I was just notified that I have received the “Featured Author of the Week” badge from AUTHROSdb. I am so excited!
This is one of those dream come true stories we all strive for. I love hearing these stories.
The amazing thing about a blog is that by reading what someone posts, you get a sense to what they are going through. Not only in their current life, but what their mind is focused on specifically. I have, of late, found it difficult to post on here. Although this is about my personal journey in writing, I don’t want it to be a journal of my personal life in general. There are several times that I have opened the screen to post something, just for the sake of keeping my blog alive, but have found it difficult to find anything worthy of writing about.
The truth is, I have been facing a lot of personal issues that have quite literally put a stop to my writing altogether. I reached a point where my problems became bigger than my will and need to write. I began focusing on solutions that could cure my problems, but instead, only created even more in the process. I completely forgot the one reason why I began writing in the first place.
I write for one reason, and one reason only. It is my voice in this world. It is where I open up and share the gift I was endowed with. I’ve spent most of my life looking for that specific outlet that allowed me to be exactly who I am, and yet, old habits, full of failure, threatened to silence me once again.
The truth of the matter is, life is a journey, full of multiple paths to take, but there is only one right path for each and everyone of us. That doesn’t mean that life in general is going to make it easy for you to follow that path. You will find that there are times when you will face obstacles that will make your path appear to be closed off to you entirely. But there is a very specific reason for that, as I have discovered.
Writing is important to me. It has always been. But I have not allowed it to become vital to me in the sense that it is anything more than a hobby that needs to be pushed aside when things grow difficult in all the other areas in my life. I have allowed it to become that friend that I contact only when I find time for it, rather than making time for that friend so they know how important they are to me. I need to make writing an important aspect of my life that determines what I can and cannot do. Afterall, that is what we do with the things that are important to us. Our family, our jobs, our needs, all determine how we live. Just because it is something I love and makes me happy and content, doesn’t mean I can take advantage of it.
A while ago I wrote a post asking how other writers balance their life so that they can make time to write. I believe I have learned a vital lesson in this. It all begins with your own perspective. If you don’t make what you love important to you, no matter what it is, life will take it away.
One the things that sets a true writer apart from all the rest is the ability to make the most mundane of actions absolutely enthralling. Actions are not just steps, they are key components to a puzzle that must be present or the story falls apart. The difficult part is determining whether or not every component is necessary to complete the puzzle or if it is a spare piece you just threw in the box.
Editing your story is one of the most difficult processes you will face.We all want to make our stories perfect and correct the mistakes we made, but when it comes to deleting portions, it often feels like we are cutting out pieces of the heart of the story. One of the things that I have learned is that the heart of the story is something that must be felt, not dictated. We are writing about human emotions. Emotions are not something we force, they are a result of an event. There are certain times when you do not need to say how a character is feeling simply because it is a natural response that anyone with a heart can relate to. Everyone knows that when someone dies, those that love them are devastated. Unless your character is overjoyed by the death, allow the reader to experience the event in their head rather than tell them what to feel.
It is our job as the writer to make sure the true emotions of each event are understood, but we must never forget that a good story draws people in and makes them feel like they are part of it. We must allow them to feel the words we want to write, but don’t need to write them because the reader is already emotionally involved and feeling them through their own experience. When your readers can feel the unwritten words, they want to know how the character moves on. They don’t want to read what they are already clearly feeling. Don’t trip on the things that your editor or Beta Readers say are unnecessary. It simply means that you have already set the stage perfectly and they are feeling everything you want them to feel.
Do you ever see an advertisement and suddenly find yourself screaming inside, “I gotta have that!” I saw this picture on Facebook. I have no idea what company or website issued it, but each time I look at it, I can see how these things would be so handy to have. In fact, I first saw this picture months ago, and my interest in it is no less now than it was when I first saw it. In this day in age, we are flooded with advertisements. If you are a member of Pinterest then you have no doubt seen thousands of pictures, every day, just like this, all with the intention of gaining exposure to new products intended to bring ease and simplicity to your life. I have seen so many, that I will be honest and tell you that I rarely even pay attention to them. So what is it about this picture that has piqued my interest so much to make it memorable?
As writers, in a world full of Authors flooding the Ebook market daily, we find ourselves in a very similar position. Book descriptions are no longer being read as they once were. Before the digital age, people would take the time to read the book description, simply because they took the time and effort to pull the book off of a shelf. It would be a waste not to. But things are very different now. You can compare it to television commercials. People are recording programs so that they have the ability to fast forward through the commercials. It isn’t just a matter of convenience to watch the program when they have the time. People don’t want to waste time on the things they are not interested in. When they are flooded with thousands of products that are similar, all at once, they zone out. They walk away, they click away, they change the channel or the radio station. We are living in a world where “on demand” is the name of the game, and if your product doesn’t make people stop and take notice, then you’re lost in the flood, soaring down river, praying for something to grasp and hold onto before you sink away to oblivion.
This world is changing so quickly, that it is virtually impossible to keep up. But one thing is obvious, Ebooks are not going away. The self-publishing market continues to grow in resources and popularity. Not just for writers, but people looking for good books to read. Before, the Ebook world was a jungle that people easily got lost in. It was too different, and growing at such a rate that it boggled the mind. But now road maps are being designed to help readers understand the terrain. As writers, we must learn what resources are being used and utilize those resources to their fullest capacity.
The picture above piqued my interest because it is relevant to me. I see how those items could benefit me by simplifying my life. We must learn to do this very same thing when marketing our books. There are so many books available, we must prove why our particular books are worth the time and effort to purchase and read. We must be willing to continually evolve our marketing strategies so that we remain relevant. I can remember the first time I saw a book trailer on TV. It was new and out of the box. We must continually think out of the box and do the things that demand attention in this world of “on demand” lifestyles. Just imagine what it would be like to have people searching for your books because they have seen the cover of your book floating around and they just have to know more about it. We have to start evolving. The same old, same old, is just a pile of rubbish waiting to collapse on top of you.