Blog

Do writers have to write every day?

Do writers have to write every day?

I haven’t written a single word on any of my projects in a while. I’ve thought about them. I’ve taken some notes. Some may suggest that I have writer’s block.

But I don’t.

I read some quote that suggests that to be a writer you have to write every day.

Bullshit. That’s probably true for whoever said that, but guess what, not every writer is the same.

We don’t all write about the same things. Fiction or non. Novels, or poetry, articles, blog posts. Fantasy, sci-fi, romance, war. Some of us plot while others fly by the seat of our pants while telling a story. It drives me nuts when someone likes to hand out pearls about what makes someone a writer and tries saying others are not because they don’t do things the way you do.

We are all different. People can be creative in different ways. Writers don’t come marching out from a pod of sameness! We’re weird! So why would we have limits placed on the things that make us what we are?

If you want to list things that help to turn a good writer into a great writer by improving their craft, I’ll probably agree with a lot of those things. But that writers have to write every day? Plllltttt! Get outta here with that.

When I try to write every day, I just add a bunch of worthless crap to my pages. So instead, I go for walks. I think. Showering is a top choice of mine to think about my projects. Reading–I read and study to learn how to make my writing better. There are so many other things that I can do and guess what, they don’t undo the fact that I’m a writer.

Just because I’m not adding to my word count doesn’t make me less of a writer than someone who scribbled out a few words so they can fit into someone else’s idea of what “should” be done.

Do painters have to paint every day to be a painter? Do sculptors have to sculpt every day?

I believe we artists benefit from taking some time to step away, look up from our art, and observe the people and the world around us.

And I don’t have writer’s block. I actually don’t believe in writer’s block. At least not for this writer. When I’m ready to write, I always do.

Like cookies in an oven, my ideas and my thoughts need to bake before I’m ready to take them out and share them. When I write, I write A LOT. All at once. I don’t write every day.  When I’m in the midst of a project, I’ll write every day, multiple times a day!

I get so sick of others telling me how my process should work because it’s how they work or saying my passion isn’t as strong as theirs because I don’t do what they do.

Bullsh*t. I’m off for a walk with my buddy, and I’ll be working on those ideas in my head until they’re ready to be poured onto the page.

CutieWalk

 

Blog

Traditional publishing vs. Self-publishing

Hello friends,

As you all know, I’ve been sticking it out in the querying trenches, and it’s been hard on my heart. I know I need to develop a thick skin and over and again I’ve heard, “Remember, this is a subjective business.”

Yes, I know. I completely understand that. I know market trends matter. And I also know that nothing makes sense. Seriously.

giphy-downsized-large

Listen to this…

I have a friend who works as a literary intern. So basically, she wades through piles of query letters to sort through those the agent may be interested in and she also reads manuscripts for the agent as a screen before the agent reads them. Here’s an example of what I mean when I say I know that nothing makes sense. My friend read a book that, although it wasn’t her favorite genre, she couldn’t put down. It was a page-turner and was incredibly well written. She passed the book on to the agent who said that she really gobbled it up but wasn’t going to take it on. Why, you ask? Oh, because the author had approximately 11 books published through small presses. The agent actually called him a hack even though she agreed the writing was very well done. But it doesn’t stop there, friends. The intern asked if he could publish under a pen name. The agent said he definitely should but still wasn’t going to take him on. In the same conversation, the agent asks the intern to read another book. The agent had already read it and said it was “a mess,” written by a debut author. A MESS people! And why was she willing to take on a manuscript that is a mess? Well, because the author was a District Attorney. Goodness knows no one can write things unless it’s true to life. Good thing when I wrote my middle grade fantasy about witches, I really was one.

giphy

So here’s the point of this blog post. I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter what I do or how many years I spend writing new books. I can continue querying agents until my heart cracks one too many times and just becomes a pile of dust ready to be blown away like a fart in the wind.

Since I started this blog and started working hard on my social media presence, I’ve had countless people ask me where they can read my writing, tell me they enjoy my blog, and ask me when they can buy my book. Am I missing out on sales and sharing my work because I’m so wrapped up in worry about the stigma associated with being a self-published/indie author? One, who by the way, makes 75% of royalties rather than 15 or maybe 35%. It’s no secret that authors have to do their own marketing whether they’re traditionally published or self-published. Does it really matter that my book isn’t available in a bookstore? I can’t remember the last time I went to one anyway. I buy everything on Amazon.

Just out of curiosity I did a poll asking whether or not people buy books from self-published authors. While it isn’t a large sample, I was surprised by the results.

IMG_5803

Most people said they do or would read a book by a self-published author. I tried to think back to the time before I thought about publishing any of my work at all and wondered…did I have any bias against self-published books? No, I didn’t. Not at all. If I perused books on my kindle, I would pick whatever sounded interested. I didn’t care who wrote it. I didn’t check the publishing house. I didn’t even look to see if it was a self-published book.

So where did I get this idea that there was a lot of bad stigma surrounding self-published authors? I realized it was from other writers, authors, and traditional publishing.

As I query and collect rejection letters, I’m reminded again of all the times someone has said to me, “I love your blog, where can I buy your book? Or do you have anything else I can read?” And I’ve had to say no. Why? Oh, because it’s sitting on my computer where–quite possibly–no one will ever see it.

I know that there are quite a few (especially romance) indie authors who have done quite well for themselves. So why don’t I try?

I know I need to

  • Pay for proper editing
  • Pay for good cover art
  • Pay someone to format things correctly
  • Invest in marketing myself
  • Maybe hire a PA

But two of those things I’m going to have to do anyway. I’m not going to slap some poorly crafted, first-draft turd up on Amazon and call it a day. I’m going to work hard to showcase my work in a way that I can be proud of. Something that when I sell, I get to keep a large portion of royalties for myself, to invest in myself and future projects. I’ll also have more control over…EVERYTHING.

Yet here I am. Still questioning what I should do? But why? Perhaps it’s the validation. Maybe it is me wanting to be accepted by other authors as a “real” author. But I can tell you, I’ve read a lot of self-published, indie press, or yet unpublished work that I have adored and I’ve read traditionally published crap that I couldn’t bring myself to finish.

giphy1

I would love to know what you all think. Please leave a comment below.

And as always…

*If you enjoy my blog, please give it a follow and subscribe using the popup window. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and I’m now on Pinterest. Please and thank you*

 

Blog

Are those hawks circling overhead?

Are those hawks circling overhead?

One of the most difficult things about my writing journey has been feeling like prey–a little field mouse scampering around a field with hawks circling overhead.

giphy3

When I started writing this blog post, I wanted to call them vultures, but that wasn’t right. Vultures eat the dead, and some of these people are after warm blood–fresh blood–and after they’ve picked the bones clean, they leave a broken skeleton of a writer feeling victimized, shamed, and left with empty pockets.

That’s how it always works, though, isn’t it? There are always plenty of people looking to take advantage of the dreamy-eyed creatives. So many people try to profit off of writers and artists either by taking a slice or taking our art for free.

Btw, it makes me so sad to see so many books listed for free or for 99 cents. I know some of these books are self-published, first draft crap that’s slapped up without much care, but some of it’s not. Some self-published works are pretty great and have had a lot of love and care put into them.

Anyway, why are people willing to pay more for a cup of coffee than a novel? Ugh, I wish making coffee was my passion.

giphy4

Anyway, back to the main point of this post…

I saw an offer for a webinar and I signed up because I never turn down free information. Who knows? There may be a nugget there that made listening to someone talk for an hour worth it. But as I suspected, it was just a bunch of pointless circle talk promising to help people earn a bajillion dollars from blogging.

LOL! Okay, maybe not a bajillion but a living (oh, and there was this underlying message that suggests if you fail, it’s probably because you weren’t willing to “put in the work.” Hmmm…or pay for what they’re gearing up to sell you.)

It’s like in A Christmas Story when Ralphie finally gets his decoder pin…”Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine?” Yup, another crummy commercial.  But I wonder how many of the aspiring writer/bloggers threw down their decoder pins and marched out of the room? How many stayed, believing that if they signed up for the course being sold that they’d be successful?

giphy5

The whole time, the people running the webinar kept claiming they were doing this simply because they wanted to help other writers. Hmm, more like take advantage of writers who will do almost anything to see their dreams come true.

I know don’t have everything figured out (my lack of success is proof of that) but I know paying …”Not $5000, not even $1000 but only $500″ isn’t the way. Especially when what you’re paying for is just even more useless circle talk.

And these clever charlatans know that there will always be a fresh batch of new, aspiring writers/bloggers hoping to be seen and heard. And therefore, there will always be a fresh flow of cash heading their way.

giphy6

I’d feel bad about the piece of paper I wasted taking notes during the stupid webinar if I didn’t use them for this blog post. Oh, and also, I had fun drawing some poop emojis and other random doodles.

Anyway, I don’t know how to get seen but I do know that since I stopped trying to follow all the “advice” of others claiming to be experts (especially any advice I’d have to pay for) and started being myself, my followers have been growing.

giphy7

*If you enjoy my blog, please give it a follow and subscribe using the popup window. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Please and thank you*

 

Blog

Intense Focus: friend or foe?

Intense Focus: friend or foe?

I’ve mentioned before–but some of you may not know–I’m an INFP personality type. One of the strengths of INFPs (or is it a weakness? 🤔) is–as the website 16 personalities states–INFPs are “Passionate and Energetic – When something captures INFPs’ imagination and speaks to their beliefs, they go all in, dedicating their time, energy, thoughts and emotions to the project. Their shyness keeps them from the podium, but they are the first to lend a helping hand where it’s needed.”

Oh, is this ever true! I think it’s the reason I can write an entire novel where other people think they could write one (boy am I tired of hearing that, btw) but can’t actually do it.

It makes it hard for me to concentrate on doing more than one thing at a time, though. I’m supposed to be querying, but this new book idea struck and suddenly, I’m all in.

giphy1
Me focused on my new book

When I practice my guitar, I practice every day.

When I’m working on growing my social media platforms, it’s all I can think about doing.

The upside – when I want to get shit done…I get shit done!

giphy

The downside – I don’t accomplish much of anything else.

giphy2

Just kidding. I’m not a hoarder, and my house is (fairly) neat. (As long as you don’t peek inside my office–yes, it’s messy once again 😬) but that pile of stuff falling over represents all the other stuff I’ve neglected while focused on whatever it is that the project (or person) du jour.

Oh well, friend or foe, it’s who I am, and it’s what makes me, me. For all my weaknesses, I’m not sure that’s something I want to change.

What about you? Are you able to multitask? Or do you focus on one thing at a time?

Is there anything you’d like me to blog about? I’d love to know.

*If you enjoy my blog, please give it a follow and subscribe using the popup window. Please and thank you*

 

 

Blog

The downs are beating the ups.

The downs are beating the ups.

I try to be pretty honest on this blog about my feelings and my writing journey, and I have to say, this morning I’m pretty pissed and hurt.

I started a Patreon page as a way to share some of my work and my writing process with people who may have enjoyed my writing here or have enjoyed my humor on Twitter. Recently, I had a patron sign up and then treat me like I owed them more… like I owed them a relationship on a personal level.

I can’t tell you how hurtful it was to realize that someone didn’t give a shit about my work but expected that their money purchased me. I feel disrespected. I don’t mind being nice. In fact, it’s the way I prefer to treat people, but people take advantage of kindness, don’t they?

I already have a hard time believing that I have any talent and it felt like a kick in my already uneasy gut.

giphy-tumblr (1)

Social media is excellent for connecting with readers, but it also opens us up to be hurt by people with creepy intentions.

So if any of you are interested in the way I look and not what I have to say, I don’t need you. I’m going to keep working, keep on trying. I’m going to keep on writing because it’s what I love to do. I’m even going to keep on being kind. But I’m also going to set limits and not feel as though I have to be extra nice to people who may or may not be pretending to support my work.

confident