Is it just me, or does there seem to be more to be wary of these days?
Scams and schemes abound, from the automated phone calls that threaten you with Revenue Canada if you don’t contact them to the truly horrific bogus kidnapping messages that claim they have your children.
And then there’s the people promising to change your life if you only hand over your wallet.
Case in point, recently I’ve been approached by companies offering to promote one of my books. Sounds good, right?
“You’re book has been recommended to us by …”
“We will flog your book on social media daily …”
I don’t know how much money these companies want because I hang up on them before they get to that point. Am I skeptical?
Hmmm… Am I breathing?
The first solicitor didn’t even know the title of my book. The second one sent me an email that could have used a grammar check.
One caller said his company was based out of Las Vegas. Really?
So many books out there, so many that never get seen let alone read. Every indie author knows this — so do the companies offering to help you.
While on vacation, I bought a little leather-bound notebook. The leather was soft, the colour was rich, but it was the inscription on the cover that made the sale. It made me smile.
Seriously? Incredible thoughts, brilliant mind? What can you possibly write in a journal with a title like that? Do people really go around thinking themselves brilliant? Not in my house, not if you want anyone to talk to you.
At first, I thought I’d leave the pages blank. You know, you open the book expecting brilliant and — nothing. Get it? No? Ah, well, seemed funny to me.
Then I thought I’d pop in a bunch of snarky quotes by Oscar Wilde, but these rough cut pages deserve calligraphy. My handwriting is not an art form.
Eventually as days, then weeks, went by and the journal sat there empty, it occurred to me that I was letting myself be intimidated by a bit of leather and a few embossed words. Ridiculous.
And yet … is that the reason why so few of us write. Do we intimidate ourselves out of even trying? Do we think that if we can’t write something brilliant that we shouldn’t write at all?
What’s wrong with just spilling out the thought in our head, getting it down on paper, seeing where it goes? Does it have to be brilliant?
Whatever we write, however well we write it, it’s ours. Shouldn’t that be good enough?
You’re the author, you’re in charge, right? Uh … Not so much.
Yesterday, I sat down at my laptop. I knew exactly what I was going to write. Hotel room, two guys and a bed — yeah, you got it.
I get everyone naked, write in a toy or two and — Without even the courtesy of discussing it with me first, my characters totally change the scene. I’m typing, but they’re in charge. They’re taking the narrative to a place I’d never thought to go and it works. It more than works, it’s better than what I had planned for them.
My characters developed a mind of their own.
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, what a rush!
I’m an amateur, but it seems to me that for a writer this is the zenith, the gold at the end of the rainbow — your creations writing their own story.
Of course, now I’ve got rewrites ahead of me because they’ve mucked things up a bit, but so totally worth it 🙂
I am in awe of writers who can churn out a thousand words a day. Writers who set a goal and consistently reach it, day after day after …
I’m not one of those writers.
I’m the kind of writer who says, “Starting tomorrow, every day, 9 AM at my laptop.”Invariably, however, what I say I’m going to do and what I actually do are vastly different animals.
9 AM finds me drinking coffee and playing games on my phone, 10 AM and I’m going through emails and reading blog posts, 11 AM and I’m finishing the book I started reading the day before and or catching just one more episode of some Netflix series.
Even on the days I actually get to my laptop, I can’t seem to stay there. I’m popping up to load or unload the dishwasher, washing machine, drier. Any or all of which, of course, I could do after I write.
I’m thinking there is a form of ADD that only affects writers — and I’m freaking affected. Because somehow when my laptop screen should look like this:
It looks like this:
Writer’s ADD, a perfectly sound medical explanation of why my current book is still a WIP … and not progressing all that quickly 🙂
“I hate writing, I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker
I came across the above quote in a post by Whitney Carter and thought, Yes. Exactly!
Writing is torture. It’s staring at a blank screen and a keyboard full of letters until your brain melts and you head into the kitchen for sugar and caffeine. It’s squeezing those little grey cells until a word pops out … and then another and another. It’s checking your word count and wanting to cry. It’s masochistic.
That’s writing, the process is excruciating, but … the product?
Yes, it can be total crap, but it’s your total crap. You did this. You wrestled the words into a thought. You agonized over character, plot, voice, point of view, and freaking punctuation. You hit Google so many times your mouse needs a new battery, but you did it. You’re DiCaprio on the Titanic, arms spread shouting, “I Am The King of The World.”
Writers are schizophrenic. It’s a love/hate thing 🙂
I’m a spectacular wimp when it comes to roller coaster rides. Not for me, hurtling down mountains of steel track, defying gravity and sanity. Nope, can’t do it. I’ll take my terror in a virtual format, please.
This past week, I climbed aboard my very own banshee and flew.
Pandora spread out below me, friends flying beside me. A breath-stealing experience.
Was it real? No.
Does virtual reality count? Uh … did you hear the part about flying?
Every animal on the planet can do real: perceive the world around them as it actually is. As far as we know, only humans can do real-ish: perceive the world around them as it actually isn’t.
Real-ish — it’s the basis of everything we are. Everything we’ve become since that long ago kid in a cave picked up a stick and drew in the dirt.
I’m slow. Depressingly slow. Not when I’m sprinting for the nearest caramel latte, but as a writer — hair grows faster than I write.
Needless to say, I don’t plan anything out. Yeah, I know 🙂
Because I write about as fast as paint dries, my enthusiasm inevitably crashes and sitting down at my laptop becomes the last thing I want to do. I fall into the My Writing Sucks Blues and it’s not a pretty song.
It seems counterintuitive, but I’ve discovered that writing this blog makes me happier with and more excited about my WIP. It turns out, the more I write, the more I write 🙂
I’d been neglecting my blog for months because I thought I should be disciplined and mature and concentrate on my book. It seemed to me that any time taken for my blog was time taken away from my book.
But writing isn’t math, it’s not a plus or minus kind of thing. It’s more like biology, cells multiplying in a petri dish when you’re not looking. The thought and energy I put into my blog generates more thought and energy for my WIP. Who knew?
Uh … everyone. What seemed like a revelation to me is actually a fairly common trick writers pass among themselves — when you’re stuck, write something else.
I may even have heard this advice before, but stubborn ass that I am, I had to discover the truth for myself 🙂
I’d like to thank everyone who reads my posts. Your views, likes, and comments are the life preserver that saves me from the My Writing Sucks Blues 🙂