So, I did it. Its printed. Double spaced with interior notes. it says 21,000 words. Good grief, that means to make a novel I have to add some 70,000 words to it. EEK!
Found a copy of the other King book on writing. Started the chapter about brand names. (Yes, I am aware I am not that kind of writer. Not famous, and I doubt that I will be, nor do I want to be. It’s ok, but keep it to yourself.)
Something to do while I try to get the nerve to read and edit the second draft. There was good reception for that original rough draft, even though being a true rough draft, there was criticism because I posted with errors. SHOCK! (If I had corrected, it wouldn’t have been a true rough draft.)
So, back to King’s book Secret Windows, in that chapter “On Becoming a Brand Name,” he discusses the aspect of word count. The different type of works based on word count novel, short story, The length of the story and whats currently selling. At the time that King wrote Carrie, the length wasn’t one that purportedly* would sell. * my mental voice reached a higher pitch and my eyebrow actually raised.
My point is that a good story, doesn’t matter the length. It matters if it is good. All the really matters is a good story and a clean copy. Am I right?
Intimidating myself into or out of getting started, remains to be seen.
This last week was full of research. Some was spent, it seemed, wasting time reading and scanning blogs and websites for information on marketing and social media. There was information to be found, but much of it went against my nature. So, I dutifully recorded it and then let it fester in the back of my brain for a while. I have come to a mild meeting of the knowledge gained and my internal instincts, so I will have a go at that for a while and see what happens. Unfortunately for me, my closest advisors opinion matches up with the exact amount that I don’t want to do. So, I have to be realistic and accept that it will take far longer with anything less. It is a trade off.
The other research was for the work in process right now, Sinister. Much positive feed back was given about my finishing that story. I even got some writing done on it as well. Notes made, and as I said research begun to help me write better as well. Let’s all hope for that.
I will be watching my numbers (about that social media stuff) to see when and how often posting on the blog should occur as well as finding the time and interesting topics as well.
For now, I will leave you with a picture of where I would really rather be.
It’s gonna be full of errors and grammar issues, and ramble a bit. One reason for this is I just hung up the phone from one of those annoying to me robo-tele-marketing phone calls. Which gives me a topic to discuss here.
Marketing is not one of my favorite aspects of business; it’s like toilet paper. Everyone uses it, and everyone has their preferred brand that doesn’t irritate personally or clog the plumbing. Something that along with the woes of writing and publishing, is a necessary evil.
Maybe if you don’t intend to share your artistic and creative crafts beyond a limited audience of your family and friends, my personal definition doesn’t hold up.
Which makes me ask myself, for the Nth time, “Do I really want to be doing this?”
Some other questions that pop in my mind frequently—
If most people don’t even know I exist and won’t notice my work, does that make what I am doing worth the effort I am putting into it?
If my immediate family and some really tight friends are the only fans I ever have, am I ok with that?
What if I am rejected because I don’t meet the perfection level of mastering the craft of writing that others think is necessary before publishing?
And the big one—
What if I am a fool?
The other reason this is rambling, back this summer I went off plan. I had a schedule. I was posting once a week. This was a down-produced once a week schedule because I was busy for a couple of years trying to go to school to become a better writer, then learn to draw to finish the picture book illustrations. My time was eaten up by stuff that seemed to be important to this craft of writing.
Cut to finishing that picture book and look over my shoulder at the research into marketing and advertising, again. Something that I had done prior to my first blog post way back in . . . wait it will come to me . . . I think it was 2003 or 2004.
I have come and gone from this writing career, since the early 1980s. I didn’t think I was smart enough. Yet, I kept coming back to storytelling. My imagination is, dare I say it? Legendary, at least in my own personal circles. I have been pretty comfortable with “what if” games.
Social media is part of the marketing necessary to be successful in pretty much anything any more. Or, you have to be content to struggle for however long it takes for enough people to discover you and create a flurry with “word of mouth” references to generate an consumer base large enough to get you out of tiny circles or pockets locally.
If you want to make marketing complicated, you can. There are dozens of posts and sources out there telling you where, how often and what kind of posts, tweets, and photos to put on the web and traditional advertising. My guess is it probably changes to some degree every so often.
So after reading and researching, I have to be still and quiet for a moment and ask myself some questions.
What marketing annoys me the most as a consumer? Not going to do that, so marking that off my list.
What marketing seems to be just too time consuming of an effort for the return? Draw a line through that.
What seems doable that will allow me the time to create something to market? CIRCLE AND STAR THOSE!
What can I follow through on, keeping my sanity and life in balance? Add some hearts to those.
So, the circled items with stars and hearts it is. That’s what I am going to do. This process was not much different to the one I had to go through around 2013 in order to get my first book published, though I didn’t really market it. I would have kept editing and rewriting to perfection. Second guessing and just red penning myself to death. There is a huge fat
line between getting it right, and getting it good enough.
If you never move forward to the next thing, you can’t make new mistakes. We, or at least I, learn from mistakes. I learned how to be ambidextrous as an off shoot of trying to become a mountain bicyclist (which I quit because broken bones aren’t my thing).
From all the times I quit writing, I learned that this is my jam. I keep coming back to it. So, I have to stick with it and keep working at it. Failing, failing miserably even, embarrassing myself possibly in order to get better at it.
If you are just joining me on my journey, welcome. You aren’t late to this party. It is still getting started. And thank you. Let me know how I can help cheer you on to your dreams.
Busy, definitely busy. The last month has been a frantic finishing of the children’s story book for my “By Julie Kolb” pen name, Bad Dream. Over on my children’s author blog, www.byjuliekolb.com there is a post with links to purchase a copy.
With that done, the next item on the list for September – work up a plan for publishing Sinister. The plan is having it available for purchase on the anniversary of the blog post that began that story, October 31, 2018.
That done, trying to decide about blogging. Do I resume or not. If I do, what is the purpose, direction. How does blogging fit into marketing my stories, does it?
Sure, there have been courses and books and blogs and research stuff looking at how other $uce$$ful indie writers/self publishers have done this. But how do I do that for me, without being annoying, sleazy or whining.
My crazy dream is over time by the slow as molasses “word of mouth” reference marketing of my readers to other readers from their enthusiasm at enjoying my stories. This slow build as my skill at storytelling increases. The romantic finding each other, reader to writer and vice versa as my published works grow.
Truth told, I am feeling pretty damn successful today, having had some pretty awesome complements from people who connected with the stories thus far between their finalized covers. The elusive financial gain that many identify with success wouldn’t be turned it down if it showed up, but I would want to read the fine print before signing.
So, what would you like to read here? Tell me. Thanks for your input.
A moment of quiet in a very interesting year (translate that to complex, complicated and busy), gives me just a few minutes to update this blog. Like the new digs? With help from the WordPress-Appearance-Themes I did a little remodeling around the place over coffee last week. Not sure how long it will last, but for now, I like it.
I have added this new Category of posts, related to a blog I originated years ago and then converted to one of my “author” blogs – from me to Him. My spiritual posts to my higher power that is sharable to the public. It was cathartic. I think I need a little cathartic writing every now and again.. Thus, you are reading this. (Thank you.)
I was walking one morning and passed a man on his way to catch public transit bus to work, I assume. We exchanged “Hello!”s and “Have a nice day” never stopping. I wish I could have frozen the moment and let that be my presenting self to the world. The day before, my public contact had been last than pleasant. I had been a ‘BLEEP!’ because the representative of a store was not listening and I had repeatedly answered and re-answered their same series of questions. We were both speaking plain English, but there was a something in the air between us that prevented either of us from understanding and making ourselves clear with the other. It wasn’t pretty. This was my memory flash after the nice exchange in the sweltering heat with the worker on their way to work.
Why can’t my best be the only social self that everyone sees. Leave my less than nice moments hidden like the lost sock that didn’t make it out of the dryer. Just leave that ugly me as something only I know about, not anyone else. No one should have to co-exist in any moment with my bad self.
The only reconciliation I have is knowing that we all have those moments, or potentially those moments. You, you might be more self controlled and be able to remain the nicest person in the world to everyone all the time. If so, um, could you be my role mentor?
Well, this contemplation has to come to an end. The dog just jumped up and put herself between me and the keyboard. I also have a long list of things to do today. Have a nice day!
As we move from Spring into Summer, there are changes to be made. For instance, you won’t be seeing new a blog post on Fridays. Illustrations are dragging along for the picture book scheduled to be out later this year. It has come down to cutting back so that time can be focused on finishing the picture book project, BAD DREAM on time.
There is now an email list. Through this list I will notify followers upcoming blog posts, so don’t think this will be another one of those lists that you want to send to the junk/spam folder of your email. As projects like revision and polishing of Sinister are completed, I want to do a giveaway for the email list as a thank you for your support.
Recent circumstances have made me confront that nasty awful feeling of being in a state of mercy— both giving and receiving compassion.
Perspective, opinion, and circumstances always place us on one side or the other of receiving. Receiving is hard. I hate it. Ok, so, hate is a strong word. It is uncomfortable, unpleasant, and requires graciousness that I don’t always have. It causes me to step outside of myself.
This crossroad in my life path is also an opportunity, if I let it be, to self correct, gain experience, grace and reintroduce myself to what has become a sub focus for my year—joy.
Self respect begets joy- a discovery that I probably knew and then forgot. Perhaps this is part of our purpose in life, to give joy. (Which is hard to do if you aren’t at least near or on the cusp of joy yourself.)
Writing brings me joy.
Life is that simple. Even if we have to do things we don’t particularly enjoy to the nines, we still must find and participate in joy to spread it and share it with others.
Getting to choose how to react to news or status changes is control that is easy to forget but still available to us no matter what. In a state of joy my ability to choose my reaction is easier to make.
Choice of reaction, action and perspective can be influenced by current feelings, but feelings are fluid, ever changing and there isn’t one we aren’t allowed to feel. We also don’t have to cling desperately to any of them.
Loss of Control.
Flow and fluidity, learning about working with serious distractions, a wonderful lesson to learn right now. Figuring out how to do so is a challenge, but breaking it down to what can I do right now this instant and take it all moment to moment makes it a little easier.
Thoughts that evolved because of and in spite of circumstances beyond my control and stepping back to just be, and meditate before making a decision. Not an ah-ha moment, but more of an “Ah!” moment; no ha involved.
I think this maybe one of those things that until you have been at this place in your own life, it may all be gobble-d-goop. If you have been there, it is likely familiar ramblings and you might be nodding and contemplating where you were and what was going on at the time.
We aren’t alone in this, which is somehow comforting. Also why I shared my meandering thoughts. It didn’t fix or change anything; it did bring me a moment when I felt understood. For my friend that gave that to me, this is my way of paying it forward. Thanks.