Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Writing... Why?

I’ve been writing for years. I have a hard time expressing myself in spoken word (not to mention that I get stage fright anytime I have to open my mouth and speak in public) but give me a pen and paper, or a computer and keyboard and I can put exactly what I want to be said, and explain everything that I want to be understood, into written words with little problem.

I’ve always told stories. I remember being in Jr. High School and getting on the bus in the morning and telling my friends about the dreams (even then they were incredibly vivid dreams) that I’d had the night before. Sometimes I’d write them down in a notebook or my diary, sometimes I wouldn’t.
In high school I wrote several short stories that my teachers told me were wonderfully imaginative and well written. In university I heard the same kinds of comments for my writing.
It wasn’t really a surprise (to me, anyways) when I finally decided that I wanted to publish. The journey has been long and has had many detours and road blocks that have crept in the way. Through it all though, writing was one thing that I knew no one could take away from me. Other’s could make me feel horrible about myself, to the point that I found it difficult to even write, but no one could take away my ability to tell a story. Not completely anyways.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m back to focusing on writing (and promoting of other authors’ works as well) nearly full time. I don’t know what’s different this time but I just know that this time I’m actually going to get to the point where I actually do publish. Whether I make a name for myself, whether I make money or make enough money to support myself by writing isn’t important – I really just want to publish. I don’t know whether I’ll end up publishing by traditional routes or via self-publishing, but I want to publish and I’m going to do it.
I want to be able to tell people that my books can be bought on Amazon, or iTunes, or Kobo, or Smashwords, or whatever. I want to be able to say “yeah I’ve got 3 published novels”, or “I have 17 novellas available for purchase.” The money hardly matters, though yeah, it sure would be nice. But making money isn’t the reason to be writer. It’s not the motivation behind it, or it shouldn’t be.
Honestly, really, I just want to tell my stories. They’ve been mine so long and the characters just want to be given the opportunity to make you love them as much as I do. So I have to write them. I have to publish them.
Yes, I hope you like them. I hope you love them.
Yes, I hope I make at least a little bit of money – you know maybe enough to pay the bills and feed my kids.

But the truth is... Whether you like my stories and characters or hate them, whether I never make a dime and or break even in the process of publishing, I’m still going to write.

And maybe that’s the difference this time around. Rather than worry about creating something that everyone else might like or might pay for, I’m making sure that I’m creating something that I love and something that I can be proud of.

Because in the end, that’s what’s really important.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Coming Back

When I started this particular blog I was writing a lot. Not always every day, but taking time a couple of days a week to put words to paper.

Then I really got into things and did start writing every day. Sometimes for several hours, sometimes only for a few minutes here and there, but every single day. That time was wonderful and honestly was one of the best writing periods of my life. 

And then I let life absorb me and I was hardly writing anything more than a grocery list for months and months on end. I barely read a book, I definitely didn't work on my novels or any other writing, and I gradually became more unhappy.  In time, some aspects of life turned around and though I became happier, I still wasn't writing.

As often happens, life changed again. And I was destroyed.

I became not just unhappy but miserable. I wasn't writing because I simply couldn't find the words. I was reading, some, but nothing new and everything was very dark, very depressing.  I holed up in my house, only leaving when necessary and stopped talking to all except a select few.

Weeks, and then months went by and I knew that I something had to give.  Nothing was going to change if I made no attempt to change it; if I gave no effort towards making a change.

So I focused on my kids, my family, and I made every effort to spend time with them. Took the extra steps to make that time special. I cleaned my house - going through boxes and bags that had been put into storage, getting rid of things we no longer needed and making sure to preserve special items.

I purposely sought out "happy" books to read, or maybe happier is a better description. And though my own words still wouldn't come, I signed up for and diligently worked to help promote the works of other authors.  I kept myself busy reading, reviewing, blogging and doing promo's for others, so that I didn't leave myself a lot of time to think about all that I'd lost.

Then one day I sat down at the computer and opened a new Word document, and the words just started pouring out.  Maybe the story idea had been percolating in my mind for awhile without me really even knowing, but suddenly the words were simply there.

A couple hours later I looked and I'd written over three thousand words.

It's been a few months since then and I've been writing my own words in fits and starts, and whenever I can. Sometimes it's a blog post, sometimes it's fan-fiction, and other times, the really good times, I work on my own stories.  Not always the same one but I'm writing again, and it's a beautiful feeling.  A wonderful feeling.  It's a feeling that I've missed for a long time.

That idea that came to me out of nowhere and slammed three thousand words onto the page, now sits at just under 20,000 words. The whole story has been planned out and my main objective over the next couple months is to finish it, and then to do whatever necessary to get it published.

This time, I'm not going to let anything get in my way. 

This time I won't give it up.