Back on the bandwagon.
After being ill pretty much all through October (got wiped out with bronchitis and then a fresh cold when just about recovering) – can I say I got a perspective on feelings of age and mortality? – and feeling so un-energized and uninterested that I actually had no passion for writing (or anything, really) – I discovered that I don’t have it in me to throw in the towel after all.
But, as I began scribbling again, and this time without any pressure to perform given my recent illness, I found that the Muse had returned. Here’s my thought for the day:
The Creative force is not to be commanded. It is to be tapped, channeled. But it’s not yours to Command. That has been my great mistake all along – thinking I can make it march to an ordered pace. Now that I’ve reverting to daydreaming and treating it with more respect as the Mystery and delight that it is, things are starting to come around although, by nature, it’s a capricious and uncertain journey. : )
And lo! I put together various chapters and I’ve hit nearly 70,000 words and the outline of the first book is coming together. At last!!!!
…kind of. Hoping this writing funk is temporary and I’ll be able to pick up more steam!
I’m having one of those days. You know it’s bad when you’re Googling, “I just wanna quit my novel.”
Why am I writing? Hell yeah, when I’m already behind on everything and have 2 kids who want to my attention ALL. THE. TIME.
Oh wait, I haven’t been writing much. Posting on Wattpad, ironically, burst my bubble as my brilliant chapters have garnered no more than 60 reads in about a month. Unfortunately, in the time tested tradition of emotionally dramatic writers, it’s sent my confidence plunging south. Now, I recognize logically that this is kind of dumb given that hey, Wattpad is largely colonized (I hear) by emotional YA type of stuff as opposed to the more “classical” style I’m espousing – third person, intricate plotting, lead in, etc.
Rereading my opening chapter on Wattpad did give me enough impetus though to suddenly charge through and edit the first chapter, which I now regard as pretty good. Leaving just the rest of this gloppy mess of a novel…
OK, so this made me feel better. At 350 words x 5 days a week x 52 weeks…yeah, one can write a novel in that time!
(Omitting revisions, backstory, plotting and my nemesis – wondering if the plot is on the rails. But hey, I guess that can be Year 2).
And oh, this post, which is exactly on tone to kick my butt and get it out of the shitpile: what did I think, that writing a book was EASY?! Hell yeah! In other words: cheer up girl, you’re normal and not lame, it’s damn hard work and a bit of whinging goes a long way – so long as you don’t fall off the saddle.
It’s been a week of no writing and lower spirits owing to a nasty bout of flu that took my family all down like dominoes, one by one. With our usual child care arrangements out the window, our high need older child trying to cope with school anxiety and the small one teething and sneezing on antibiotics for infection, I’ve done nothing on the fiction writing front and am struggling to keep up with the rudiments of my actual paying assignments. Ick.
In fact, writing has fallen off my radar screen, paling beside a) the heap of trash that needs taking out; b) listening to the baby scream when I put her down to shower; c) wondering whether I can scale back work to spend more time with the kids in general; d) gingerly noting that the state of our finances doesn’t really make (c) a good option.
In other words, it’s one of those weeks when I feel – erroneously, I know – that a massive bucket of money would just vastly improve my life; and the corollary, a generally fading sense of confidence in my writing skills having got to just 8 reads on Wattpad and getting no response from my usual beta readers. Really, maybe I am deluded. I know that not only strong writing is necessary but also luck; zeitgeist. Hell, with the latter you don’t even need the former.
Which all makes me wonder: am I just writing on the dream of getting rich?
At this point maturity trumps angst and, a benefit of three plus decades on this good earth, I cut the soliloquy short and move on. I may not be the sharpest pencil in the box right now but at least I can recognize that after a week with the flu and the kids, I’m doing pretty well just to have a clean house and the laundry done, and the writing laurels just need to wait for another day. No more beating on my own back!
Yet another terrific post at Lindsay Buroker’s site, where she interviews a breakout self pubbed author on basic marketing steps:
1. Set up a website for the Author and separately, the Series (if it’s a series)
2. Setting up Author page on Amazon
3. Setting up Author page on Goodreads
4. Kickass cover
5. She waited until she had 3 in the series to release, for a cumulative effect
To read the full post: http://www.lindsayburoker.com/interviews-success-stories/sue-london-amazon-bestseller/comment-page-1/
And then there’s this gem of info on KDP Select, also worth checking out:
As a successful epic fantasy writer who quit his day job and got picked up by Penguin, Anthony Ryan definitely attracted my eyeballs. It was also heartening to see that he was not 16, but rather was a middle aged person with a former real day job – totally real life stuff. Plus he’s really dryly funny.
Why reading this post makes me better:
1. He took 6 years to write his one book, Blood Song.
At that rate I’m still ahead as I’ve never spent 6 years on any book. That said, I’ve spent like 20 years writing and yet to finish even 1 book. Much less publish.
2. Sales started off slow.
In his 5 first months of publishing Blood Song he sold 2000 copies, most of them in month 5.
He writes the old fashioned way, concentrating on plot and language and all that instead of just churning out stuff for the sake of stuff.
All things for us aspiring writers to remember.
Yes, it’s one of those days.
My kids are sick and deadlines are looming, but I know that the thing that has pitched me into writing darkness is this: I posted the first few chapters on Wattpad as an experiments and got no more than 7 reads and 1 comment (admittedly, in 3 days). Which in turn made me realize how hard it is to get traction.
It also makes me wonder whether I have the gumption to keep trying.
But then, the moment I just started thinking about the actual novel and finishing, the sheer calming effect of my practice suddenly kicked in. The horrible cycle of addictively checking my Wattpad stats (hell, the thing doesn’t even earn you money!) and coming up empty handed stopped or at least quieted down.
It’s discomforting to think writing fiction may never earn me money. But maybe, at the end of the day, it’s just my practice. My Zen thing. The way a bird sings, so I should write: freely. Generously. For the love of the schtick.
According to the ever awesome Lindsay Buroker, I’ve been doing it all wrong. Forget blogging to attract an audience (although I do that anyway out of the need to whinge, keep notes on important stuff, and save my husband’s ears) – etc. What works? According to her, samples of your work. So post them. On your website, if possible.
As a very worried newbie who’s freaked my book will sink like a stone forevermore in the murky waters of the e-publishing ocean (yeah, like I’m even close to finishing?), this moved me. Read the full post here!