Last week, I posted about writing for you and how I’ve come to a strange place in both my writing as well as my life. I’ve lost something of my inner writer along my journey, and I wasn’t quite sure about how to get it back.
Apparently that part of me wants to be recovered. I had a lightbulb moment when I remembered Wattpad. Wattpad is a site where anyone can post their stories one chapter at a time, as the stories are being written. These are often unedited and are open to comments and likes from whoever reads them.
The prospect of putting up unedited or only lightly edited work chapter by chapter for ‘subscribing’ readers is a little terrifying – and a little exciting.
I don’t know that Wattpad will soothe or solve what’s happening in my writing life, but I know I’m not the type to simply give up without trying.
As long as I’m writing.
If you’re interested in following on with my chapter-by-chapter experiment, you can take a look at my profile page at Wattpad. I have the first couple of chapters for all the Echo Falls books up as well as a silly flash fiction piece.
What makes a writer or author? Does it mean publishing a certain amount of books per year? Writing a certain number of words? Posting a certain number of posts on the craft of writing?
I’ve always taken a certain approach to this blog in that I always felt I would only post when I had something to say. Most of the time? That’s nothing. Most of the time, I have the opinion: Who am I to tell anyone else about writing? Why does what I have to say differ or matter in a world of millions of posts, articles and videos on the subject?
In the end, though, that only leaves a neglected blog and an author, this author, feeling the same lack of confidence I’ve always felt.
I’ve hit a transition point in my life where I am left examining everything about what I’m doing and where I think I’ll end up if I stay on this path. But this transition period also has me looking back, examining the writer I used to be to the author I am today.
What I see makes me sad.
I use to write for the love of it. The love of words, of places only my imagination could take me to, of people and their stories. I’d hide under the blankets with my flashlight, pen and paper because I needed to finish that last chapter before the ideas flew away. I didn’t think about who might read my stories or what they would think of them because I loved the stories, and that’s all I needed.
Today, I’m 28 with three novels and some other short publications to my name, and I am left wondering what has happened to me. Yes, I still adore reading and writing. Yes, I still imagine strange things and stranger people. But the writing part? That doesn’t come so easily.
This is to be expected to some extent. We grow, we learn, we examine the gears and cogs of writing fiction to create solid foundations for what we write.
Yet, somewhere in my learning, the child who loved writing at all hours became lost. I began looking at my work not as acts of enjoyment and pleasure but as work. I still found joy in the little things, the flashes of inspiration. I’ve begun to judge every work not on the pleasure and joy it gives me but on whether it will sell.
I’ve forgotten how to write for me.
I wish I could wrap this post up nicely with a nicely numbered list of tips for how to get your mojo back. The kind of list that would draw your eye after you’d started drifting over the words on the screen. That’s not within my abilities at this point. I’m still trying to find the answer myself.
However, I do want to say: If you are an aspiring author, never forget the passion. Never forget the reason you started in the first place. If you lose that, it will break your heart, and you’ll have to work very hard to get it back.
What a wonderful way to start the last month of 2014. With all of my heart, I thank each and every one of you who supported me in this with a like or a share. Thank you also to everyone who has supported me along the way. Being an indie author isn’t easy, but the path is made so much smoother by the people who have urged me to keep going even when I was the least sure of myself.
I didn’t mean to make this sound like such a speech, but I’m so happy! I can’t help myself.
Thank you again.
My third novel, Dark Echoes, has been been nominated by AusRomToday for the Cover of the Year Award. I’m very excited to have made it through the nomination round to be one of the ten finalists in the category.
This final round of voting is now up to the public and will be determined by the cover that gets the greatest amount of likes. There’s no signing up for anything, needing to like a page – it’s looking at the ten contestants and giving a like to the cover you think is the best of the lot. If you click the graphic at the top of this post, it’ll take you to the album. Click on the cover you like and then give the one you like the best a like.
It’s that easy.
There are a lot of great covers there, so definitely check everyone out. I do think, though, that Dark Echoes is in with a chance.
If I do win, it won’t be me alone winning. The business I get my covers from – Cohesion – is a small, local business on the way up. The cover designer himself (who works with Cohesion) is from the UK (and is amazing).
If, for some reason, clicking on the image doesn’t work, here is the direct link to the album where you can like to vote:
Many, many thanks from a self-publisher who dreams of success.
It’s that time of year again when a lot of people around the globe prepare for a mad dash toward 50,000 words while a few other write blog posts about how NaNoWriMo does not an author make.
I can understand authors who get riled up about the subject. I imagine there are a few people out there who participate in NaNoWriMo, win, and then decide that they are suddenly authors. Writers, yes, but authors?
On one hand, it’s a very exciting event that gets a lot of people together and raises a lot of money for nice causes. On the other hand, it could lead to some people being disrespectful and/or dismissive of what it is – and what it takes – to be an author.
To be quite honest… I think getting genuinely upset about NaNoWriMo is a waste of precious time. It gets people coming together in a positive way, people have fun and connect with others around the globe, and there aren’t a lot of ‘bad eggs’ out there badmouthing authors because ‘they totally wrote a book in a month’.
In numbers, 50,000 words does not make a novel or a novelist. It’s a novella, and – according to most – until a piece is published, you are not an author.
But those things shouldn’t stop anyone from participating, and it certainly shouldn’t cause anyone to badmouth NaNoWriMo or what it does for people.
In the end, it’s like anything: it’s all what you make of it.
I haven’t been very active here or on my social media sites due to things you likely don’t care to hear about. As a thank you to those who stick by me even during the quiet times, here is a free read that will, I hope, give you a laugh.
Do you have a question? Is there something you’d like to ask, but you’d rather do it anonymously?
I’m now on Ask.FM, so you can.
I like fun ideas, and this one looks pretty interesting to me. While I might seem like a smarta$$ from my first couple of answers, please don’t let that stop you from asking whatever you’d like to know.
Boundaries apply, of course, but I trust most of you to know that.
It’s with that in mind that I ask you to consider reviewing Dark Echoes – and/or any of my books, for that matter. Reviews can help a book to thrive – especially when you’re an ‘Indie’ author. Here are some direct links to where Dark Echoes is listed:
A friend sent me this, saying it reminded her of me. Love it!