- If you are anything like me, the news of the day can destroy your creative bubble. Distractions like Alexa or news flashes also can remove you from ‘your world.’
- Eliminate distractions. Alexa can be told to go into do not disturb mode, as can your smartphone.
The real point of this blog is to recognize why we do what we do. Somewhere in the back of our minds, we want to be the next New York Times Best Seller. In a talk recently, many denied it but, after a little soul searching, it turned into ‘maybe one day.’
- Honesty with yourself at least puts you on the correct road.
That little voice in my head has always been there but, it certainly lives in the back of my head. Throughout my writing career, I have kept a day job. Keeping it real, keeps you grounded.
My career in writing began as writing technical documentation and then teaching from it. I published in some international magazines for technical things but, that is not creative writing.
Today I see many blogs on how to publish on Kindle or other services. There are other blogs on snaring agents and so on. Should how do I publish be your priority? How about something like, how do I layer my story so I keep my audience engaged?
- Much like a story, one of the first things you must do is build a foundation or skeleton.
I can create flash fiction in less than an hour, and it is a good story. Short stories and flash fictions are excellent ways to practice using words judiciously while conveying a set of ideas, or in this case, a story that entertains.
Not knowing anything about creative writing, several years ago, I launched out writing a large novel.
The bones of the story are perfect. The story entertained me as I created it, and I fell in love with many of the characters, even the quirky robot.
As for the craft of writing, that is a different story.
In all honesty, I should unpublish much of my earlier works while I take the time to install the layers or the craft of writing. Had I used traditional publishing methods, a good editor would have pushed me through the process of improving my craft, way back then.
While the bones are white and the structure sound, what color are the walls? What does it look like? What does it smell like or sound like to be there?
I could go on and on about story structure. Perhaps I could lament about the use of symbolism or alliteration. I could expound upon creating that emotional appeal to the reader through the eyes of the characters, that in itself might be an entire chapter.
The bottom line is this. There are tens of thousands of writers out there that are light years ahead of where many are. They know to create a New York Times bestseller that the bones are only the beginning.
Last week my Grammarly report informed me that I had checked over 26 million words. Those are words much like these that I have typed. I have published over 30 novels, most full-length. Not bragging; none of them are on the New York Times bestseller list.
Currently, I have left them published as I feel like those that want to learn from my path can get an e-book version and see the progression of ‘the craft.’ Then there are those who actually leave feedback that assists me in improving my craft as well.
One way that I know I am improving is this; when I finish a novel, I look at the word count.
Under Roswell, while a great story is huge. My latest creation is 45K words, or about a third of the word count.
The latest is in what I call an aging folder with other manuscripts that are waiting for me to revisit them.
“What, you’re not promoting them to agents?”
Not unlike the works I published already, these stories are aging to the point that when I go back to read them, edit them, it will be as if I have never read them before.
I know writers who have been working on one novel for over 30 years. They are hobbyists and will likely never get that one published as it will never be done.
Writers must be prolific, and they must be ruthless with their time.
Writers must live their lives and must not get their material from TV or others’ writings.
Writers must be open to critique, self-examination, and honesty. Sure, dream big and go for the brass ring but, have a net.
I give my time and talent to other writers constantly. A rising tide lifts all ships.
When I go to different writing groups, give talks, and so on, I can tell who is looking for that one break and who is there to be part of the tribe.
The bottom line with that elusive ‘prize’ is what the audience will connect with when your book hits the market?
I wrote a number of books inspired by 50 shades. Those sell but, not really my cup of tea.
Who will your audience be?
I see many new titles about pandemics. Are you tone death?
My last bit of advice for you writers out there is this: Write to please yourself.
I am an artist, and I paint to please myself.
I love to play musical instruments but only for my own enjoyment and as a way to find my center.
I write to live in that world, love those characters, and escape this world. In my paintings or my writings, I can live there and be at peace.
Yes, I know what is going on in the world. In many of my blog posts, you can tell when I am overwhelmed by the idiots who try to rule us. There are many who should be facing Nurnberg-style tribunals and many more who should be swinging at the end of a rope.
We will never know who killed JFK, and we will never know the truth about the current pandemic.
Control the things you can, ignore the things you cannot, and try to live in peace in your own bubble.
Much Love -TW