One day, Sam will move to the beach…

Tag: writer angst

NaNoWriMo Again!

I’m sure the idea that I’m taking part in National Novel Writing Month is shocking for everyone, but I’m just going to take a minute to sing its praises.

There are a few haters here and there who complain that a lot of bad novels are written during November, but they’re one hundred percent to be ignored. A lot of bad novels are written every month, but so are a lot of good ones, and the only way to know which yours will be is to write it.

Inside of NaNo, there are debates about word counts. There are a few people who, through copious application of coffee and a lack of concern for their sanity, write the whole fifty thousand words in a day or two. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who couldn’t write fifty thousand words in a month if their lives depended on it. Maybe I’m being too optimistic, but I think both have the potential to write excellent finished novels, as long as they keep going after the end of November.

As writers, we’ve spent a lot of time being trained to compete with each other, from the idea that a higher or lower word count makes a better author, to the notion that only a precious few books will ever be published. There are only so many books a publisher will choose, they tell us. There are only so many writers who can ‘make it.’ If someone buys that writer’s book, this logic tells us, they won’t buy ours.

That’s a lot of nonsense. People spend millions of dollars on books every year, and if your books are good, people will buy them, whether they’re the big five, small press, or self published. Maybe you won’t be the next J.K. Rowling, but you’ll never know until you try.

The thing that NaNoWriMo gets to the heart of, which too many of us forget, is that writing a book isn’t about author vs. author. It’s about author vs. self. No other author is holding a gun to your head, telling you not to write. (I hope.) You need to get past the idea of competing with anyone, and just sit down and write that novel. NaNo helps remind us that the only thing stopping us is ourselves. The other authors? We’re in the same boat as you, fighting against ourselves to write the best book we can write. So maybe instead of fighting over who gets the best oar, we should all grab one, sit down, and row this thing together.

On Book Reviews and Bad Behavior

So there’s been a lot of talk recently about reviewing books, the behavior of authors in relation to reviews, and the like. I was thinking about writing a long post about the reviewer/author relationship, and how we’re essentially co-workers, only reviewers don’t get paid to show up.

But then I was hanging out on Twitter, and Annie from From Top to Bottom Reviews referenced a Santino Hassel post about the subject, and after reading it, I feel I can safely say that he’s got me covered.

Santino’s post about the author/reviewer relationship.

If you’ve ever wondered about how to react to a situation with a reviewer or an author, I think this is pretty much it. I feel totally unnecessary in its presence.

Wilde Love Update

For anyone who’s interested, Wilde Love book two, Sins of the Father, has been sent off for editing. This means that I get to spend the next few weeks doing one of two things: emailing my editor every two minutes to ask what she thinks (Sorry Maddie, I’ll do my best not to!), or hiding in a closet and hoping for the best.

Okay, fine, there are other options. I’ve got plenty to do in my ‘day job’ for the next few weeks, which will keep me occupied. Also, I have three homework assignments left to do before I’m finished with college forever. And then believe me, there will be cheesecake.

Funnily enough, all I want to do is start book three. Strike up the Band, y’all. Jake’s story is coming.

My Ration of Anxiety

I know that every author has been through this moment.

Everything is done. The files are ready and waiting. All that’s left is the actual upload and release. As of next Monday, I will become a published author.

Yeah, yeah, it’s ‘only’ self publishing. Whatever. The point is that I’m putting my first novel out there to be judged and rated, but hopefully mostly enjoyed.

Every author I know has admitted to being nervous about putting their first book out for sale, and right now, nervous doesn’t really cover where I am. I’m going to spend my time between now and Monday wondering if this is actually a terrible idea. Then, I’m probably going to keep wondering that.

But I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author since I was a little kid, and at this point, nothing is going to stop me from pressing that button, short of being hit by a bus.

That’s it, I’m not leaving the house till Monday.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I promised myself I wasn’t going to name all of my posts after song titles again, and there I go anyway…

Having finished my first publication-intended novel about a week ago, I am in a state of limbo. I’ve contacted the cover artist I wanted, and she’s agreed to make my cover. I have a lovely editor who is currently working my words over with the green pen of doom. And I? I have half a dozen social media accounts and too much time on my hands. So before I go out and start posting political opinions that anyone could guess given my subject matter of choice, or even just singing loudly and off-key in public places, I’ve made a decision.

I’m going to start chapter one of the next book tonight. I have a plan. I have the characters. I have everything I need to have, in order to get started. So is all I’m waiting for some kind of validation that my novels are going to be successful? Well guess what, self? Not gonna happen. If I wait long enough to find out that book one is going to sell, I’m going to be behind the curve on book two. And even if book one does horribly, it doesn’t mean things won’t get better.

Besides, I want to know what happens next. And isn’t that one of the most important parts?

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