Monday, March 12, 2018

Writing without Fear

Found this meme and thought it really related to writing. 
One of the things that holds a lot of people back is judgement.

Am I good enough?

Will they laugh at me?

Do I really know what I'm doing?

Other writers will think my book is stupid.

My friends will think my book stinks!

I'll be embarrassed...

At some point writers have to just get over it. Some never do. Some never care what other's think. 

Today a guy I've known since I was in grammar school wanted to know where he could buy my books. (Yay!) But I can't say I didn't have that little tingle of fear that said, "Will he like them? Will he get it?" It took a moment to just brush that off and send him the link. 

The first book I put up was Soul Mates. A story about a person reincarnated as a Chihuahua who goes through a rough time to find happiness. I foster a lot of abused dogs and always wondered what put that fear into their eyes before they came to my house, so I wrote about it. I put that book up without fear because I liked the story. I didn't think about who else would like it. I thought it was a story I had to tell for the dogs.  

The next book was harder. For a long time I had to remind myself to shrug off the fear and just do what I wanted to do. Write. Tell stories. 

Stephen King once said he wanted to be remembered as a good story teller. I hold on to that because he's right. I just want to share the stories and hope they give someone a little escape and maybe some happiness for just a short while. 

Someone once said, "Courage is just fear holding out for one more minute."

So, here's to courage! May we laugh at fear and kick it to the curb while we post our stories and share our art. Some may love it, some may not, but we're too busy to notice because we're working on the next story. 

See you in the pages....

Monday, February 12, 2018

What's to HATE About Writing?

Writing is easy and fun.
Yes, really.
All those ideas rolling around in my head flow through the keyboard to the page and it's almost like living in another world for a while.
Sometimes the plot is torture or the characters go in the wrong direction, they don't listen, they go off script, but overall, it's fun. I like that other world. The world where I drift off into a place only I know, with people I created from all the good and the bad of every experience I've ever had.

Then comes the edit.
(Cue music from Jaws)
First edit, not so bad. Correct a few plot points, spelling, word swaps. Go over with a critical eye. Knit it back together, take out the nicey nice and put in some raw stuff.

Put it on the shelf.
Second edit; I want to rip out every other page and end up rewriting and rewriting. How did I miss this...this....this TRASH?

Back on the shelf.
Third edit. That's where I am now with Threshold to Midnight.
I know this story so well that I could recite it in my sleep. Then all these ideas come into my head to make major plot changes which means go back and change other stuff so it matches the new changes.
After's like rewriting the whole book. Then I want to change it back.

One bright point? I got an idea for a sequel, took a break, and mapped that out.

So, how do you attack that dreaded edit? How many edits do you go through before publishing?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bargain Booksy Ad Update

The Bargain Booksy ad started on Monday and today, Saturday, I've sold 21 books. Not a big amount but for me, not bad for a week. I waited to check today because sometimes I don't check my email until the weekend. So I was hoping today would turn up a few extras. It did; one.
Oh well!
Now back to writing....and so it goes...

Monday, January 15, 2018

Free Booksy Ad

So, while work was driving me crazy, stressing me out, I am ashamed to admit I neglected my books and writing. Even reading was hard as I could not get my head clear enough to enjoy it.

Now, I'm unemployed and little by little my head is clearing. Writing is getting easier, I'm more apt to open a book (on my kindle,) and I'm a little happier. I think that's how stress sneaks up on you. Little by little this backpack of rocks is increasing it's load on you until you either shuck it off or it's knocked off. Now I feel like dancing during the day and that makes me realize that heavy backpack is gone. Whew! I hadn't realized it was sooo heavy!

Sorry, I'm wandering.

Free Booksy sent me an ad a couple weeks ago. Be on their page and email blast for $35. I did it.
Right now I want to go back and change my write up. Next time no write ups while sipping my second glass of wine and kicking back watching Breaking Bad. (Multi-tasking!) It took me all of five mins to set the ad. I picked today, because some internet site said Monday's were a good day to blast a book. Today the ad is live;  Go here to see the page- scroll down to find my book under reincarnation.

Now to the Amazon results. First I noticed one new review and it was a nice one. Yay! Thank you nice person!

This went out in an email blast between 10 and noon today. Right now it's 4:30 pm.
So that's 8 books in a few hours. Plus the review? 
I'm good with this and I'll be going back to Bargain Booksy. Affordable advertising and an easy to use set up. If I could warn about anything, don't drink wine while writing your blurb. 


Friday, January 12, 2018

Job Gone, Stress Gone, Gone, Gone...

So I was laid off yesterday. Kind of expected. I have been working as a recruiter for a growing company. For the past two weeks they've been laying people off, so I pretty much thought the need for this awesome recruiter was probably not there any more. When they let me go, very nicely explaining all the cut backs, I was like, "No problem, I was expecting this." The look of shock on the bosses face was priceless. Was he expecting tears? In the past few months every department was crying about money.  A few of the good people quit, others suddenly let go and in their place unqualified people were placed. Everyone was walking around saying how tense the place was getting. A few people confided in me how unhappy they were in their jobs. The clues were there, saw them accepted them. I worked for a company years ago that fell into bankruptcy so I knew the signs. (not that I know that this company is headed there...who knows what goes on in upper management?)

Surprisingly, I feel great. My coworkers were texting me like crazy yesterday as the news spread telling me how sorry they were about it. I spent the afternoon reassuring them I was fine. I hope they believed me. The stress of dealing with the tension of that office is gone. I'll miss my coworkers, there were a lot of great people there. Superstars that were slipping into the void the company was settling into. I hope they find another great place to work. That place was great for a while. I don't know what brought the moral down. Was it money? Or something else? Either way, I'm out of there!

Hello future! Let's go on an adventure! 

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Dark Days & Writing Ambition

Writing comes easy when life is easy. When depression darkens the days, writing is hard.
I was just over at Hugh Howey's blog and was inspired. Sometimes things can dim our light, get in the way of muse and lead us into that grey area of life where we don't really want to do anything.
Saddened by things beyond our control

Dreams come and go but it's the holding onto them that's a challenge.
I write because I love it. If it sells, fine. If not, I'll still write because of all the stories yet to tell.

There have been challenges here in AimlessLand. I've had worse, but that doesn't diminish what's here now. With a few autoimmune issues, depression is something I'm used to dealing with. When I was a kid I called them "the sad times" and just thought that the sad times are here so I'll just wait until it passes. Pretty insightful for a kid, right? I think this was happening throughout my life as I remember dealing with this when I was about 6 years old or so.

I think one of the depression busting techniques that works best is art and music. Making it, not watching/listening. Pick up some paint and a canvas and just start making a mess. Grab a guitar, bang on the keyboard.

Number two depression buster? A goal with a plan. This is what I want, this is what I have to do.

I recently found a new goal and it scares the sh*t out of me. I want to give up, retreat back and hide. It's a real give it all up and go type of goal. And I'm going to do it anyway. I once read that courage is just fear holding out for one more minute. I go for it minute by minute. Long term its a crazy idea. A minute passes so quickly, it's doable.

Stay tuned for the scary reality....
And if you're in the frigid north east, (temps today -7) here's a book to keep you warm.
 Soul Mates

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why aren't I more Prolific?

Prolific: causing abundant growth, generation, or reproduction

I have great plans. Write in the morning, write after work, go into my home office, aim for a page count, and on and on...

I heard a quote in a meeting; It's still a goal until you quit.
Good words.  My goal is to become a prolific writer.

Sometimes we have to reset the goal. Life changes, work changes, we change. Enough that maybe the old ideas of how we hope to get things done, don't really fit anymore.  In the past three years I've held four different positions at work. Each one another rung on the ladder so that's a good thing, but each change brought on more studying, more challenges to conquer. A learning journey. It's been fun and educational. I knew when I took the first job, it was below my skill level, but I liked the place and the people and knew I could figure the rest out as I learned about the business.

Then there's my writing. The stories that need editing and stories to tell. Sometimes I'd pull that word doc up and put a few paragraphs in, but then spend time rereading what I wrote last since it's been a while since I wrote it.  Going nowhere fast...

I have Stephen King's book, On Writing, on my nightstand. I sometimes reread parts of it for inspiration. One of the things that stands out about his whole writing journey is that he always wrote. Even when working in other places, he found a way and wrote. He set goals.

So, how to set goals when working a full time job, coming home with your brain fried, and head spinning? What do you?  Sadly, I turn to Facebook or Pinterest. Evil little time suckers.

After a while my mind screams; ENOUGH! LET'S GET IT DONE!

It's time to set new goals. Here's the plan;

Weekends; 20 pages. That's only 10 pages a day. How hard can that be? When I'm into a story, 10 pages are easy.  Aside from the occasional family thing or adoption days for my foster dog, weekends are pretty much open.

Weekdays; 10 pages for the whole week. (This goal is frightening) That would be 2 pages a day or about there.  Depending on what's going on at work, sometimes I wake up thinking about what I have to get done that day. My mind starts scheduling things, lining up the day as I sip coffee. After work? Facebook calls. When there's nothing exciting there, it's on to Pinterest!  Bad habits that need to go. Writing during the week is hardest.

Question? How do you clear your mind to write?
Foster Dog, Lexie. On the day she saved from a North Carolina kill shelter.