Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O

Finished.

Well. Unexpectedness.

So I . . . finished that book already.

Wasn’t planning on that. I was planning on writing for at least five more days. I was planning on putting about 40k more words in it.

But I sat down last night – stuck in a horrible headspace – and wrote one chapter. Then I sat there, and sat there, and sat there. I wrote another chapter and then . . . it was just . . . done.

I had no say in the matter whatsoever.

I don’t have a clue where I’m going to go with it from here. Will I write another book from the same character’s perspective? Will I throw in a new main character?

Honestly, with this STUPID FREAKING HEADSPACE, I have half a mind to just leave it where it is. But the world is so vast – with so much potential – that I feel like I’d be robbing it of something amazing if I didn’t continue on. I don’t know. I’ll probably take a few days off (like I said), and attempt to regroup. Maybe something will come to me. Maybe it won’t. We’ll see.

All I know is that if I don’t somehow find a better mood to inhabit my body, I won’t feel like doing diddly.

I have two blog awards that I need to accept, which I have intent to do at some point during the next few days (after I’m feeling a little better). At the current point in time, I can’t bring myself to post them.

I think I’ve responded to all the comments I needed to on here. Checked out new followers, etc. (WELCOME TO MY MADNESS!)

I need to send a few emails and respond to some messages (badly – everything in my world gets neglected when I’m writing  – SORRY). I’ll probably do that this morning. Who knows?

Sorry to all for my bad mood. I probably shouldn’t even be posting anything, but isn’t the entire purpose of this blog to be like, “Hey. This is what’s going on with me writing-wise, and in general.”??

So this is what’s going on with me.

Unpleasant headspace. Finished writing the new book. Again, I’ll say it – I type fast, and I have a lot of time.

It’s always so surreal to me. I wonder if that feeling of finishing them will ever fade. Hopefully not. I guess when you know that you have months and months of editing after the writing . . . well . . . Yeah.

I should probably end this post.

Hope everybody is great. And I mean that. Sincerely. I wouldn’t wish these stupid moods on anyone.

Oh, I should thank J. Lau for inadvertently giving me a good laugh last night. After having a small commenting-conversation about hearing Matt Smith’s voice saying something . . . Well . . . I got a good laugh later, when thinking about it. That’s all I’ll say. So thanks J! Was definitely in need of that, for sure.

I think I’ll watch some Merlin (SEASON FIVE, FINALLY!) for a little while. If that doesn’t make me feel better, then I swear to all that is holy – absolutely nothing will.

 

The Perfect Day

It’s a little after midnight right now, which is my prime writing time, but I figured I would type this up really quick.

I’d sat down to go through some blog entries I had to read (in open tabs) and . . . well . . . okay, I’m starting off in the wrong spot. That was the point of me getting on here, but I should explain that I have the ‘Reader’ page open all the time, hoping that I’ll find more than ten minutes to sit down here. I’ve given up on catching up. So I’ve been hoping for about four or five hours (yes, it takes me that long – I’m following a LOT of people) to go through reading people’s entries to make up for it. I’m going to say in advance that I’ll be digressing with this, but I actually thought about making a VLOG (had a funny conversation with a friend about VLOGGING) to make up for my lack of reading. Why would that make up for it, you ask? Because I’d make a complete and total ass out of myself, that’s how. Probably won’t happen, but the thought crossed nevertheless.

Anywho, while the Reader was open, I just so happened to see an entry that Briana Vedsted just posted. Clicked on it, read it, commented. It was asking for blogging ideas. I’ve only had about one clever blogging idea ever, so I couldn’t help with that. Well, she replied back to my comment and gave ME an idea. How freaking awesome is that?

So I figured I would do that right now. I wasn’t expecting to be this many words in and still  not have said diddly squat about it.

Basically she said for me to describe what my perfect day of writing would be – how I would start the day, what I would eat, and what it would be like to be a full-time, worry-free author. It was so funny to me that I just couldn’t help myself.

*Clears Throat*

My perfect day of writing:

Wake up at 8PM.

Go out into my shed. Preferably Husband will have woken up before me and turned either the AC or the heater on, depending on the weather.

Sit down with fresh cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes. (Yes, I smoke. I don’t want to hear it. This is my perfect day of writing and you’re not involved.)

Write until about 8 AM.

Eat.

Sleep.

Repeat.

That’s it.

You see . . . This is basically what I do anyhow. It’s not fair, I know. I get to be a full-time (I’ll not say the A-word without Aspiring in front of it) writer. I get to do that because I have a ridiculously awesome husband who – SOMEHOW – understands that what I’m doing is ‘working’ and doesn’t tell me to get a ‘real job’. Worry free? I think not. I’m a worrier by nature. And clearly, you can imagine all the worries that come along when you don’t have a ‘real job’. That’s not why I’m writing this.

I sat here this morning. Er. Yesterday morning, before I went to bed (responding to comments). And I realized . . . I could totally let this entire blog fall off the face of the earth while I’m writing. I could. I really, honest to goodness could. Not going to.

It was easier when I first started this new book and wasn’t SUPER into it. I’m into it now. I’m to the point where I’m talking to Husband about it while I’m not writing it. I’m either writing it, talking it, thinking it, or sleeping. Period.

I had a conversation with my friend yesterday . . . wait . . . No. It was definitely yesterday; I’m just getting my days mixed up here (I lost a day somewhere and found out about it . . . yesterday?). Anyway, it was about ‘the way that we write’. He can do about two million things at one time. I can’t. When I’m writing, I’m writing. I need silence, solitude, uhm . . . I was trying to think of another S word that would be fitting here, but I can’t. Silence and Solitude. Need those. And I just honestly can’t make the time for the things I WANT to do when I’m working on a book. Because I NEED to write and everything else is wants.

I was hoping I’d be done with it by the end of the month (I type VERY fast), but I’m a few hours late tonight so that’s looking less and less likely.

So the entire reason this was funny to me is because I wanted to say, “Don’t expect to see me for a few days.” I might be inside for a little (and I mean LITTLE) bit of time in the mornings before sleeping. Only because I have to eat something. Maybe my balancing isn’t as perfect as other people’s. Maybe other people can have LIVES while they’re writing books. I’m just slowly realizing that I can’t. So I’m prioritizing. I’ve got to get this thing done. Then I’ll take a little time off (a few days). Catch up on here as best I can. Yep.

I’m crawling back into my hole for a little while. I’ll be happier when I resurface.

Everybody should spend a few minutes thinking about what their perfect ‘day’ would be – whether writing, or in general. Give yourself the time to do it. Life is too short to be unhappy and wishing for things. Do it. Take the time. People will understand.

See you again soon.

🙂

Small update on new WIP

I remember now why I become so hermit-like while I’m writing.

I started working on a new book the other night and have been alternating between that, one I started on a few months ago (and haven’t done much with), and messing around on here in between.

I’m EXTREMELY satisfied with the progress of the newest, although I have some concerns about it. Mostly because it’s screaming the word ADULT at me, and I have a very difficult time writing adult-type things. I’ve got around 14k words on it already and I’m trying to just . . . take it one step at a time.

The older-new-one makes me want to break my laptop. I’ve realized very recently – partially due to this particular WIP, and partially due to fixing some technical things in my first series – that I seriously suck at writing contemporary stories. Well, maybe it’s not so much that I suck, but just that I don’t really enjoy it as much.

I haven’t started on that ‘experiment’ I mentioned the other day, mostly because the newest WIP has been forcing me to tackle the things that I’d planned on tackling with it anyhow. Well . . . to be totally honest, there hasn’t been much tackling of anything quite yet (apart from a few things), but it’s gonna happen – that’s for sure.

My family has been on my case about going fishing while it’s ‘nice out’, but I feel like I don’t have the time to piddle around. I should probably go back there, at least for a little while. (We have a lake [large pond, but we call it a lake] on our property – I have a picture of it somewhere recently on my Instagram).

I’ve been trying to work out some sort of schedule. Work (Write), Read, Work (Write), Blog . . . it’s just not quite working out the way I wanted it to. I guess I’m just going to have to get accustomed to doing more than one thing at a time in life. Ah, it’s an experience.

All I can do is grow. I think it’s helping.

Hope everyone has a glorious Friday, followed by a fantastic weekend.

You know where I’ll be. In my shed. Writing.

🙂

Unhelpful Book Reviews: A Rant

I believe this is going to be my very first rant on here. At least the first that I have every intention of posting after I get finished typing.

A little bit of back-story to explain completely . . .

About a month or two ago, I decided that I was going to download some e-books off of ‘The Big 2’ (Barnes & Noble and Amazon). The entire purpose of it was to write some good, helpful reviews – both for the potential readers, and for the authors.

I suppose that I should interject on my own writing here and clarify that I was downloading lesser known books, hopefully by authors who were just beginning their careers. I was hoping upon all hope that I would be able to . . . HELP.

There are two issues . . .

One: I have major problems with reading long things on any type of screen. Even things that I write. When I’m writing my own books, I keep them in separate chapters until throwing them all together. I do not read my own books in their entirety on my computer. I just can’t retain things, or pick them out. So, doing this was potentially problematic in that sense.

Two: Well . . . You see . . . I tried to read one of those downloaded books. I got about 10 or so pages into it and literally could NOT continue. It was torture. Absolute TORTURE.

I went and sat down at my computer with intent to write a review (I should say, I’ve only written one book review in my entire life, apart from the one I’m currently speaking – er, typing – of. I told myself, “Constructive criticism, C. Constructive criticism. Anything you say could potentially help this author. HELP THEM, FOR HOLY &%*$’@ sake!”

I wrote the review, and I was pleased with it.

I was pleased with it until I realized that it was written better than the book I’d attempted to read (I swear this is not me tooting my own horn. If you’ve read many of my blogs, you know that I’m extremely critical of my own writing). And I was pleased until I realized that, if I posted it? I could potentially do more harm than good. I guess the Aspiring-Author part of me couldn’t stand the thought of harming the career of another author.  Even if they might have . . . needed it. Even as a wake-up call.

I didn’t post it anywhere. I still have it saved on my computer, but that’s where it sits.

Anyway, I’ve been perusing The Big 2 again today, and I just got a bit frustrated. Or more than a bit, possibly.

 

The purpose of this here rant is not about the horribleness of that book, or of any other book (though authors DESPERATELY NEEDING to get their books edited before self-publishing, and also ensuring they GET GOOD COVER ART are potentially fuel for the fire of another entry.)

The purpose of this here rant is the absolutely unhelpful, ridiculous book reviewers on The Big 2.

Not all of those reviewers are unhelpful. Some of them write amazing reviews – even those 1 star ones (which I am more likely to read than the 5 stars).

This rant is not even about the reviews that are ridiculous (and also a bit ironic). (THIS BOOOK WAS REATAR!!!!!!!! WHA WAS THE AUTHER THIKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [insert more excessive !!’s]), (This author really needs to stop reling so much on spell-check) . . .

This has absolutely nothing at ALL to do with the reviews that have zero writing (I’m assuming they all just couldn’t stomach the book to the point of not even wanting to comment on it).

This has nothing to do with the rating system at all, really. This has nothing to do with bad reviews.

This has absolutely everything to do with people who give a book 1 star to . . . ask a question. (As a side-note: I actually saw one review like that with 5 stars)

– Here is one star. How many pages are in this book?-

-Here is one star. I’m nine. Can I read this book?-

. . . . . . .

What these people fail to realize is that they are actually harming careers.

I hadn’t even been looking at books with ratings that had less than 4 stars, until earlier. And I’ll tell you – I flagged and flagged and flagged until my little heart was somewhat content once I realized what I was looking at. Unrelated content. Suspected underage user. Unrelated content. Again, and again, and again.

If the book is free .  . . Can’t you just . . . DOWNLOAD it to see how many pages there are?  Hmm?

 

I try to be professional on here – at least to an extent. But seriously? Harming careers.

I say again . . . Harming CAREERS.

I sure as hell wouldn’t want that level of ignorance keeping my potential audience from picking up my book when the time comes. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it – that’s totally fine. That’s an entirely different ballgame.

But if I don’t want it to happen to me?

I don’t want it to happen to any of you either.

 

Maybe I would be more helpful at skimming reviews than reading books. Ha

The Best Moment Award

I was nominated for my second blog award a few days ago by John W. Howell (You should check out his blog. He’s got some exciting stuff going on right now book-wise).

And now . . .  *drumroll*

The Best Moment Award!

I don’t know if this one is about some particular moment, or an accumulative collection of moments leading to an excess of awesomeness. I’m just going to assume it’s the latter . . .

THE RULES: (Are much simpler than the last award I received on here, hehe)

1-Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech which could be written or video recorded.

2-Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awardees! The re-post should include a NEW list of people, blogs worthy of the award, and winners notify them of the great news.

 

My Acceptance Speech:

(Keep in mind that I’m making this as realistic as I would be while ‘speeching’)

Uhmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Hi?

*clears throat*

Oh, yes. Hello!

*grumbles under breath about the uncomfortableness of being stared at*

*furrows eyebrows and looks down at the grown when she notices the copious amounts of people staring at her*

(Was I talking to myself?)

Thanks for, uh . . . stopping by my blog.

And . . .  uh . . . thanks John for thinking I deserve . . . *clears throat again* a recognition for awesomeness.

I’m gonna . . . Yeah . . . I’m just gonna go now.

(And that, people, is ME in a nutshell)

 

NEXT UP!

I’m not nominating the entire list of people I’m following. There are just too many. So I’m going to pick out a few and call it a day (award-wise).

My Good Friend B

A.J. Burch

 

Okay . . . Seriously?

I tried to find links for like . . . at least three more specific people, but it was just NOT happening.

I would get ‘Page Does Not Exist’ when I KNOW that it does.

Or links that I’m not used to associating with those specific blogs.

I’ve been trying for like half an hour (I’m not kidding). So I’m calling it altogether.

(If you stop by and want the award, by all means – take it. *begins pre-war-battle-speech-voice* LET US NOT BE STINGY WITH OUR AWARDI[eeeee]NG! *end voice* . . . If you think I’m awesome, then you’re awesome. Feel free . . .)

 

If you have this award already go to this link http://www.momentmatters.com/awards/ and download numbers 2, 3, 4 etc. You can download 10.

 

Publishing: Which Way Do You Go?

I attempted to write this entry a week or two ago.  When I say attempted, what I really mean is that I actually did write the entry in its entirety, but then decided not to hit the Publish button because I wasn’t satisfied with the feel of it.  Despite making all of the points I wanted to make, I’m extremely glad that I was unhappy with it at the time.  Now, I have a few new things to add.  And now, I intend to leave out all of the nonsense…or most of it, anyway.

Given how close the first book in my series is to absolute completion (and what I mean by that is readiness to be published, not finished with writing), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about publication.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s something I’ve thought about a lot over the past several years – even before this second series started working itself out in my head.  Of course, when you finish writing one – or even sometimes before that – it starts crossing your mind.  And those thoughts begin slowly as, “Maybe I should try to get this published.”  They soon transform into, “Yeah, I should definitely try to get this published.”  Then, once you’ve discovered a magical gem that was hidden somewhere in the depths of your being, it is finally, “This NEEDS to be published.”

When you reach the point where you’re either serious enough, or curious enough about publication, you begin doing research.  The very first thing you learn about?  Agents.  Agents are the heart of the publishing industry, pumping the blood – a story – through all of the appropriate avenues.  Agents help you get your book completely ready.  They handle the contracts you couldn’t begin to understand.  They support you.  They do everything.  They get you published.  That’s what you learn.

For a long time, I thought that was the only way.  Self-publishing was only for people who COULDN’T get published otherwise, or so I believed.  And I will go ahead and say that I’m more than aware that a lot of people who self-publish do it because they CAN’T get an agent, for whatever reason.

When you begin to dig deeper into everything – the way it all works, all of the options…everything – you realize that there are options.  There are pros and cons to both sides.  I’m not knowledgeable enough about the industry to list all of them as fact; I can only list off the big issues that are currently swirling around in my own head, where they pertain to my own work.

I will tackle the self-publishing first because, to me, it’s the easiest to tackle.

You pay for everything, right?  You pay for your cover art.  You pay for this, you pay for that.  It ends up being quite a lot of money, unless a couple thousand dollars is pocket change to you, or unless you’re extremely gifted at formatting and design (I am not gifted at either of those things).  There’s the – absolutely legitimate – concern that you won’t even make enough money back to cover the initial expense of it.  To me?  The money it would take is nowhere near pocket change.  It’s a big investment.

At the same time, in order to get people to buy your books – because how could they even know who you were? – you have to self-promote shamelessly.

Do I like the idea of that?  Uhm, yes, in a sense.  I like it that people are passionate about what they do.  Do I want to do it?  I am bashful and backwards.  You take a guess.  Am I passionate about what I do?  You have no idea how much.

Would I get over my bashfulness and backwardness to help my books?  No, but I would do what I needed to anyway.  I yam who I yam.  I don’t want to change who I am; I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t.  I like being introverted; I like sitting alone in a shed with as little human interaction as possible.  When I don’t talk, I don’t over-analyze every word that I said.  I don’t get nervous and sweat profusely.  Don’t we all like being comfortable?  Again, I would still do whatever I had to…it’s all just a matter of how happy I would be with it.

Alright…So NOW, the big question is…

Would my books ever reach their full potential if I chose to self-publish?  I don’t know very many people to be like, “HEY!  READ MY BOOKS!”

This is another one of those things that sends this horrendous sinking feeling into my stomach, worrying that something I do will be the reason my books fail.  Before, it was a concern about the crappy way that I write.  I’ve come to accept the fact that, while my blogging (and texting, and messaging) is horrible – my book writing?  Well…it’s really not SO bad.  It’s not great.  It could be better.

It could be a LOT worse.

Which gets me to the gigantic flashing neon sign in my head right now, when it comes to going the traditional route.  This was already the source of The Big Question Mark (and has been for the past few weeks when the realization actually struck me [and yes, it gets its own name]), but I can thank one of my friends for unintentionally solidifying it for me.

Editing.

I woke up and laid there on that day a week or two ago, resisting the urge to groan about being awake – as I do every morning (or afternoon, depending on the day) – and had one of those eye-twitch-inducing revelations that woke me right up.

What if I get an agent, then they send my book off to an editor that changes things without asking me?  What if they ruin everything?

That was the, “Oh fdhc,” moment that day.  The solidification changed the way I thought about it.

There were no expletives running around in my head, which is a feat in and of itself, as there are almost constantly expletives floating around in my head (even when I’m in a good mood).  There were no simpleminded, one-sided thoughts.

Not everyone is going to like my books (I’d realized that a LONG time ago), and that’s fine.  More importantly…not everyone is going to appreciate them, understand what I was going for, the feel I want them to have, etc.

A good, solid editing is important.  I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to get a ‘professional’ editor to do it.  What makes them professional anyway?  As long as you have someone who understands the written word – the way words are used, the way sentences flow, so on and so forth – what does it matter?  You can’t do that yourself.  You can do a damn good job editing your own work, but you still need other people to help in some way.  They see things that you won’t.  They’ll catch your too instead of who.  They’ll find the places where you thought you were being descriptive as all get-out (you can see it in your head…never mind the fact that you left those little details out), and really weren’t.  Editing is important.  It’s key to releasing a good book.

But.

There comes a point in time when you’re editing yourself where, if you touch it one more time, you’ll be doing more harm than good.

There also comes a point in time where anyone else touching it will absolutely destroy what you’ve done.  You have to know when that point is.

I’ll compare it to a beautiful, antique cabinet.  There is a difference between refinishing and slopping a bunch of paint over something.  There is a BIG difference between those two things.

This is where I’m torn, you see.

I want my character’s story to be told as well as it possibly can be.  Don’t we all want that for the characters that we nurture (sometimes torture), and love?

You have to know where that line is located.  You have to respect that line.  You have to respect yourself.

You have to know what you want out of the thing that you love so dearly and completely.

The most important thing is that I have to stay true to myself, and to my writing.  I want the story told as well as it can be told, but – above that – the story has to be the one that I wrote.

I can’t – and will not – change the way that I write, or the focus of my stories to satisfy anyone.  What in the world would be the point of doing this if I was that quick to say, “Of course you’re right,” without giving it a second thought and asking THE most important question you can ask yourself when another person has looked at your work.  Are they right?

More often than not, yes.  Yes they are.

To me, there is such a difference between adding a word, taking out a useless sentence, or moving things around and then completely twisting and distorting who I am as a writer.

I can sit there and drive myself insane all day long, worrying that I will be the cause of my book’s failure.

But the fact of the matter is…I would rather be the cause of that by staying true to myself as a person, and as a writer, than throwing every bit of myself out of the window because someone else suggested it.  I can’t do it.  I won’t do it.  If it’s a sinking ship, I will ride that baby down to the bottom of the ocean.  Do you want to know why?  Because someone out there will get what I was trying to do.  Someone out there will appreciate the characters that I love.  Someone out there will GET IT.  I would rather them get me than get some painted up, antique cabinet.

And that, my friends, is why I don’t know if I want to publish traditionally.  Could I?  Yes.  I believe wholeheartedly that I could.

WILL I?

I’m not sure.  But I can tell you right now that, if that happens…I will not let anyone destroy the integrity of my work.  Not to make it more marketable.  Not to make it easier to stomach.  Not to make it easier to understand.  Not for ANY reason in the entire world.

That’s just the way it is.

And now I’m hearing Bruce Hornsby in my head.

Could be worse.