Blog

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.

 

Blog

Just Be Yourself

Hello friends,

I’ve been thinking lately about all the blogging/branding advice I’ve been reading lately. There’s so much of it, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Following the usual advice has sometimes done me some good but I found the one thing that has worked best for me is…

Being myself.

The dork. The nerd. The clown. The sometimes potty-mouthed and dirty-minded weirdo that I am. Sometimes vulnerable. Sometimes sad. Determined. The failure. Struggling writer. True.

The true me–is the me that people connect with.

Lesson –Just be yourself!

The you that you truly are–no matter what that looks like–is bound to be better than anything artificial you try to portray.

Did you know that I had another blog and also a different Twitter account that I up and deleted one day? It’s true. I wiped everything clean and started new.

I wasn’t having any fun at all portraying myself as a serious person. And although I am serious about working hard to improve my writing and creating quality books, I am–at heart–a big, goofball weirdo freak. I think my freakery shows up in my writing. So why should I pretend to be someone else and shock people when they read my writing where a woman discusses her friend’s sascrotch? They are likely to get confused, or worse, put off. Best to be honest about who I am from the start, don’t you think? (I promise there is nothing dirty, or inappropriate in my children’s books–unless farting disgusts you.)

Yes, I’m a writer. But does that mean I have to put my (computer, not prescription) glasses in the corner of my mouth and say, “mmm, yes,” as I ponder the symbolism built into my serious literary work?

Pllllllttttttt! I take my work seriously but not myself.

On Friday, I felt the need for a break from my work-in-progess and tweeted this out…

IMG_7336.jpg

As you can see, it got quite a good response. 😂 😂 I’ve been drawing like crazy, especially that first day. I didn’t write. I didn’t do much tweeting of anything else.

But you know why I kept drawing and drawing? Because it was fun. And it’s still creative. Which I believe has a positive impact on my writing. Some of my drawings gave me the giggles so hard I thought my ribs might crack. Unbelievably, (especially for Twitter–you users know this) there has been no trolling on the entire thread and only one person tried to bring politics into it (insert eye roll) and isn’t that fantastic?!?! The best part has been that more than one person has said that reading the thread brightened their whole day.

True, it didn’t bring in book sales (not completely true, one person who discovered me did buy one) but I made people laugh and smile. And this thread kinda is me telling a story, isn’t it? And that’s what I love to do anyway. I’m showing my personality. –telling a little mini picture story about who I am.

Making money is nice but the saying is true, the best things in life are free. I love that I’ve connected with people. And with the nasty, hate-flinging tweets I see day after day, I’m happy that I may have been a ray of sunshine cracking through the muck for someone.

Here are a just a few of the doodles I did…

IMG_1015IMG_2735IMG_4077IMG_4678IMG_4694IMG_5524IMG_7239

If you’d like to look through the whole thread, you can find it here.

I did get my editing in this morning and I’m hoping to do some writing but I’m also going to be drawing more because, believe it or not, more people are waiting and I don’t want to let them down. I want to keep sending smiles (and maybe some giggles) out into this cranky world.

I am going to take a moment to request that if you enjoy my blog that you give me a follow. Also, if you’d like to buy one of my books, the link to my amazon page is here.

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

I’m also posting my adult works on Chapterbuzz. You can find the link to that here.  I’d be thrilled to get more “buzzes” and feedback there. (Those works are in progress and haven’t been fully edited.) You can find some of them on this blog under the tab, “Sneak Peeks.”

Please and thank you! I appreciate all the love you’ve shown me and my work more than you can imagine.

Until next Sunday, keep smiling!

Allie 💕

 

Blog

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.

Blog · book reviews

Book review – Whispers in the Alders by H.A. Callum

Book review – Whispers in the Alders by H.A. Callum

This book quickly became a favorite!!! The writing is beautiful without being overdone. I stopped and read the words, again and again, wondering how the author put them together so magnificently and so seemingly effortlessly! I love Tommy and Aubrey so much. Their friendship felt so authentic and stole my heart away. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
I wish more people knew about his book. SO I’ll shout if from the rooftops!
giphy11
You can buy your copy by clicking here!
Blog

It’s good to take a break.

Hello friends,

I didn’t post on my blog last week because I needed a break. I may be spreading myself a bit thin with posting 5 works on Wattpad and Chapterbuzz, writing a weekly post for this blog, plus all the other things I have going on in my life. I’m not going to stop doing any of these things, though, because I realized that while I might need a break from bits of it at times, I’m capable of doing it.

giphy5

The hardest part for me in keeping up with writing in this blog and posting my works-in-progress on Wattpad and Chapterbuzz is how vulnerable it makes me feel. This blog reveals feelings that I have always tried to mask. It’s not easy to share my struggles and admit that I walk around feeling like a failure who has no idea what in the hell she’s doing. But when someone reaches out and lets me know that they connect with a post, it makes it all worth it.

giphy6

Sharing my works-in-progress on Wattpad and Chapterbuzz really kicks me outside my comfort zone. I have one complete novel up and I’m still in the process of writing all the others. I’m finding it challenging to write new chapters and give them, at least, a second edit before putting them up. Usually, my books go through multiple edits (my first book probably went through around 30 rounds plus a 3 professional edits) before sharing. Talk about showing your warts! I’m not perfect, no matter how hard I wish I was. Opening up and putting my process on display feels horrible in many ways but I think it’s been good for me. I love getting feedback and I greatly appreciate those of you who have checked out my chapters.

giphy7

One thing I’ve learned along my writing journey (and I guess in life, in general) is that I have to sometimes do something that is so uncomfortable for me and ask for the things I want. So, I’m going to give that a whirl again… If you’re reading along on Chapterbuzz, would you become a “fan,” “buzz” my chapters, and comment occasionally.  If you are following along on Wattpad, would you please “follow” me, “view” and “vote” for the chapters you enjoy, and leave comments, please. Believe it or not, I love feedback and it doesn’t have to be all positive. If you notice errors, point them out. I’m sharing, not only because I want to find readers, but I want to improve. I can tell when someone is trying to be helpful and when someone is being a troll, so if you aren’t a troll, don’t worry about hurting my feelings. Please and thank you.

giphy8

Phew! That was hard and I feel a swirling cloud of discomfort in my gut but it will be worth it if someone who didn’t know I want those things, does them. It really means a lot to me to connect with readers. This is why I do this. I love telling stories but it’s not as much fun to tell them to myself.

giphy9

I’ve blabbered on long enough with this post. It’s a beautiful (but chilly) day. I’d like to get out and go for a walk to enjoy it. I also need to edit and post (hopefully 🤞🏻) four chapters.

giphy10

Blog

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.

 

Blog

Ugh, why did I do that?

Ugh, why did I do that?

The first thing I do (after getting ready) in the morning is to check my emails and my book sales.

Yesterday, I got an alert in Createspace asking me if I wanted to move my paperback title over to KDP. I thought, “why not?” because then I’d be able to track everything in one place. Man, am I kicking myself for that decision now.

adult art conceptual dark
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The paperback title shows that it has no cover. Ugh, why did I do that? Whhhhhhyyyyyyy!

giphy13

I guess it’s partially because I keep hearing that Createspace is going away. I also thought it would be a smooth transition. And that it would be so nice to track my sales all in one place.

Now I’m worried everything is jacked up. I was so happy with the way my paperback turned out with Createspace. Now there might not be a cover on my paperback. Who knows, the formatting could be all jacked up, too. Or everything could be fine. I hate not knowing. I emailed KPD, and they’re usually extremely helpful, but I’m worried I’m going to have to do everything all over again. And that I’ll have to pay for more proof copies to make sure they are. What about any book sales that come in while I’m experiencing issues while I’m waiting for an answer from KDP?

“What about any books sales that come in?” 😂 😂 😂

giphy7

Oooooh, that’s funny! Okay, I’m working on the marketing portion and someday the book sales rolling in will actually be a concern of mine. 🤣 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 🤞🏻 I’m stubborn, and I have no doubt I’ll figure out how to be a productive sales(wo)man one day.

Okay, back to my issue. I’m always doing things where I mentally beat myself up and ask, “Ugh, why did I do that?”

I wish I hadn’t moved my book over to KDP. I’m not even going to dare do a google search on the topic because I’m sure there are numerous blogs saying, “Don’t do it! Stay with Createspace!” and I’m going to feel like an even bigger idiot. But I know that I’ll figure things out. I’ll feel like an idiot for a while, but soon I’ll be wiser. I’ll know how to use KDP and I’ll be happy that I can track my titles in one place. I’ll love the fact that I can create my future titles’ paperback and ebook versions in the same place. There will only be one customer support that I’ll have to contact for help the next time I’m kicking myself and muttering, “Ugh, why did I do that?”

Eh, I’m making mistakes, but I’m learning. By the time I’m dead, I just may be wicked smart.

giphy-downsized

Haha! Someday. Right now is not that time. Oh well. I have to feel like a dumb@$$ for a day or two. Then I’ll move on and maybe feel proud of what I’ve accomplished for a day or two before doing something else I’ve never done before and falling on my face.

But for today, I’m trying to keep in mind that I’m doing, I’m trying, I’m learning, I’m working to accomplish my goals. And while all my failures suck for a while, someday I might find myself winning.

giphy12

**In the time it took me to vent and write this blog post, everything is back to looking the way it should again.** Ahh, I feel so much better.

Anyway, if you’d like to buy my book, ASTER THE SPIRIT TALKER, it’s available by clicking here. 😁

 

 

Blog

Are book trailers useful? (part one)

Are book trailers useful? (part one)

Hello friends,

When you publish a book and you’re trying make it discoverable by readers, there is so much conflicting advice on what you should do it can be overwhelming. And unfortunately, a lot of the advice offered (to help you become a bestseller) isn’t free. I’m beginning to think there are a lot of authors out there who really make their money by promising to help others sell their books (but it doesn’t work and your money is wasted). They don’t write for the love of writing but to scam aspiring authors out of their dollars and cents.

background-bank-notes-bills-929285.jpg

I want to share everything I do with you–for free! So that you can learn from my mistakes (yes, it’s embarrassing to show my failures) and you can benefit from my successes (if I ever have any 😂 😂 😭 😭 😭).

So here’s question 1 I’m going to explore and I’ll report back on whether it was a big, fat flop in a future post…Are book trailers useful?

I suspect the answer is no. I’d like to point out that I do have a bit of advanced knowledge of this in that I release a book before, paid someone on Fiverr to make a book trailer for me (I think I paid $15), and it brought me no noticeable sales.

This time, I’ve made the book trailer myself, so it only cost me my time. To be honest, it turned out just as well as the one I paid for.

Here it is…

 

Now you may be thinking, “Allie, if a book trailer didn’t bring you any sales before, why are you even bothering?”

Great question! You are smart, dear reader. I’m trying again because I think everything is always worth a few attempts–especially when they don’t cost me anything. I’ve shared the video on Youtube (which I plan to try to start utilizing), Facebook, in this post, Twitter, Google+, my Amazon author page, and I also plan to put a link on Pinterest. I’ve yet to figure out if I can put it on Instagram. (Have I ever mentioned how much I despise using Instagram? I find it so UN-user-friendly)

I’m not sure of any other ways that I can use this book trailer, but I’m going to dig around in some blog posts, seek out other book trailers to learn how they’re used, and try to brainstorm different ways I can use it. My goal is to make my book discoverable in as many places as I can. Whether or not that will convert to book sales, I have no idea but I guess we’ll find out together.

Are you an author who uses book trailers to try to generate sales? If so, would you mind sharing your experiences in the comments below? If you have any suggestions on additional ways to use a book trailer, I’d love to know those as well. I need all the help I can get.

Or maybe you’re a whiz at marketing and you’d like to share your knowledge with someone like me?

giphy6

Writing a book was the easy part for me. Marketing myself and my book–whew, that’s another story–one I’m struggling with.

If you’re interested in buying my book after that amazing book trailer 😉 you can purchase it by clicking here for the ebook or here for the paperback. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free.

See you in part two–which will hopefully be named Are book trailers useful? (part two-success!) 😂 😂 🤞🏻 🤞🏻

 

book reviews

Book Review – Unanchored by Stephanie Eding

Book Review – Unanchored by Stephanie Eding

⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Shiver me timbers! This, my hearties, was an exciting adventure.
I highly recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Cecily as she tried to figure out what was going on and plan her escapes. I’ve also developed an enormous character crush on Finn. This book had all the things I love in a book, excitement, adventure, some sexual tension, and a bit of romance. This is one I’ll be reading again and telling my friends about.

unanchored.jpg

Available as an ebook from Amazon. Click here to get your copy!