Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Writing Lows

Writing Lows

I open up the file of my work-in-progress and stare at the page. I don't type anything. I sigh. The lid on my laptop closes. Another day goes by that I don't write a thing.

Why do I keep doing this? It's certainly not because I have writer's block. I know exactly where my story is going. 

I'm haunted. It's self-doubt. It's feeling like a failure. It's wondering if it's enough that this story might only matter to me, and no one else, to get me to finish it.

I want to be successful. There's no denying that. I won't pretend for a minute that I don't care if no one ever reads my work. 

I use a pen name because I don't necessarily want attention on me. I've never liked being the center of it, but I'd like it to be given to the characters and worlds that I spend so much time on and care so much for. 

Oh, how I love to write! I always have. I love spending time in another world. I absolutely adore it when my words make people connect to my characters and makes them cry, laugh, or get grossed and/or creeped-out.  

But it's heartbreaking to feel like none of it matters.

I don't like shouting into a void. 

I don't like feeling like a talentless fool. 

So how do I continue? How do I keep on writing stories that no one will ever read? 

Writing is a huge investment. Financially and emotionally. I wish more readers knew how much heart we put into our work. 

But this is part of the process it seems. My heart dances to the tune created by the thousands of words that compile my little tales and then thuds into the pit of self-doubt and worry that no one will ever want to read them. 

Sorry to moan. I'm an emotional person. Why hide it? 

And maybe some of you are feeling the same about whatever brings you to great highs and lows. 

I'm hoping that putting these feelings out there will help me take off on a writing frenzy again. 

As Henry Ford said, "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."

Fingers crossed. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The biggest writing mistake I keep making.

The biggest writing mistake I keep making.

I keep making the same frustrating mistake in my writing over and over. It's not punctuation, grammar, spelling, dialogue or action tag errors (although, I do make these too.)

 No, it's that I keep thinking I'll remember things.

The other day, I was in the shower (a place where I do the majority of my best thinking), and an exciting new element of my book was revealed to me. Oh, it was so exciting and excellent I knew I'd never forget it. So, I didn't bother writing it down. I got a little busy the rest of that day and didn't have time to start the next chapter. By the next day, I couldn't remember quite what it was. The problem is that I have so many ideas, they tend to blur together, and I confuse them.

I spent yesterday doing another activity that produces ideas for me...walking around. But I never could quite remember exactly what it was I had thought up. I was like a donkey walking around with the carrot dangling from a string just out of my reach.

(I think the muse does this to punish me. I mean, she gave me this beautiful gift and I didn't appreciate it enough.) Occasionally, I could scrape my teeth along the tip enough to get a little taste of what it was, thinking I was about to remember, only to realize I'd never get a good grip on the whole dangling, delicious carrot and it would slip away. Ugh, I really am a jackass!

So the lesson for you and especially for me....When you get an idea, no matter how big or small, write that s*$# down! Write it down!

You know, I've looked through my journal or picked up one of the approximately two million scraps of paper in my office where I did write things down. And I read things didn't remember writing. True, some of it is written in the middle of the night in the most illegible penmanship on earth, but it amazes me how quickly things can fade from my memory.

Write it all down, pals!

One day I'll follow my own advice and save so much wasted time walking in circles after carrots.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Great Marketing Mystery

The Great Marketing Mystery

We all know that authors, both traditionally published and indie published, are responsible for our own marketing and I gotta tell ya, this is the most puzzling mystery for me. 

I don't mind admitting that I have NO CLUE what I'm doing when it comes to this. Beyond friends and family, sales have dried up. 

There are things that I repeatedly hear that I should be doing. For example...

Set up an email list!

But how in the heck are you supposed to do that when even family and friends are reluctant to sign up? Random people, who aren't going to your blog and don't even know you exist, are supposed to randomly sign up somehow?
I see expensive courses that promise to show you how to do this, but I find it hard to believe them. It seems like circle talking that doesn't really get sales for authors but gets sales for people who sell things to authors in the promise of increases sales. Not saying it doesn't work, just saying I don't have the kind of budget that allows me to find out.

"You've gotta spend money to make money!" That's the word, right?

I'm willing to put in some money, but I just don't know where to do it. I've already found that companies that call themselves book promotion companies or author promotion companies turned out to be a waste of my money. I won't be doing that again.

I'm experimenting with other things. I'm trying to think both inside and outside of the box.  I'm going to share the things I do in this blog.

So, if things work, I'll let you know. If things don't work, I'll let you know. Even if I sound like a pathetic loser.

And please feel free to share what works for you and what doesn't. I'm looking to learn all I can, but there is SO much information out there to sort through, it almost seems like an impossible mission. I love to tell stories, but marketing and business planning don't come easily to me. No business savvy found in my blood.

More money? Hard work? I can do that. Luck? Gulp...let's hope that with money, hard work, and maybe a little help from other writers out there (wink, wink) I can one day solve this mystery.

So I can go from this...

To this...

To this...