IWSG: Quitting

The Question

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Quitting

Yes. Very yes. Absolutely I quit. I didn’t think it was something I could do. I thought it was something that was in my past. There was a tale that I wasn’t creative and I believed it. I completely bought it. I thought that writing was something I wouldn’t be able to do anymore. That part of my life was over. I needed to move on. Enjoy reading and do other things with my life.

And then…

I started to have tiny little glimpses that maybe I could. Maybe there was space somewhere for me in writing. Maybe I wasn’t too old, logical, cynical, boring, whatever else. And that little hope grew. I did some writing here and there. I tried to feed and nurture it despite all else. Let it continue to grow.

Then I read something by Lois McMaster Bujold in the course of my regular reading. And it was good and so I looped my way back into the start (I am completely unbothered by reading out of order so it was somewhere later in the series). I read Shards of Honor and Barrayar. Something about a character who was an adult. Not just old enough to drink. But overall quite reasonable and adult. That was amazing. Something about that made me double down on the writing.

Reading more, learning more, writing more. I really started back in on it. And not all my characters are like that, but it very much kicked me into feeling like there was space for me. I also really enjoyed that despite the books being old, like decades out of date, they didn’t feel like it. I didn’t read them and flinch at the language, the characters, the ideas.

So yes, I quit. And yes I came back. And I’m glad. I might do it again, and that too will be ok.

Save

Save

ISWG Marketing

Another round of questions/prompts from Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The actual question is about using the annual A to Z Challenge and marketing, networking, and publicity. I’m really looking forward to reading what other authors have to say about this. I have not. So I’m going to talk about marketing a little more broadly.

Marketing and Mom

I recently had a conversation with my mother about my books. She wanted to get to read one, or listen to one of the audiobooks. Which is great, and I didn’t get a chance to take her phone and take care of getting her set up on Audible, but hopefully soon.

The really interesting thing that I became aware of through this conversation was that my own mother doesn’t know that I have 3 books out (or 2 novella and a novel, depending on how you describe them). That’s…concerning.

She follows me on FB. She listens to the podcast.

And my own mother doesn’t know. Now this could be several things. It could be she actively avoids news about me or she’s blocked me or she didn’t listen/read any of my stuff. But that’s not it. She actively listens, she interacts on FB so fb isn’t hiding all my posts.

I think I’m doing a bad job talking about it.

I recently learned there are a few other people who were surprised I had a podcast, had written books, or had audiobooks.

Social Strategies

I’m bad at coming up with them. I’m nervous about following through. I really don’t want to bug people. I don’t want to get to the point of annoying. I don’t want to get blocked.

But I do want people to know. I want people to be able to discover. I want the people who DO want to know, to actually know.

I’ve been trying to engage in social media.

Good things:

  • My pinned twitter post is about the podcast
  • I do have a books page (see above!) with links to my books (e and audio!)
  • I do have a page (see above!) about the podcast (which I think has a very small note about patreon- I still want people to support authors first and foremost, and I’ll keep retweeting/sharing etc)
  • I’ve been engaging in a handful of FB groups
  • I’ve been trying to engage in some of the Twitter chats (though I need a better plan to remember to do those!)

 

Less great – things I can/should improve:

  • Twitter bio doesn’t say I have any books out at all, I don’t think I’ve even tweeted out patreon (hopefully I will have by the time this post is live)
  • Facebook bio is worse …
  • I don’t have anything on my website here that links to the media I’ve engaged in
  • On most of the FB groups I haven’t even introduced myself (which is problematic in multiple ways, I really need to do it but I’m so …nervous? unsure?…I guess insecure? That I’m not enough of a …person? fancy person? something? to bother. But I know that I like introductions from people. I want to see them. Why am I so stressed that I’m going to get my own wrong?

Plan

I have a few things on my to-do list that are marketing related that hopefully will help.

  • Work on a YouTube/podcast “trailer”/ad
  • That ad (or a variant of it) will also be the base for an ad that I’m going to use to promote the podcast in a few other places
  • Try to introduce myself to 1 FB group per weekend (I’m not going to introduce myself in all of them, just a few where it makes sense), so starting next weekend – 1 group (She Podcasts – see even listing is to I’m holding myself responsible!)
  • Read a boatload of the other IWSG blog posts and see who has amazing ideas and take and actually DO 1 of them

Finally, do this:

Tune in later today at 6 pm for the first episode of Season 2 of 600 Second Saga, we’ll be featuring ML Moos and a fantastic new episode!

Revitalization IWSG

Another round of Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This time I’ve been thinking about revitalization.

The Official March Question

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Um…yes and no? “Really old” is pretty subjective. I feel like it’s hard to say yes because I’ve not pulled out anything that existed only on paper. (Though my mom did find a story I wrote when I was 5. It was adorable. But I didn’t feel the need to rework it.)

Dangerous Metal was initially a radically different story. I wrote it, tried to go back and edit it, actually went through and changed the tense and POV for about 75% of the book before I realized that the whole story didn’t work. I finally reevaluated what the story really needed to be about, what was the core of it, what was the conflict, what was interesting. So I sat down and wrote Dangerous Metal with the same(ish) cast of characters and what had been barely a side plot turned to be the focus. What had been the primary plot trashed entirely. What had been the genre trashed entirely. And really pivoted hard. Hard.

I think it turned out really well for the most part. Far better than the initial, which had some good moments, but was still really rough. I’m not a great writer now, I hope to always be able to be a better writer and be able to see that I can be a better writer. But wow was I worse then. I’ve learned a lot of stuff since. And that’s continuing to be true.

Hurdles

Pictured…not me.

I feel like I’ve had several hurdles I’ve manage to climb over (because that’s what you do with hurdles, I mean, you’re supposed to effortlessly leap them while staying low to the ground and maintaining an incredible speed… but when I as not a magician try to deal with hurdles I climb over them). Each time I manage to get to the other side I do better, so I look back and go WOW.

First, characters. This was a long time ago, creating characters-for the most part-seems like the natural thing to do.

Then I spent a lot of time, strangely writing …descriptive things? I once write a wikipedia style thing about an alien solar system, including all the math. That was fun. (I’m not kidding, I quite enjoyed the math and structure that came with it.) Then oddly once it came to creating characters or plot I just went…nah! (And more of these hurdles…dot.dot.dot boring!)

I think I’ve come a long way, and I can see that what I go back to redo doesn’t have the benefits that present me brings to the table so it is hard to rework some much older things, or things that are significant hurdles ago. Sometimes it is easier to set things aside. I know the times I struggle the most are when I try to rework something that has real deeply fundamental flaws because I’m simply a writer with more knowledge now than I was before. That’s ok. I’d say that’s great. But it does make it harder to rework things.

How about you? Check out what other insecure writers have to say too!

IWSG

Read what other authors have to say about revitalizing old work or just what other awesome things they have to say!

Reading as a Writer

So I’ve been looking around a bit for a good blog hop kind of thing for this year. Ronel the Mythmaker had a recent post about plans for 2017 and she mentioned The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Finally a group for me!

The question prompt for February is How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader? which even more so made me go, this is for me!

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Reading

I used to be a good reader. When I get into reading I can be a good reader. Staying up until the next day, reading all day through, doing everything while holding the book (or ipad which is how I read these days, or listening).

But I get into ruts these days. I slow down, way down. I focus on all the wrong things. Because I stop and slow down and can’t stop thinking about the writing craft of it. Why did the author make this choice? What made the author select this tense? Why this character? What was the motivation? But this thing here didn’t lead to that thing. How did that happen? But what happened to her bag? The body was in the trunk for so long it must have gotten stinky, did they take it to a detailer?

I have a hard time making reading fun and completely immersive right now. Still stumbling. I haven’t finished a book joyfully and enthusiastically in a while. I’ve read several, I’ve done a lot of reading and even enjoyed it. But not completely immersed in the world to the point of not seeing the seams. I feel like I am really seeing the seams right now.

I was having a similar problem last winter and I managed to hit a pocket where I was able to fall into books. As soon as I hit the pocket I managed to stay in it for a couple months and read through books at a very good pace. And then I fell out. As soon as a seam was spotted, now they are all there again. I keep stumbling over them.

DNF

I’ve not finished several books that I’m sure were very good. I just couldn’t break that barrier. I’m going to keep trying until I fall out of this hole.

Audiobooks are generally better, not perfect, but an audiobook at 1.25 is harder to find seams in because first, I can’t see any errors in the text, and they are often moving fast enough in the ear that I miss them. Second, I just don’t have as long to pause and ruminate on each section as it runs past. I have to dig out the device and pause it, and by the time I do that I’ve often missed it. Which is great. But right now I’m even failing at that.

Bad writer. No cookie.