Inspiration; it’s such a grand concept. I always envision somebody typing feverishly in a picturesque setting whenever I think of inspiration. Ideal scenarios always jump to mind, but let’s be honest, when do ideal scenarios ever actually present themselves in real life? Sure, maybe if we all lived in a Hallmark movie, but I’m pretty sure we don’t. A quick glance at the nightly news confirms this. Which leaves the reality of inspiration. Instead of having an immaculate work station in front of a giant picture window overlooking an isolated lake, I’m left with frantic scribbling on a piece of scrap paper while I’m trying to clear the table after dinner. There are countless memes about inspiration striking right before you drift off to sleep, only to wake up the next morning with no recollection with the brilliant idea you had mere hours before. Or in the shower, when you don’t have access to your phone, computer, or notepad. It never hits at an opportune time, so as a writer, you just have to make it work whenever the muse finds you.
Personally, if I’m unable to make a note in that instant (whether it be due to being in the shower, or driving, or what have you), I will continue to cycle the idea through my head, possibly expanding on it depending on the idea, until I’m able to jot it down. That keeps it from being forgotten, and even gives me a little extra time to develop it a little more. Then I get it noted the second I’m able to before it leaves me forever. It never fails, my ideas and creativity kick into overdrive every Sunday morning in church. Talk about awkward, try pulling your phone out of your pocket in the middle of a sermon and jotting down a note that just smacked you in the face. What makes it even more uncomfortable is that my subject matter tends to be about outlaw bikers, illegal substances, and illicit activities – not really topics I would call wholesome. Continue reading
I started this series to document the process I was going through while writing and publishing my first book. I figured that maybe there would be other people out there who have a desire to try to write, but have never made the attempt. (That should be a safe assumption based on all the people who say they’ve always wanted to write a book or have been thinking about writing a book whenever they find out I’m an author.) Along with that process comes other topics that could be helpful for people to be aware of.
For me, my interest in writing came from a love of reading. I certainly don’t have a background in writing outside of simply being an avid reader. So when I started writing, it was a challenge to find my voice – to figure out my writing style. I knew what I liked to read, so my assumption was that my writing would be similar to that. Man, if only it was that easy! Continue reading
Now we have a completely finished product, so it’s time to sit back and rake in the cash from all the sales, right? Not so fast. After all the work we’ve done to get here, now comes the hard part! Yeah – the hard part.
Writing is the easy part. That’s the part we’re comfortable with. Well, aside from the insecurity. I can fight through the self-doubt and everything that comes with the writing process, but then what? Advertising and publicity is a whole other ball game. There’s an entire industry that is overflowing with experts on how to sell things. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do that and have no idea where to start…and it shows! This is where being an author turns from writing stories to becoming a small business owner. Didn’t know you were signing up for that, did you? I sure didn’t!
Just because you’ve written a book doesn’t mean that anybody knows about it. Or even that they care about it. Sure, you may get a few supportive family members who buy a copy out of obligation, but trust me when I say that even these sales aren’t guaranteed. There is a lot of work involved to publicize your work once it’s released in order to get people to actually give it a chance. That last sentence says there’s a lot of work involved to publicize your work once it’s released. In reality, if you wait until it’s released to start publicizing, then you’re already behind the eight ball. Continue reading
Okay, I know. I’m a few years overdue for this post. If you’ve been following along with this series and going through the process of writing a book, then you’ll remember we left off with a finished manuscript. (If you’ve been waiting on me this whole time before proceeding, then shame on you! And me. Also shame on me.)
This is where it starts to get really exciting, and even more difficult to stay patient. The last thing you want to do at this point is rush to the finish line just so you can say you’ve written a book and are a published author. For me it’s really tricky to control my excitement, but trust me, it’s absolutely necessary. I know authors who get excited and breeze through some of the steps I’ve already mentioned through this series, and it shows. For the sake of the example, we’ll call this person Jim. Jim’s work is sloppy, full of spelling errors, subject/verb agreement issues, hell, I’ve even seen a book that had the same chapter printed twice. I’m talking about people who have published over 10 books. I imagine the excitement doesn’t go away just because you’ve done it before, but stay patient. I also know authors who have published one or two books, the right way, and they put out a completely polished, professional quality novel. You would never guess that they’re a self-published, independent author. That’s the power of proper planning, a keen eye to detail, and patience. Continue reading
Here we go again. I disappeared again and you all thought I had given up didn’t you? Well it only appeared that way. Admittedly, I got beyond distracted, plus life threw up some speed bumps along the way. It happens. The point here is that I didn’t give up. Has it taken me 3 times longer than I originally hoped? Absolutely, but I’m sticking with it and I will finish this thing. (I’m actually getting really close, believe it or not!) So there you have it. Now moving on.
Proofreading, editing, re-writes, beta reading: call it what you will, but it all serves the same purpose. To polish your writing as much as possible so you’re putting out the best product you can. Continue reading
It’s been while since my last update, and honestly the thought did cross my mind to blow this off, but that wouldn’t be very helpful now would it? For the 1 of you out there that might read this, trying to figure out if you want to try writing, posting my process could be beneficial. Regardless, it serves as accountability and motivation for me, so here I am. Okay, enough rambling.
Since my last update, I have officially started writing my first novel. Exciting, I know. I decided on a topic that I’m knowledgable about to make the process a whole lot easier – bikers. At first, I cranked out a handful of pages out of sheer excitement and so I could honestly say that I had officially started writing. Then I hit a wall. I got stuck in one spot for months and didn’t know what to do about it. I ended one scene but wasn’t sure how to get to the next one. A writer friend advised me to skip ahead and start writing the next scene, then I could always go back and bridge the gap between the two once my mind was back on track. That’s all it took. Continue reading
First, let me quickly address the long hiatus. Without getting into details, I have been overwhelmed with projects and life matters. It happens. I haven’t forgotten about, or given up on my writing. I am still working on projects, even if it is at a snail’s pace.
I should also note that my zombie novel has been placed on the back burner for a while. The ideas for my first book rapidly turned into a trilogy, and that is something that I am just not quite ready to take on. In the meantime, I have been working on a non-fiction short story, more fictional short stories, and have been developing another idea for a single, stand-alone novel that I can write for my first book – something that is manageable and not as intimidating as a trilogy. Let me assure you though, the ideas I have for the zombie trilogy are very solid and I am excited to see how they turn out. Anyway, without further adieu, let’s get back to the post… Continue reading
Research has never been so much fun! I have never enjoyed doing research unless it’s for a consumer product that I am considering purchasing. More-so, I have never enjoyed what research goes hand-in-hand with…writing a boring, pointless research paper. (Instead, I’ll be writing a boring, pointless zombie novel!) However, after talking with a couple of authors, I have come to realize how important and necessary research actually is. As a writer, it is imperative to know what you’re writing about in order to portray it accurately and vividly so the reader can picture the scene in their mind’s eye.
I fully expected to have to do a minimal amount of research for this project, considering that I pride myself on being pretty informed on the subject (zombies). The little research that I did anticipate though, which is based on geography that the plot will travel along, was bound to be tedious and mind-numbing. Continue reading