Hello fellow earthlings, I know life has just sucked the last few weeks, and I feel that it is going to suck more before it is over.
Let’s break away from the news of the day and talk about writing. I feel many of you that follow me are writers, want to be writers, or are authors who want to see how others do what they do.
With over 32 novels selling around the world, I have learned a thing or two.
Let me start by talking about the reasons to write. I am sure I have addressed these before in a previous blog, but let me do it again for those who are new to this site.
The only reason for you to write is that you love writing. Unless you work for a paper or some other institution that has hired you to write manuals or something, we writers write because we love to write.
If you decide to write a book because you want to live in a gated community on the ocean in California, or Kiawah Island or, perhaps, Martha’s Vineyard, let me just wake you the hell up. Your first novel will most likely be horrible. Sorry for the truth of it, those are the facts. You can work and research your heart out, but your first work will suck. …probably…
When I wrote my first few novels, I appealed to an audience that was not looking for literary genius. My craft was not developed enough to appeal to a high brow audience. What I was looking for is writing something that people would buy for a couple of dollars, and hopefully give me some feedback.
You see, the truth of it is, Beta Readers that are not your family are hard to come by, and you might have to pay someone to read your crap, and give you honest feedback. Too Harsh?
We need to be honest with each other, and we must learn to accept rejection. Rejection, no matter how hurtful, should be taken as part of the learning process. Feedback is terrific, even if it sucks. Only when we can step away from the forest of our writing, can we see the mistakes and missteps we have made. Only then can we see the weeds.
My advice to you is to write your first novel, polish it as best you can and then self-publish it, and then beg for feedback. Make it easy for them to go to an e-mail address and tell you how badly it sucked, and they want their $1.99 back. If they tell you why and what is wrong, I would send them the $2.
Writing books is a labor of love. Writing is hard. As a writer, you must form a habit of writing, even if it means you climb your butt out of bed an hour earlier. It is a lonely profession. I work till three or four in the morning many nights. Oh, and I have a day job. ‘I love to write.’
There are times I don’t like it too much, but I love to write.
Form your habit and stick to it. Much like exercise or following a diet, it is all about practice. There is an advantage to writing early in the morning. Your brain produces certain types of waves, and one of them are theta waves. When you get up in the morning, you have more theta waves going on than during the typical day. Taking a shower, your brain produces theta waves. Ever wake up with an epiphany or perhaps have one in the shower…? That is why.
I think the hardest thing to swallow is this; nobody cares. Your parents will lie to you and care because you wrote it, your spouse really doesn’t give a shit, and your friends will manage to distance themselves from you if you require them to love your book. Nobody cares as you do. It is your baby, and you are the one that needs to love it, nurture it, and then send it out into the world to see what happens.
I have said this before too. You cannot be a one-trick pony. I know writers who have been working on the same book for tens of years. OMFG…self-publish it and get on with it. Amazon will make a few dollars off you, the government in the place the person is in that buys it, will get some tax money from you, and if you are lucky, you might make a dollar for your labor of love.
Most new authors who self-publish make about $10 their first year. Damn, I know that hurts if you have never heard that before, but I speak the truth.
I know too many authors who pour a fortune in their book, ‘that sucks’ to have it professionally edited, pay to have a cover designed, and then pay people to market it. I have read their books, and they suck.
- I make a point to purchase books from new authors, that manage to sit inside the local book store. Why?
- I want to be supportive of them.
- I want to speak with them and learn from them.
- I get their signature and put the book on the shelf after I read it.
- I can tell you after the first few pages if the book will hit or not, never missed once yet.
- I want to encourage these authors to keep writing. Don’t stop.
Study the craft of writing, read books like you are disassembling a watch, that you must put back together. Examine the structure, story, and character arcs and ask yourself if you had written it, how you would make it better. Do that with terrible books as well. Where did the author go wrong?
The craft of writing is not something you can just do. Unless you are ‘somebody’ and can afford a ghostwriter to take your crap and make it better, you need to learn the entire craft yourself.
That is why I trumpet the idea of writing for the love of writing.
As an artist, I thought my first painting was pretty good. Today when I see pictures of it, I wish I could find it, I would burn it. The same is true for my writing. I have been writing since I was a kid. That was more than a few years ago.
The practice is crucial and doing it because you love it is the only reason to write. Once you perfect it, publish it on Amazon, or Smashwords, and see what happens.
If you follow me here, and if you would like some feedback, I might consider giving it if you would be willing to reciprocate.
I pray that you are all staying safe and staying home during these times of uncertainty. Live in your worlds that you create, or read some of my novels, and live in one of my worlds.
Much Love -TW