For almost thirty years, I have wanted to write stories. The desire started after reading the tenth, or maybe thirtieth, romance book. I procrastinated using life as an excuse - children, husband, jobs, the publishing industry.
Then I joined a writers group this year. I joined after speaking to them about Armchair ePublishing and how we help writers get their stories ready for self-publishing. I couldn't resist them. They beckoned me into their world and in I went. Attending the meetings, hanging out with them, reading their stories, all started to rub off and pushed the need to write back up to the surface. No longer buried, it screamed at me to try. Another factor pushing me to start - the ability to self-publish. The fear of rejection, of having to wait for years to find out if you would be published or not, was no longer a deterrent, nor an excuse.
I took a writing class from a local published author, Kathleen Kaska. In class, she had us do a writing exercise. The exercise - write a quirky character's name and something about that character. At first I was stumped. I just sat there like a dead log. Then a name popped into my head and off the pen went. I could no longer control it, words flowed from the ink to the paper. Before I knew it, a character was born. She had friends, family, a boyfriend and a career. What? Where did she come from? I was stunned by the whole experience. Kathleen encouraged me to continue writing about her. I started to, but writer's block hit. Where to go? What to do? HUH?
That's when we started our writing critique group. The encouragement, feedback and constant push forced me to stop procrastinating. Kathleen, our group leader, a retired teacher, has the knack and the skills, to keep us marching forward. The experience - a return to grade school. Memories I thought long faded, surfaced. When we started I dreaded the RED PENCIL. I would laugh when I would see pages filled with RED markings. What I found though, the red marks were actually one of the best parts of the experience. An 'educational' experience, teaching me to do better as the story progressed.
As my writing improved, as well as the story, I started to receive stars next to lines on the paper, then the word 'good' and 'excellent' started showing up on pages, the appearance of the dreaded RED PENCIL less frequent now. And just like in grade school, whenever the teacher gave you a gold star or wrote "GOOD" on your paper, the sense of pride bubbled up and made me want to achieve even more.
To Kathleen Kaska, and Denise Morrow - Thank you! Wishing you gold stars and "GOOD" always.
So, join a writing critique group, they are worth their weight in GOLD stars...
PS - I am still 'working' on my writing. It will always be a Work In Progress. Disclaimer: If you find any errors in this post (and you most likely will), they are all my own. The writing critique group had no say, or red pencil, in regards to this post. :-)
You can't do it all, so why try. A writer's job is to - WRITE! And to market their writing. So, why try to do it all? Why try to learn to be an editor? Why try to learn how to format for all of the different types of self-publishing venues? Why design your own cover?
That's the problem, especially with new writers, they think they can just figure it out and do it themselves, even if it is just good enough. Traditional publishers use to do all of this for authors - they did the editing, the formatting, the cover, but now it's up to the Indie Authors to do it all, but where and how to start?
For some, the different stages of a book may come easy, for others they struggle and it takes time away from what they need to do - WRITE! Then there are the handful that think - THIS IS GOOD ENOUGH! Instead of writing, authors now spend hours, or days, doing everything the publisher use to do. But at what cost? Time? Money? Poor Quality?
Small businesses learned this lesson a long time ago - DELEGATE! There is a reason small business owners do not do everything. When you try to do it all the business suffers. The products, or the service, becomes sub-standard, the business owner suffers from major burn-out and the customers leave that business with a sour taste in their mouth. But when they DELEGATE, hire others to do what they don't know how to do, or don't have the time to do, the business grows and expands. The owner spends time doing what they love to do and what they were meant to do. Everyone is happy!
Bottom Line - DON'T DO IT ALL. Hire the professionals to do it. What you will have is a finished product/book that you can be proud of. A book that will be enjoyed by your readers. Other small businesses will thrive because you hired them to do what they do best. This will leave you more time to WRITE and to market. This is where your true success will come from.
The Author in all of us
There is a story inside. One that needs out and to be read by others. It's there and now it's time for it to flow from author to the reader. Join us as we celebrate Indie authors.