Refocusing my writing life

refocusing my writing lifeRecently I had a bit of a rant about self publishing and all the extras that go into it.

It may have come across as a bit of a whinge. But it wasn’t meant as such. I just wanted you to be aware, like I wasn’t fully, that there really is a lot you need to consider when self publishing.

Another thing to consider is online, print or a combination of both and then marketing. I’ve mentioned marketing before. It scares me, honestly, but then it is something I will have to work through.

I have had all sorts of advice recently about how to best sell my books and what format they should be in. There was also a conversation about giving back to the local community, supporting my independent bookstore type thing, by asking them to sell my book.

Anyway, I can get a bit obsessive, maybe, and I tend to take an idea and run with it. So after such a conversation I was researching local stores, finding key contacts, scanning shelves for other indie published books in said stores (only found two by the way in fiction) and contacted my cover designer about turning my ebook cover into a wraparound paperback cover. I even thought about a stall (with banners) at the local market!

All of this took time and energy and I waxed and waned between super excited by the possibilities and physically sick thinking of all I had to do. I even reformatted a version of the book for print.

Ok, now it certainly sounds like I’m ranting. What I wanted to say today was that firstly, I have calmed down. Truly, I’m much more relaxed. Secondly, I’m reverting to the original plan.

The original plan: write and get my stories out there.

I was spending too much energy on all the little bits, and so I have refocused on the writing part. The production part. The more books I get out the better. The better quality the story is the better.

Yes, I need to look at marketing and platforms and the like but I have felt like I’m rushing things. Just to get the one book in a shop window. It would be nice, but it is not the reason I write.

And that is what pulled me back into line. Someone asked why I’m doing this. And the simple answer is writing. I love to write. I love to read the story as it unfolds across the screen before me. I love to watch my characters grow and despite my frustrations at their misbehaviour, I love to find out what they are up to and where they think they are going.

I also want to share those stories, in their best possible telling, for others to enjoy as much as I do. So editing and proofreading and covers are important too.

I read a post recently (Nicola Alter) about whether books or movies make you cry. Now, like Nicola, I cry at most things. I sobbed through the end of Home (the animated movie) while my daughter patted my hand and whispered that it would all be fine, even though I was sure it wouldn’t be (she’s good like that). And I sobbed so much during the “red wedding” scene that I couldn’t finish reading the scene until I had calmed down and blotted my eyes a bit (and that took quite a while). But I laugh out loud when I read my own work sometimes, and I’ve cried a lot too, when my characters are in a difficult situation and when I’ve killed one off.

So amongst all of this sharing you are probably wondering if I have a point. Yes. I do. Honestly.

I’m writing. I’m self publishing but not stressing about all the countless options for self publishers (at least trying not to). I like electronic publishing and it may be that I add print on demand as an option with these and later look at branching out. But for now, I have a whole cast of characters in a range of worlds vying for my attention and I think they deserve it. Iski has countless adventures to write down, before he gets too far ahead of me. I have the Raven Crown Series that wakes me in the night, but not necessarily from the book I’m currently working on so I need to rustle them into the pages. And just because my head isn’t full enough of people that only exist for me, I have a new character shouting at me; living in a world I haven’t quite reconciled yet. And although she’s dragging me to Pinterest far too often, I’m trying to ignore her because Iski and Meg and a few others need to come first.

And if you ask me if there is a follow up to The Mark of Oldra coming, I might cry. But I may have some ideas there too…

If you are interested in reading any of my writing before it hits the shelves, send me an email saying you would like to be a reviewer or beta reader. If you want to know when all of these books are likely to make it to the world outside my head, sign up for the newsletter (on the upper right). I waffle a bit more there, but I also share how close stories are to release.

Why do you write?

Courage to Write

the blank page courage


At the beginning of the year I read a lot of posts about taking the courage to do something this year; to follow through with a dream and no matter where I turned (or which blog I followed) everyone was sprouting the same message.

So I took a leap, yelled Geronimo, and launched my new website. No fear!

Well not quite, I was scared witless. But I did it anyway because I knew that it was something I needed to do as the first step to actually acting on my goal of being a full time writer. A bit of a slow start perhaps but a start all the same.

I have wanted to be a full time writer for a long time. Each year I only made tiny inroads on that dream, not really making the effort for it to become a reality. Then I discovered several communities of different people with different dreams all taking the action to do something about it.

I may have some self-confidence issues when it comes to my writing yet I am working on ways to get it out there.

I have the courage to try.

To advertise myself (here at least) and test my writing on others (so far in the safety of my writing groups/uni tutorials, and to an extent through this blog.)

I have the courage to do what is necessary to improve my confidence as a writer. I may not be very confident in what I’m doing yet I am still pushing through to do what is needed. Confidence might come later but I won’t let a lack of it to stop me now.

As I battle to work out the next step forward for my novel (once it comes back from readers) I plan to push myself a little further.

I have previously discussed the idea of publishing my short stories in a collection. But my confidence was quashed somewhat when I read the dangers of, or at least mistake of, publishing collections of short stories that are not necessarily very well linked. Given that my collection covered both fantasy and science fiction with no shared theme I started to agree with what I read.

So instead I am considering publishing them individually (at different times). As the first one will be a real test it will be free when it hits the shelves (electronic shelves).

I’m going to be testing this on my writing group first, then some playing with cover design and then a lot of courage to put it out there. It is still a little way off, but keep your eyes peeled because it is coming.

Please share your stories of courage or what you wish you had the courage to do.