I have to admit, being a writer is pretty darn cool. I get to make things up for a living. If you upset me I put you in one of my books and kill you off. If I think that your cool you may very well end up in one of my books. Any dream I have is fodder for my muse, I people watch like its my job. And did I mention I get to make stuff up for a living?
Now don’t get me wrong, I never said being a writer was easy because it can be extremely difficult. But through all the difficulties: working with an editor, getting bad reviews 🙁 , trying to finish a book on time, writers block. I still love actually being a writer, I get a thrill everytime I sell a book, even if I’ve sold my fair share of books, however, I am grateful and feel blessed each and every time some buys one of my books because with out the readers out there I would be nowhere. So just know when you buy one of my books I an so vey thankful.
But through all of that being a writer is so cool. Here are my top 3 reasons for being a writer.
- I get to work in my pajamas. Some people might wonder why this is my number one reason but seriously, I get to work in my pajamas.
- Did I mention I get to make stuff up for a living? lol Cause that is just AWESOME.
- I can drink. Don’t get me wrong I’m not taking shots between each well crafted sentence, but I nice glass of wine while I compose the well crafted sentence doesn’t hurt.
Seriously, if you aren’t a writer, have I made you want to become one?
What are your favorite parts of your job? I would love to know.
So I signed up for NanoWrimo….
What was I thinking?
If you don’t know what NanoWrimo is its National Novel Writing Month. So for the month of Nov. you write 50,000 words. That’s roughly 1600 words a day.
I have signed up for NanoWrimo several times and have never ever finished.
I’m starting a new series and honestly believed that signing up would push me to write book 1.
It’s Nov. 8th, and I’ve written 750 words. 🙁
I don’t know what it is about Nano that first makes me think I can write 1600 words in a single month, but that I can continue that type of writing for 30 full days.
The strangest thing is if I hadn’t signed up for Nano I may have written more words. But the deadline aspect of Nano, makes me worry more about writing and not actually getting any writing done.
Tell me I’m not alone…
When I was in my teens, and I wanted to be an author I imagined my life would be blessed and I would be able to buy a cabin in the woods to write my master pieces. I would spend my days drinking coffee, and hunched over a typewriter (yes I’m that old). I believed the words would flow from me like a gushing river in the spring. I would pop out several books a year, and my adoring fans would be breathlessly awaiting my next amazing piece of work.
The reality??? I spent years writing what was selling at the time, and I slogged through stories that were awful and poorly written. During this time I never finished a story. Never connected with my characters and fantasy I had about being a best selling author with droves a fans died a painful and gruesome death. So in reality I stopped writing for a long time, I thought if I couldn’t write what was out in the market then I would never be a success. If I couldn’t strike it big then I should just give up. (BTW, I was trying to write historical romance, and sci-fi/fantasy novels)
But there was always this niggling feeling deep in my soul that said write…write…write. You have a story to tell. But I didn’t know what that story was. Then like when I was a teen and was first bitten by the author bug. I read a book that was the exact genre I was trying to write, a fantasy love story. Halfway to the Grave by: Jeaniene Frost I devoured this book serious like my life depended on it. When I was done reading all the current books at the time I had this idea pop in my head. I sat down at my laptop and I started to write. And within six weeks I had finished my first book. Now this first book I finished was a vampire story. And if you have read anything from me you know I don’t write vampire novels. So not sure if this book will ever see the light of day. But being able to sit down and write a book, and ENTIRE book I learned where my passion was I realized I could write a novel.
I wish I could say that was the end, after that first book was finished I sat down and wrote Shadow Play, my first published book. And once I finished that book I started to shop it out to publishers. And I got a couple that were interested, but what I go the most of was a hole lot of rejection. I was devastated, I had finally found my voice but nobody wanted to publish my book.
So I self published, I would like to say it was the best decision of my life. But self publishing is hard, not saying it is harder than traditional, but I have no way to judge that. Anyway, I self published my book and just about put in my two notice at my day job. Because I had published a book, all the accolades and fans were going to fall at my feet. I was going to be the next J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyers, I was going to be the next Jeaniene Frost. I knew people were unknowing lining up just to read my book. The reality is so much worse, not only did people not line up in droves but I didn’t ever sell enough books to justify the amount I spent to publish it.
But I loved my story, and I continued to write. I continued to slog through the pages and pages in order to put out something someone would enjoy. That’s what writers do, they write, and write, and write in the hopes of touching someone with there story.
So have the accolades poured in? No. Am I making millions? No. Have I hit the best seller lists? No. And I am currently writing my 5th book, so why do I continue to write? Because I can’t stop, because the there are still stories in my head and imagination that I need to complete. And in the process I have figured out a few things: writing isn’t easy but it’s totally worth it, success is measured in different ways (I don’t have to be a best seller), marketing sucks but its a necessary evil, staying true to myself and my stories mean more than anything, reviews of my books can be harsh but letting those reviews stop only makes me a failure, the torture is worth the delight in seeing my books published.
I don’t know what the future holds for me in my writing career, but I do know writing is in my blood and if no one every reads another of my books I will know I am following my dream.
So my advice to authors/writers wanna be published authors… never give up. If writing is what you love then never let the world and the torture of it all stop you from being an author. You can do it!
I have lived an unexpected and full life. I am by no means old sitting here writing this in my forties, some days I feel ever day of every year I have lived and other days I don’t quite know where the years have gone.
With all that having been said I have learned one thing… you really need to learn to love the chaos of life. And if you can’t love the chaos you really should learn to tolerate it. Because life is a series of moments of chaos and its how you react to those moments that scripts your present and inks your history.
And I have to admit something, the last year has been a test in loving chaos. So I have learned to love the chaos or be swept away by it. My writing life has been put on hold by actions and influences outside of my of control. And being a creative individual these setbacks and moments of chaos laid me low, they took me down for the count and made me question everything I was doing as an author and a creative individual. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to publish my next book or any other books for that matter.
That’s what true chaos can do, make you look around and rethink it all. Make you hide under your bed while the tornado of you world tears apart everything around you.
However, at some point you need to climb out from beneath your bed. You can learn from the chaos that threatens to destroy you or wallow in the circumstances of the chaos. That’s the hardest part isn’t it? Learning from the chaos. Now don’t get me wrong sometimes I search for meaning and learning and honestly can’t see it. But eventually the storm will pass and then you need to sit down and take inventory and learn from the chaos.
I desperately hope that all my fans and subscribers can find peace and love in the chaos of life.
Promoting sucks, ask anyone it’s the bain of an authors existence. I don’t care if you’re a traditional or indie published author, marketing and promoting books just sucks the big one. And there are several reasons why, so let me break it down fo.
(1) Authors are by nature introverts, you may see us at promotional events where we are being out going and all smiles but inside we are introverts and wondering what we need to do to be put in
a time out.
(2) The promtional and marketing world is ever changing. And frankly it’s just hard to keep up with it. What works Tuesday doesn’t work on Thursday. Why? Why doesn’t it work on Thursday, and who can explain it to me? Which brings me to #3.
(3) There is a guru for everything. A guru for Facebook promotion, a guru for Twitter promotion, a guru for Instagram promotion, a guru for YouTube promotion, a guru for Amazon, a guru for blogging, a guru for selling your paperbacks, or ebooks or selling them to aliens for goodness sake, a guru for being a guru, and of course they say they are free until you click on their webinar and listen to their “free” 45 min. speach then you have to pay to actually get the information that will help you promote anything. Guru? No more Guru’s for me, is what I say.
(4) The dreaded online book tour, now for some these tours work. But I’ve done my fair share and to be honest for the amount of time and work they take my ROI (return on investment) doesn’t break even. They just aren’t worth it. They cost anywhere from $60 to $200 dollars and that’s just to do the tour, I’m not counting the time you have to put in or the giveaways you have to do. It’s just way to much work for the actual amount of sales I get. Now again please remember this is just me, I’ve known indie author who swear by virtual book tours so please if they work for you go with it.
(5) Keeping up on social media… everytime I turn around there seems to be a different social media platform that is the new and shiny thing I should be doing my promotion and marketing on. And frankly I just can’t keep up. And don’t forget the guru’s are telling me which platform I should be consentrating on. And each book tour has a special button I should set up and interview with and give a special book giveaway to for the new platform that I didn’t know about last week. And now I’m running in fifteen different directions trying to sell my book and giveaway the bank and trying to find my readers and because I’m chasing them they don’t know where to look for me and I don’t know where I am from day to day they can’t find me. And it’s just a vicious circle. Who knows where who is, and where who is going where, and when does any of the writing acutally get done?
Do you see where I am going with all of this?
I hope so because the point of all of it is this. Marketing and promotion is a pain in the arse. and makes even the most seasoned author have a panic attack. So yes I am the queen of non-promotion. I have a total of three books out, my fourth is due out next month. I do a couple of different promotions, nothing that breaks the bank. And only things that I can afford. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and Instagram and on Instragram very little. I blog but only a couple times a week (if that) and its not all about writing and my books. It’s mindless rambelings sometimes (like this rambaling post). As to my book promotions, I really want my books and my writing to stand for it’s self. Hopefully my books are excepted by the masses for what they are: well written and fun to read. And because of that I have built a great fan base. And that is my marketing and promotion. The majority of books are advertised via work of mouth regardless of whatever you do for marketing and promotion anway. and that just sucks. So stop chasing yourself and work on the promotion you can dedicate time to, not everything out there.
Good luck and if I’ve forgotten anything please leave a comment and let me know. Christie
Okay I’m an author, I have written six books, and published three. The fourth book is due out next month. (May, 2016) That being said, the search history on my computer is varied and odd, take into a count that I right paranormal/urban fantasy… and well it gets a little hinky up in the google search bar once in a while. I’ve been known to search for the odd and strange?
Put that together with the fact that I like to think I was a witch doctor in another life and I think I might be coming down with…(go ahead and put in whatever illness is the current illness), me and WebMD. Two peas in a pod I tell’a. Anyway I’m pretty sure I’m on a couple of the FBI watch lists.
I might have once asked my husband in the security line at the airport to check my six, and been pulled out of said line for a pat down.
But here is where I cock my head to the side and think to myself….wha….
I saw this on Facebook, I mean seriously why would you click on that link. Do you want to have nightmares? Are you thinking—boy you know what I don’t have enough of… NIGHTMARES. I better click on this link because what I need is to be sleeping soundly and to be woken up with a horrible nightmare, only to be shaking in my warm bed in the dark afraid to get out because the lord above only knows what is waiting for me beyond the safe haven of my bed to turn on a light and chase away the darkness.
Yup, that’s what I need. I better click on this link.
Seriously people, is this what we have come down to? Links telling us that if we click on this, there is a good chance we will be scared to the point we will most likely have nightmares. NIGHTMARES people.
Why? Why would we do that?
Now, the reasonable side of my brain is saying: Christie the actual chances that this link will cause you to have nightmares are pretty low. However, that being said, the unreasonable side of me? The side that enjoys a hearty undisturbed nights sleeps is saying: Why chance it.
I’m just disturbed that this is where we have fallen, links to nightmares.
Hey that sounds like a good name for a band.
My Opinion Monday – Superstar Status or making the Bestsellers Lists
So I’ve been asked recently about making the bestseller’s lists. And like every writer out there I have some strong opinions about it. Now don’t get me wrong, like ever writer I want to make the bestsellers lists and if a writer or author tells you different they are lying to you. It’s human nature to want to be the best. We would never have climbed out of the swamps if we hadn’t wanted to better ourselves.
So yes I want to make the bestsellers list, I want to be able to put on the covers of my novels that I am a bestseller. But more than that when I sit down in front of my computer and it’s just me and my words, me and my imagination, me and the characters I write? I want to touch people, I want to know that in some way my writing is making a difference. Because authors have done that for me, books have touched me in a way that make me a better author. Books have opened my imagination, built a fire in my imaginary world to such extremes I can do nothing but write.
But back to the bestsellers list. There are several lists: The New York Times, USA Today, Amazon Top 100, Barnes and Noble Top 100, Publishers Weekly Bestseller, NPR, even the Wall Street Journal has a bestseller list. These are all nationally polled lists and the majority if not all the authors on these lists are published via large publishing companies. I am a humble indie-published writer, does that mean I will never be a bestseller? Hell no! I am working my butt off writing my stories. Publishing my books, not to become a bestseller specifically but to get my stories told. Being a bestseller would be a wonderful, spectacular, life affirming perk. But that’s all it would be a perk. It won’t change how I write or why I write.
Better than a bestseller? Fans telling me how much they love my books, fans telling me my books helped them, fans telling me that reading my books motivated them to write their own books. Now that would be awesome!
Where you can find me
originally published: Sept. 24, 2014
After writing for so long you would think it would be hard to pin-point exactly when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t always want to be writer, in fact I had a reading disability when I was young. Going back and asking a young Christie if being a writer is something I would have wanted to be it wouldn’t have been on my radar until—I was in my teens and I read a certain trilogy. A trilogy I didn’t like — I loved, and twenty years later I still love this trilogy.
But here is the thing I might have loved the trilogy, but I detested the ending.
How can you love a set of three books but detest the finally? Ohh, it’s so easy look at the books on the market today. Twenty years ago it was a very rare, but today not so much.
Anyway back to my story, hated the ending. So at fourteen I sat down and put pencil to paper (no really, pencil and paper no computer, no pen) and I wrote a new story. About how the hero and the heroin found each other and had a happy ever after. Because dammit that is how it’s supposed to end up!!!
And that is how it started. That was how the seed was planted, my imagination door in my mind sprung open and I haven’t ever been able to close it. And frankly I never wanted to close it.
Every once in a while I will pull that story out and read it, I do have several collector versions of that trilogy and it will always be one of my favorites. For starting something inside of me, and for just being a damn good story.