s cars in front of me.” Lottie wished she had the guts to jump out of her car at the next light, open the truck’s door, pull the man-shaped silhouette out, and beat the living shit out of him. But, as it was a him, it was not very likely that she would be the one giving the beating and what if it was some sort of psycho who would have no trouble fighting a woman. And the way he drove, it seemed more likely than not that he’d be just that kind of man. Instead, she opted to throw her middle finger up as she took off from the last light before turning into the dental office parking lot. 

Panic swept through her as the blue pickup followed her into the parking lot. Uh-oh, what if this was the kind of psycho who would follow a woman to her destination and pummel her for throwing the bird. She whipped into the closest space she could find and threw the car in park. She grabbed her purse and scurried to the office door. She kept a spying eye on the truck. It pulled into a space. She saw the drivers-side door open as she ducked into the safety of the dental office. 

Side-eying the entrance, she removed her coat, and flung it on the hanger. It slid off immediately and fell in a crinkled heap on the closet floor. She wasn’t going to take the time to try to rehang it. The psycho could come in at any moment. She scuttled over to the front window to check in. The hair on the back of her neck rose as she heard the jingle of the doorbell, the hanging of a coat, and the patter of footsteps walking across the carpet behind her. He was standing behind her. Oh why wouldn’t the lady at the front desk look at her already. 

Quit looking at that computer screen and check me in, god dammit.

As though reading her thoughts, the women with blue rimmed glasses looked up. “Hello there.”

She leaned in and whispered, “Charlotte Stephens. I have a nine-thirty appointment.”

“You’re all set.” The woman smiled. 

“Thank you.” Lottie twisted and rolled around the man standing behind her. 

She tucked herself back in the security of a corner seat near the front of the office by a large ficus plant. 

Wait, is this a real ficus?

 She rubbed a leaf between her thumb and forefinger. 

Wow. Real. 

Lottie allowed her eyes to drift up to the man standing at the window. That was definitely the one she’d given the finger to. She could tell from the shape of his silhouette—the way his hair was lightly spiking upwards in the front and his shoulders were very broad. 

Grant Ryan. She heard him say. She quickly scooped a magazine off the counter and shoved her nose inside. There was no way she was going to make eye contact. Her stomach swirled. 

Why did I have to throw him the bird? This is just my kind of luck. I’m going to have to get a new dentist now. Ugh, but I really like coming here. No! He’s the one that was wrong. He can get a new dentist. 

Once again perturbed at the thought that he was the asshole driver and now he was going to push her out of the best dentist office she’d ever been to. He took a seat catty-corner to her. She chanced an angry glance at his direction but her eyes quickly shot away from his as they met. He’d been looking directly at her. His eyes darting away as quickly as hers had. Her heart pounded in her chest. 

He knows I know he was staring at me. He didn’t look angry, though. God, and he’s cute, too. Just my luck, he’d also be really cute.

“Hey, Lottie. I’m ready for you now.” Kay, her regular hygienist for the last three years, smiled and motioned her back. 

Lottie hopped up and scampered toward her. 

“Oh, don’t forget your purse.” Kay pointed toward Lottie’s bag sitting by the side of the chair.

“Oops.” Lottie’s face flushed red as she spun to grab it, careful not to look in his direction. 

The morning is complete, now you look like an idiot in all regards.”

“We’re going in room four.” Kay motioned Lottie to the room and followed quickly behind her. “You can set your things on that chair.” 

Lottie plopped her purse where she was directed and climbed into the dental chair as Kay donned her mask. “How’ve you been?” 

“I’m not having the best morning but up until now, I’ve been okay.”

“Yes,” Kay pulled down her mask and put a hand on Lottie’s shoulder. “I’m so sorry, honey. We got the request for David’s records to be sent on to Hickam Air Force Base.”

Lottie’s stomach dropped. Yes, the last time she came, David and her were still trying to work things out. “Thanks, Kay. It’s for the best this way. I’m really alright with things now. I’m happy teaching at the school still. You know I love my students and this town.”

“And we love having you here. You know, my granddaughter still goes on about how you are her favorite teacher. And she had you, what? Two years ago?”

“That’s right. Sarah was in my first class. She’s such a sweet girl.”

“Thanks. She really is sweet. I’m worried you might not think the same when you get my grandson, Todd, next year.” Kay laughed and picked up a scaler. 

Lottie opened her mouth as Kay began her work. 

“Todd’s a sweet boy but he can’t sit still for a second. I swear, my daughter had no idea what she was in for with Todd. Sarah was such an easy child and Todd is still giving her a run for her money. It’s like she was a first time mom with her second. Ah, I’m sure you’ll be able to handle him in class. He’s got a good heart. Just can’t sit still, is all.” 

Lottie smiled around the dental tool scraping her teeth. Kay worked away. Scraping and polishing. Silently and quickly. That’s what Lottie loved about Kay. Cleanings with her were always quick, painless, and never filled with questions expected to be answered around a mouth full of metal scalers, mirrors, and curettes. 

After finishing, Kay raised the chair. “Would you like to schedule your next appointment?”

“Sure. I’ll be here.” 

“How’s October 14? Same time?”

“That’ll work for me.”

“Okay, see you in six months. I put your appointment card in with your new toothbrush and sample paste.”

“Thanks, Kay.”

Kay handed Lottie her dental prize bag as the dentist swooped in. 

“And how does everything look today?” The dentists washed her hands, tipped the chair back, and looked into Lottie’s waiting mouth.

“She was squeaky clean as always.” Kay winked at Lottie.

Just as fast as she swept into the room, the dentist sat back, pulled her gloves off, and smiled at Lottie. “Everything looks great. No cavities today.  Keep up the good work.”

“Thank you.” Lottie wiped some spit that had swept across her chin.

Kay removed the bib from Lottie as the doctor waved and scuttled out of the room, ducking into the room next door. “Hey Grant, and how are you doing today?” Her words cutting off as she disappeared inside.

Lottie waved to Kay as she scooped her purse of the chair and left the room. With the dentists hands in his mouth, there he was, the cute guy she’d given the finger to in the next room. She froze for a moment while pulling her purse over her shoulder. His eyes connected with hers before she quickly averted them and hurried to the front desk. 

“Am I all set?”

“You’re good to go, Charlotte. See you next time.” The receptionist waved and quickly went back to her computer. 

Lottie grabbed her coat from the hanger—someone had hung it for her—before bursting through the door and half-running to her car. His mouth was full of dentist fingers but for some reason she was worried he’d soon be behind her if she didn’t hurry. As she bustled out to her car, she glanced over at his blue pickup. A bone-shaped magnet was stuck on the tail-gate that read “I ❤︎ my rescue.” Her mind drifted momentarily—as she pressed the unlock button on her bobble—wondering what type of dog he might have. A lab? Or maybe he looked like a German Shepherd man. Although, she knew pit bulls were the dogs that filled most shelters. Yeah, she could picture him with a gray pitty riding next to him in that old blue pickup. She shook her head and climbed into her car. No, he’s a tailgating jerk, not some sweet guy who rescues pitties. 

Why are you always trying to give jerks good qualities and imagine them to be anything other than they are? 

Lottie buckled, took a quick glance in the rearview to make sure he wasn’t coming out yet, backed out of the space, and headed off towards the school, wishing she’d taken the whole day off. 

After a morning like this, school was the last place she wanted to go. Her energy levels already felt completely zapped. She turned onto Falcon and headed straight for the White Buffalo Coffee Bar, fumbling in her purse for her wallet as she neared. Grabbing it, she sighed as she looked inside, only spying repeats of Alexander Hamilton’s handsome face. She hated to part with her tens. Why couldn’t there be an Abe or Andrew instead? 

Great timing, there was only one car in front of her. Unlike whenever she’d try to swing by before school and hit the morning rush. Once it was her turn, she pulled up and ordered a large white buffalo mocha and a small espresso. She took the hot drinks, carefully placing them in her cupholder, and handed the barista the ten. 

“Keep the change.” Lottie smiled, pulled off, and headed for the school. Before pulling out of the parking lot of the White Buffalo, she peeled off the lid of the espresso and sipped out the hottest little bit before turning the AC on full blast and pointing it at the open cup. She carefully pulled out onto the road, praying she’d sipped enough coffee out to avoid a spill, and headed towards the base. 

She slowed and rolled down her window at the gate, handing the guard her ID, “Good morning.”

“Morning, ma’am.” The guard handed her ID back. She shoved it in her purse, rolled up her window, and drove by the “Welcome to Altus AFB” sign like she did every weekday morning, headed to Rivers Elementary School. Pulling into the parking lot, she was relieved to see an empty spot waiting for her. Until she realized there was a motorcycle hiding in the spot. 

“Dammit! You really gotta take up a whole space with that thing, buddy?” Lottie picked up her espresso as she rolled through the lot looking for another space and took a big gulp. Ah-ha, another spot. A small spot, but her little, silver honda fit could squeeze into a space half that size. She pulled in and unbuckled before downing the rest of her only slightly too-hot espresso. Purse in one hand, her white buffalo mocha in the other, she headed in to the office. 

“Lottie, you’re back. I wasn’t expecting you for another half hour.” Maura pressed her glasses to her face and smiled before picking up the phone the moment it rang. “Good morning, Rivers Elementary. How can I help you?”

“I’ll be in the teachers’ lounge.” Lottie mouthed as she waltzed by taking a small sip of her mocha. She walked down the hall and stopped short when she saw streamers, balloons, and a sign hanging up in the teachers’ lounge which read, “Sayonara, Melissa! We’ll miss you.”  

“Fuck.” Lottie closed her eyes. She’d forgotten Melissa’s goodbye party was today. She sunk down into a chair and sipped her coffee staring at the line-up of good-bye presents covering one of the lounge tables. So much for not writing things down. She kicked herself. She knew she forgot any and everything if she didn’t write it down and set a reminder in her phone. 

The bell rang just a few moments after she finished the last sip of her coffee and missed the trashcan when she tossed her cup at it. “Of course.” Bending over as soon as she rose from the chair, she waddled over to pick it up. Lottie squealed and jumped when she got a firm smack to her butt. 

“Hey hot stuff, make me work for it.” Beth waggled her eyebrows at Lottie.

“Shut up and keep your hands to yourself, ya old pervert.” 

“Never, you know I can’t resist that sweet ass. Especially when you’re presenting for me.” Beth peered into the trash. “What Mr. Cooley’s trash lounge coffee not good enough for you this morning?”

“I needed something stronger. I’ve had the shittiest morning and to top it all off, I forgot about Melissa’s going away.”

“I knew you would. I put your name on the card of my gift.” Beth winked. 

“Oh, you’re the best, Ms. Grimes.” Lottie threw her ams around her. 

“Ah, you’re welcome, sweetie. I knew you’d forget when I told you to write it down and you didn’t. You really need to start listening to me.” Beth rubbed Lotties back before pulling away. “So did you hear? They finally hired a long-term-sub to finish out Melissa’s class for the school year. He’s supposed to stop by the going away party. Melissa invited him.”

“Nothing like waiting until the last minute to hire someone.” 

“I know right, but that’s the way they roll around here. Better get to class or we’ll get sent to the principal’s office.” Beth stuck out her tongue and headed off down the hallway. 

Lottie stuck hers out and headed to her class, curious about who the new teacher would be. 

 

 

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Finding support along your writing journey

Hello friends,

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about the bumpy road that I’ve traveled along during my writing journey. Sometimes, it feels like I’m just spinning my wheels in the mud and I really need to turn and look back at where I began.

Reality will surprise you.

Let me just start by saying that I’ve been lucky, I’ve had quite a few people who supported and encouraged me from the start. But I was surprised that some of the people I initially thought would support me most haven’t. Their words saying one thing, their actions showing quite another. I’ve talked to other writers along my way who don’t have any family or friends supporting them. It’s incredible how many people think writing is just a hobby. I don’t fault them. When I was in third grade, I never thought I could be a writer when I grew up. So, I wrote in my free time while working a “real job” for the entertainment of my work friends and my family, never thinking I could share my work beyond my small circle. Imagine where I could be now if I took my writing more seriously way back when. But wondering about that is a whole other blog post, and I’ve tried to train myself to stop doing it.

Back to my point…to the writers who are just starting out, don’t stop if you find you’re not getting the support you long for. Just write and connect with people through your blog (if you have one) on social media. You might find people you barely kept in contact with from long ago will suddenly be the ones lifting you up. You may find people you don’t even know will be the biggest fans of your words.

You’ll find your people.

Don’t get discouraged if some of the people closest to you that claim to love you and support your work don’t show that support. They don’t follow your blog or read your blog posts (let alone an entire novel), they don’t share anything on social media, they definitely won’t buy your book or write a review. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you, but they just don’t understand how hard a writer’s journey is and how much encouragement matters.

In the beginning, they may be all you have, and when you don’t feel supported, it can make it hard to continue. So, to any writer starting out, I just want to remind you that you need to try your best to keep putting words down even if you have no one who wants to read them at the moment.

Keep pushing. Keep moving forward and don’t let that discourage you.

You may just find that strangers or people you barely know will be the ones to encourage you and read every word you write. Take the time to make connections on social media. Get to know these strangers because, before long, you might find that they aren’t strangers anymore but friends.

Someone I barely knew on Twitter, but who I found funny as hell, enjoyed my tweets as well. And now she’s one of my besties, and we chat every single day. She’s one of my biggest supporters, and she more than makes up for the lack of encouragement I found from others, and she makes me believe in my talent.

Shout out to Billie Jean! You’re amazing, and I love the poop out of you!

I also found others who have supported me. People I barely know. And I didn’t do this by posting and shouting about my writing/book all day. On my blog, I write from my heart–including ups and downs. I spend most of my time on the social media platform I enjoyed most (Twitter). I play games. I goof around. I interact with other posts and tweets. I don’t censor myself. None of this is challenging because I have fun. This should be fun, after all. Sure, you’ll still get discouraged from time to time, but now you’ll have people behind you who will lift you up and make you laugh.

Don’t let anyone make you feel foolish.

I’ve had people in real life squash me and make me feel like my usage of social media is stupid and a waste of time. They made fun of how much I tweet. Yeah, I tweet a lot, but I’m spending time with the people who support me. How can that ever be a waste of time?

Boo to the people that bring you down! Some people who will claim to support you but may secretly want to see you fail because they’re jealous that you dare to follow your heart.

At the end of the day, you need to concentrate on the ones who want you to succeed, for real, no matter how you met them or where you met them.

If you’re a new writer and you don’t have support, I’m here, and I understand. Feel free to comment or email me kalicecompeau@outlook.com.

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The importance of a good working title

The importance of a good working title

A hard lesson learned AGAIN.

Hello friends,

Yesterday was THE PITS for me. One of the worst parts of it is that this whole scenario has happened to me before…like the most sinking, miserable case of deja vu.

A long, absent muse returned to me, banging on the back of my head until I gave in and decided to return to an abandoned manuscript.

I opened my computer and searched for the file.

Gone.

I plugged in my backup hard drive.

Gone.

Searching. Searching. Searching.

Desperation and dread battled for the biggest space in my gut.

Thoughts of “well, maybe I…” dashed and darted in and out of my head.

Searching. Searching. Searching.

Tears welling.

Emptiness.

Gone.

My words are gone.

The muse was disappointed in me but refused to leave. The story must be written, and I have to start over. All I can do is tell myself that I’ve grown as a writer and it’s going to be  even better this time.

The words are lost, but the story is not.

I know this is true because the first time this happened to me I replaced every word and finished the entire novel–a novel I love.

But how did this happen? Twice?

I hate thinking of titles. It’s miserable. I rarely know what to call a novel once it’s finished, let alone when it’s only just begun.

This time, I had two books dealing with Aliens (both happened to be the ones I lost at different points,) but I think I called them both some variation of “Alien _____.”

Draft after draft after beta read and critique partnered drafts exist on my computer. I save them and end up with too many to keep straight. “Alien novel,” “Alien novel final draft,” Alien novel final final,” “Alien novel final–this is the one.”

Eventually, various drafts get deleted. And given that their titles are so similar, I believe I completely trashed the first draft of one novel along with a million drafts of the other.

How do I stop this from happening again? What’s the plan?

I’m going to give my novels a complete and unique working title even if I know it’s not going to stick around. No more “untitled romance” or “Alien novel.” Now, my current works are “Burnished Path,” “Cleansed with Blood,” “Distant Spring,” “Homer,” and “Haunted Heart.”

I’m going to go in and find everything I started, even if it’s only one paragraph or one line and name it.

I know these may not be good titles and probably aren’t the ones that will remain but at least they aren’t confusing. When I’m cleaning out revisions of “Burnished Path,” “Distant Spring” isn’t likely to be thrown out with the bathwater.

I’m also going to make sure a copy of each gets added to my backup hard drive and emailed to myself.

My heart is still veiled in black and mourning the lost words, but this time I’m going to ensure that I learn from my loss.

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Be My Horton

Hello friends,

Look! It’s me on that little speck.

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I am here! I am here! I am here!

In my last blog post, I talked about the challenge to find readers. It’s so hard. I feel like a little a who down in Whoville shouting on a speck at a world that’s too big to hear me. But it’s okay. If you’re reading this, you’ve heard me. You are my darling, Horton, and I appreciate it.

While I wait for the rest of the world to notice my tiny, insignificant voice, I’ve got to find a way to keep myself going when my writing can seem so pointless.

So, I’ve invented a way to play with myself (uh, err. Should I scratch and rephrase?)

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Ahh! The floor is lava!

At this point, I have approximately five manuscripts that I haven’t finished, so I’m going to start sharing them on Wattpad and Chapterbuzz…the one that gets the most love is the one that I’m going to concentrate on writing for that week. It will kind of be like American Idol, The Voice, or America’s got talent (which I stopped watching when The Regurgitator lost–he got robbed) but with my manuscripts.

They are early drafts, so they’re not perfect, but the good thing about Wattpad and Chapterbuzz is that I can get feedback from readers on how to improve the chapters as I go. Then, most likely, I will publish them through my publishing company, WhistlePig Publishing. Of course, that will be after multiple drafts, professional editing, and a professional cover artist has designed a proper cover. For now, I’ve made quick covers for Wattpad and Chapterbuzz purposes (so please don’t judge these books by their covers 😂) and given them a working title.

If new readers discover me along the way, that’s only ever going to be a good thing. True, it could just be more crickets, and there won’t be many views, votes, or comments on either site but finding just one more reader–one more Horton–would be incredible. If you’d like to read the chapters of my works in progress here is the link to my Wattpad profile and here is the link to my Chapterbuzz profile.

To my manuscripts…

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Here I go, yet again

Here I go, yet again

A few things about me before I begin this blog post:

  1. I love to tell stories, always have.
  2. Every day I fight the voice in my head that tells me I’ll always be a failure
  3. I’m awfully stubborn.

1 & 3 are the only way I can fight 2. 2 is always telling me to quit. 1 is the biggest reason I’ll keep pushing, keep failing, keep picking myself up and trying again.

What am I doing to fight the voice that says I’m a failure?

I remind myself of a few things:

There are a lot of people out there who want to write a book, haven’t, and probably never will. I have, over and again.

There are also a lot of writers out there who don’t share their work. I understand that. I’ve been sharing for a few years now. I’ve been trying to put myself out there more and more no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel.

I’ve done things in my past that scared me and made me push myself to succeed. I try to put myself back in the place I was in during those times when the thought of failure gripped me tightest. This helps me remember how helpless and hopeless I felt then, yet, I succeeded in the end.

What’s making me feel like a failure now?

Marketing myself and finding new readers. This seems like mission impossible. I wish I had the budget to do a massive marketing campaign, but I don’t. The writers I see succeeding are those that have lots of dollars behind them (I’m not saying their books are good, but I bet there are a lot of great books that go unnoticed because they can’t pay for the buzz that comes from a great marketing campaign–both indie and traditionally published authors.) I just read an article yesterday about an indie author whose debut novel sold over 10,000 copies. He said the key to his success was spending the money on a intensive marketing campaign.

I’m putting all my extra money into opening another business at the moment and chose to spend my writing budget on editing and cover art. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll have more money to sink into marketing, but I just don’t have those funds available right now.

While I work on the other project and wait to have these funds available, I feel like I’m stuck. There’s only so much I can do on my own with a shoestring budget to try to get the word out about my book. But I don’t think there are a lot of people out there who are willing to take a chance on an unknown author. Maybe this is bad of me to say, but I feel like a lot of people just buy into the buzz that comes from reading something on the NYT bestseller list.

What steps am I taking to push forward until I have a marketing budget?

I’m going to use all my platforms to try to find more readers. Finding even one more reader is better than giving in to my fears and giving up. Someday I may be someone’s favorite author, but that won’t happen if I stop trying to find them.

I’m going to keep sharing my journey on this blog. I’ll keep tweeting. And I’ll keep searching for new avenues to find readers I can connect with.

The newest way I’m doing this is…

I’ve joined Chapterbuzz.

I’m hoping to find more readers via Chapterbuzz. I’d love (and also feel terrified and nauseous) to share my work-in-progress and hear constructive feedback about how I can improve each chapter.

If you’d like to read my 1st draft as I go and help me improve my book, I’d love if you’d come on over and join me. When you become a fan and “buzz” my chapters, it gives me points that will help me to become more discoverable by other readers. Click here to join. (It’s free, btw)

I’ll also be posting on Wattpad.

I’ll also be adding my chapters on Wattpad. You can follow along and read my chapters by clicking here.

 

Maybe these will be flops, some of many failures on my road to finding readers, but perhaps it won’t. I’m always willing to try.

I’m going to keep moving forward, no matter how slowly, or how many times I stumble and fall flat on my face.

Thanks for reading. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate it.

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