Monday, April 3, 2017

Self -Doubt...One Authors Fear

Life is crazy, and that is the way it is.

I had another post planned, but I found I needed to laugh--and to have a dollop of reality--and the post I am sharing; (the link actually) fits the bill.

We writers wrestle with many fears, and one of them is SELF-DOUBT--and written so elegantly with a great amount of humor by the author Claire J. Monroe.

Read post click here:     SELF-DOUBT

Now, grab a cup of caffeine of choice, some chocolate and let me know--What do YOU struggle with?

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Broke Writer Series: Part 2 Perspective

As a writer, the best mindset is to be unafraid.
                                                         -Malcolm Gladwell  


Last week I talked about reality--that things are not what they seem.

This week, I am going to talk about perspective.

This is a tricky thing--in writing there is all sorts of perspective, negative and positive.

Do the words "I feel", "I can't" show up in your thought process?

Stop it. Right this moment. Perspective. 

First feelings will LIE to you. Lets unpack some of these perceptions masquerading as false feelings one may be having. (This also applies to things other than writing--its in everything)

The Wild-Haired Girl makes a HUGE mistake obsessing over reviews
  • Struggling?
  • Not writing?
  • No sales?
  • Marketing?
  • Time?
  • Stalled?
  • Rejections?
  • Reality of writing sobering?
  • Dreams dying?
  • No one knows you?
  • Everyone is moving ahead of you? 
*sob*


First; stop comparing, and look at what you want.

I had to.  What are you? Answer that first.

ME:  I am writer.

What does that mean?  That means I am in it for the long haul. Things don't happen immediately, it takes time.  It's also a business, and I need to stop taking things personal. To be adventuresome--some things will work, and some things will fail.

Failure humbles, redirects, and can strengthen. BE BRAVE.

Part of this perspective is you must WRITE.

Without the finished product, we have nothing to edit--and remember it can be good enough.
  • Submit
  • Publish
I love choices.

Write some more. Keep going forward. Simple. But we are writers, we complicate things.

What about marketing? What about....

Stop.

Research these things (and I'll be posting about my research) and keep writing.

Maybe a contest will help? A blog?

Perspective.

You are writer. Keep writing. Take nothing personal. Some people will like your writing, some won't, and that's the way of the world. It's words is one step forward and when you start climbing the hill, you'll back and see how far you've come. Until then, just keep going.

Simple.

That's what perspective is,

I also suggest copious amounts of coffee or tea. You're going to need it. You got this.  


Next week, I'll talk about who influences me as I continue to work on my craft. Because that is part of the broke writers life--continuing to improve.

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    The Broke Writer Series: Part 1 reality.

    Deep Dark Secret
    I'm a broke writer.


    It's like confessing some dark secret. Like I eat a pint of ice-cream a night. (which I don't--but now I want to. Go figure.)

    In writing there is so many smoke and mirrors, one of them is money. Oh, I'm not going to write (whine)about the trials and tribulations of making hardly any money--I'm going to talk about how I am dealing with it. In the next few weeks I am going to do a series on being broke--and how to survive, flourish, and do what you can with little to no money.

    What I want you to take away this:  Do what you can, with what you got.

    Sure, I'd like to be one of the big names who glibly state they are making five to six figures - a month, or a year (I'd be happy making 100 dollars a month).  But I'm not, and honestly that's the way it goes; its a part of the journey. A humbling but realistic one. It is up to ME to change it one small thing at a time.

    BUT, how can I change this? A little at time. I just heard an interview (I love pod-casts & webinars) where the best thing for a broke writer is TIME. Take time to write, take the time to do the things you cannot afford to outsource.

    Things needed and would be nice to pay for:

    Websites (this can run from free to hundreds of dollars) 
    Editing (Includes developmental, copy editing--you name it. And this can be pricey-- up to thousands of dollars)
    Covers (Can be inexpensive under a hundred dollars, to over a thousand)
    Marketing (You can spend TONS of money on this)
    Conferences (The cost of going runs into hundreds to thousands of dollars; registration can be from 100 to 600 dollars plus; but networking can be invaluable.)
    Publishing  (Now this is negotiable, if you get a vanity press--yes, you'll spend lots, if  you go indie and you buy your own ISBN, that can be a hefty cost too, then there is traditional publications--where most of the marketing is on you.)

    Yikes!

    What to do?


    At this point--I supposed to share my wisdom. What I can share is my ignorance. Because no matter what step I take I learn. I make mistakes, and ignorance really does give me some hefty lessons.

    When I started writing-- I was writing Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy; a cross over. I also like creepy stories.  I have two books, and one short story out:  Click here to see:  M.V.'s Books

    My first book INCANDESCENT did okay--but now it's lost; check the stats it goes anywhere from 5 million to 1 million. The drop to 1 million means some poor schmo founding it by accident.

    What did I do wrong?

    I didn't have a plan. I'm here to help you rethink how to look at your writing, and your career. To find a way for it to work FOR you even if you can't spend any money.

    Reality is tough--but you can work around it. It just takes a bit longer.

    This is the introduction to this series, in the following weeks I am going to discuss:

    Perspective--what kind of mind set do you need to have.
    Craft (You HAVE to keep improving): What sites are free, where can you get information.
    Editing:  Where to get it, how, and what do you need if you are broke. 
    Marketing: Marketing on a budget... (try and save a few pennies now)
    Websites:  How/when/where to make them. Reality of getting one.
    Covers:  If you are going Indie, what can one do. My perspective.
    Networking: One has to know other writers--because THIS will help you improve your craft and business.
    Misc: Whatever else I forgot...

    I am not an expert in any of these things, I don't pretend to be. But I am going to show you what I am doing, where I am looking--and I want YOU prospective writer to do your own digging, researching. Because everything needs to be what works for you.

    For you readers--Tell US, the writers the best way to reach you. To talk to you. What works FOR YOU? (and it helps us writers out, because we write--for you).

    I'm even going to show what I am doing right this moment--even as I write these posts, and at the end, I'll let you know how I've done.
    Inner Editor & Muse

    Until then--KEEP WRITING. Because you can't fix a blank page.

    As my Inner Editor (the pink gorilla) and my Muse (Mr. T) to the left will attest.
     




    Saturday, March 4, 2017

    Why I'm Leaving Facebook & Other Social Media Sites. (but keeping a few)



    I’ve decided to take back my life.

    As of March 17th, I’ll be gone from Facebook, and I don’t intend to return. I’ve already deleted Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat. I’d leave Google, but I have an email there. I’m also leaving Linked-in.  But I will stay on select sites:  Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon, my blog, my website. 

    I’ve been contemplating this move for a long time. Facebook started out as a neat little place to interact and start some marketing has now turned sour (the last few years especially). I’ve grown weary of the drama, misinformation, and lack of filters. 

    The reality is—my life isn’t on Facebook or any other social media site. My real life is off line, in a world that has rain, sun, day job deadlines, dust bunny revolts, and freshly brewed coffee.  The real world is where my stories evolve. 

    Online is where my stories go to die, because I am distracted, and procrastinating on a social media site I really dislike. But why did I stay as it was? Because I told myself I have family there, and friends I’ve made. Plus, I really do like finding the articles about tiny homes, videos of cats behaving badly, and following weird news headlines that are meant to intrigue—but usually irritate me—and yet I still can’t help to click on them. 

    As an author I told myself to stay because of marketing. I’m done with that.

    I’m going to find another way to do the same thing, find inspiration, and not get distracted by the chaos intentionally set within in many social media sites.

    Will I miss some of the people I know Facebook? You BET I will. But the ones who want to stay in touch will—and those who won’t –I wish them the best.  

    I’ve already stayed to long.

    I need to do things smarter, not harder. 

    This choice isn’t for everyone, but since I made this determination—I’ve been at peace for the first time in a long time. 

    I look forward to the quiet—and the time to write.  Maybe even have real conversations...

    And I will say this—if my other sites become too much of a distraction-I will delete them too. I survived with Social Media for years, and was better for it. 

    I can feel the stories beginning to peculate…or maybe that was the cheap oriental food I heated up for dinner...

    If you want to stay in touch with me-- you can sign up for my newsletter on my website, email me, follow me on Instagram, Amazon, Goodreads...etc. or hang out here. 

    I'm such a rebel....
    And I have cookies...







    Friday, December 30, 2016

    The Wild-Haired Girl at the Crossroads, Part 3

     
    The Inner Editor drinks...a lot

    Evil Inner Editor
    The wild-haired girl sat in front of a fire, warming her hands. This journey she'd taken was far longer, and filled with more peril than she realized. The small pink gorilla (the inner editor) sipping from a small metal flask which she highly suspected had whiskey in it. Her fairy god-person was out and about saving other clients--which was good, because she'd been here for awhile.

        "You move slower than pond-water." Slurred the pink gorilla. "Which is good, because you really don't know a thing about story."

       The wild-haired girl gave him a long stare. "I think you need to slow down."

       "Nah, I got it." Slurred the small creature, who took another drink and fell over. Passed out cold.

       "Idiot." The wild-haired girl sighed and sipped her coffee.  She'd been here for....days, months, and if she were truthful, years.  She'd started this journey some time ago, dealing ankle-biters, little monsters who bit and slashed at her ankles  as she walked. Their names were odd--Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr. After a particularly rough day, she managed to banish a few of them by giving them caffeine, apparently too much could hurt some of them. Two remained, Facebook and Instagram grey and blue fluffy creatures with lots of teeth, (caffeine just made the sleepy) were curled at her feet snoozing.

    B.A. (Mr.T) the voice of reason.
      She looked at the paths ahead of her. They were similar to the ones she faced when she first started this journey.  Some were shrouded in darkness, others smooth, or filled with rocks. The one she faced had fire-flies dancing in the gloom. There were others like her, all sitting before their fires. An older guy on her right played on a guitar gazing mournfully down a path. On her left, a twenty-something girl painted her nails, pretending there wasn't a path before her. She could see more people sitting before flickering flames as if they were the only ones out there. She'd tried talking to them, but they ignored her, everyone refused acknowledge each other, instead they stared at the paths with fear, desperation, despair, and resignation. Just like she had.

      Tomorrow she would take that path.

     She knew when she walked the shrouded path, it would carry with it the many headed monster of rejection, and the twisty vines of revision and editor. There were other scary things out there-- the blankness of writers block--a cold and empty cloud which she'd learned to just trudge through.
    B.A (Mr. T). has no problem taking out the Inner Editor

      What else was there?

      She wasn't sure. She took another sip of her coffee, the fuel which kept her going when she no longer wanted to walk.

       "Are you ready?" A small man, who looked a lot like Mr. T; asked as approached her, pausing next to the fire.  The wild-haired girl blinked in surprise.

    "For what?" She hadn't spoken to another creature other than the inner editor in weeks. 

    "To start walking, why wait until tomorrow?" He nodded toward the path she'd been looking at. "You've been believing that lie of tomorrow for awhile now, best to just start moving or you'll be here another year like the rest them." He pointed to the older gentleman, "He's been waiting until he retired, now he's waiting until his wife retires...he's never going to take a path, some of them have already closed up." Indeed, there were only one or two paths now before him, and all looked treacherous.

    Unease spiked through the wild-haired girl at the thought of it. She looked at the twenty-something girl next to her.

    "That one," The small man continued,following her gaze, "is waiting for Luck to notice her. No matter how much I've told her she has to start walking, she's determined to wait for him. Luck is crazy, and there is no guarantee he'll ever stop by, but she won't listen."  He crossed his arms. "What about you?"

       "You're right." Agreed the wild-haired girl, trying not to panic at the thought of being in this spot another moment, and stood. With sure moves she re-arranged her backpack, shouldered it, starting forward with the image of being trapped in this limbo keeping her moving. The small man gave her a thumbs up.

    As she walked, she looked down at the small man, "What's your name?"

    "Oh, you can call me D." He grinned, keeping pace with her. "It's for discipline. Everything you accomplish is due to discipline, it doesn't need luck, retirement, or vacations. I'm here to remind you of that."  He swatted at the fluffy sharp-toothed monsters who toddled beside her trying to bite her ankles. They were grumpy she'd started without them. "I'm also here to keep some of the monsters at bay."  The ankle biters backed off, respectful of D.

    Behind her, the inner editor, awoke, saw she was gone, grabbed his flask and staggered after her. The fire was left burning for the next person who came to this way station.

    The wild-haired girl didn't glance back. She knew the inner editor would catch up, he always did. But that didn't mean she had to wait for it.

    She stepped onto the path with the fire-flies, she may have stalled a bit, but the great thing about this journey--she could keep going.

    D cheered. 

    *****

    The new year looms, what are you going to do? Have you found yourself stalling? Lost? What are you going to do?

    Me, I'm going to write, laugh a bit, and drink coffee. I have the pink gorilla and Mr. T. What could go wrong?

    Ha....

    They actually work together. Not sure how I feel about this....