We don’t talk enough about how difficult writing really is. I mean, as writers, we talk a lot about how much we love writing. Characters – yay! Plot – so good! Setting – build those worlds, Queen! Tropes – all the tropes!
“I can’t wait until you can all see what I see in my head! Ahhhh!”
Hey. <snaps fingers>
Yeah. I have some tough news to deliver. You* actually need to sit down and put those pieces together into a coherent story word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter. Before others can share in the excitement, you* have to create the thing you* say you’re* so excited about creating.
I guess that means writing words. And that probably means blogging about how writing is difficult doesn’t contribute to the story I’m currently slogging through.
(And reading about someone else’s difficulty writing doesn’t contribute to the story you’re supposed to be writing either. So why are you still here? Go write.)
Welcome to December! I should be working on my WIP right now instead of tallying up numbers from this year, but what is a writer if not a procrastinator, right? So I bring you my 2019 writing stats. People often ask me how long it takes to get a book written and what a writer does (besides the actual writing part), so here’s a little peek into what 2019 looked like for me.
Books published: 1
eBooks published: 1
Audiobooks produced: 1
Signing events attended: 5
Independent Book Award Entries: 4
Independent Book Award Finalist: 1
Independent Book Award Losses: 1
Independent Book Award Unknown Outcome: 2
Manuscript words written: >90,000
Manuscripts finished: 1
Manscripts queried: 3
Query rejections: 40
Requests for partial: 1
Requests for full: 2
Total accumulative completed manuscripts (2011-2019): 5
Online pitch contests entered: 2 (if you count tomorrow’s #PitMad on Twitter)
Blog posts written: 26
Number of new SCBWI critique group members discovered: 3
Writing friends made: too numerous to count
Happy Holidays, friends! I wish you a happy, healthy, and successful 2020!
***This post brought to you by: Anything to Procrastinate Opening my WIP***
With a book set to release in just over a week, I’ve fielded a lot of questions from friends and family, mostly along the lines of “How can we help?” or “What can we do?”
These are fantastic questions to ask any first-time author who’s seeking to build a longterm career in writing. The answers, however, are not nearly so straightforward.
So here’s a quick down and dirty list of things you can do to help an author at any stage of the game.
(The Obvious) BUY THEIR BOOK(S).
Buy a second copy of their book(s) to gift to a friend.
Buy a copy to donate to a school library.
Review their book(s) on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, BookDepository – anywhere you can think of. Reviews get books seen. Books that are seen are books that are purchased. And you don’t even have to do more than give it a few stars and say “I liked this one.” (I mean, more is better, of course, but “I liked this one.” is 100% legitimate!)
Ask your local indie bookstore to carry their book(s). Amazon sales are good, but indie bookstores need our support now more than ever!
Request the book from your library. Libraries rely on their patrons to request books for purchase. Ask your local library if they’ll buy a copy of your favorite author’s book(s).
Come to local signings or meet & greets.
Share your excitement on social media. Does this mean you have to retweet or share every post by your author friends? No. But getting in on the excitement of a new book gets others excited, too!
Add their book to your Goodreads list.
I really wanted to make this list a nice even 10, but I can’t think of a 10th item, so how about text or email or call your author friends and tell them how excited you are in order to keep them from jumping out of their skin with nerves?
Every one of these actions can help launch an author’s career, and at the very least, you’ll put a smile on an author’s face. So on behalf of authors everywhere, thank you to everyone who tackles any of the items on this list!
You can purchase A Thousand Years to Wait now. For a list of retailers, click HERE.
If a writer logs on,
she’ll want to check her email before she starts working.
When she checks her email,
she’ll see she someone tagged her on Facebook.
She’ll log into Facebook,
and see she has three messages.
When she checks her messages,
she’ll notice one of them is from a writer friend.
When she connects with her writer friend,
she’ll click on the friend’s link to an agent tweet.
When she clicks on the link,
she’ll have to log into Twitter.
When she logs into Twitter,
she’ll see five notifications.
When she opens her notifications,
she’ll want to reply to all of them.
When she’s finished replying to them,
she’ll have gotten six more notifications.
The notifications will remind her that it’s the day of a pitch contest.
So she’ll work furiously on 140 character pitches.
She’ll fake tweet them 12 times to check her character length,
and then she’ll remember that she needs to leave space for the hashtag.
She’ll rewrite the pitches another 18 times.
When she finally has them right,
she’ll set her phone alarm to remind her to tweet periodically throughout the day.
But her phone will remind her that she needed to return her mother’s call,
so she’ll call her mom to chat.
When she’s done talking to her mom,
the first alarm on her phone is buzzing.
She’ll log into Twitter to tweet her first pitch.
Since she’ll have an hour before her next pitch,
she figures she’ll do some writing.
So she’ll open her current WIP.
She’ll read three paragraphs and begin to wonder why she ever wrote them.
Wondering why she wrote them will lead to self-doubt.
Self-doubt will lead her to log into Facebook to talk to her writer friend.
Her writer friend will convince her that her writing is not garbage,
but only after a lengthy chat.
About the time the chat winds down,
the phone alarm buzzes to remind her to tweet her second pitch.
She’ll log into Twitter and discover her first pitch hasn’t been favorited.
Feeling defeated already, she’ll tweet her second pitch.
Then she’ll close her laptop because she just can’t stomach defeat.
An hour later, she’ll regain her determination and decide to write,
so she’ll open her laptop to write.
And chances are, if she opens her laptop,
she’ll want to log on.