Friday, November 20, 2015

Quit Banging Your Head Against The Desk - It Will Be All Right

Since I began this major rewrite on my next book Lore, I've realized just how badly I'm struggling with it. It's hard to completely change scenes, delete large chunks, and add new chapters. Forcing myself to revise and amp up the action is much more difficult than I thought it would be, but it must be done.

It does cause some anxiety in me, and leaves me feeling like I'm not that great of writer - which is a normal reaction, but one I have to fight with every fiber in my being. There's nothing worse than having to cope when your low self-esteem kicks in.

I have to remind myself how much better the story will be and that I've had to do this in the past and it turned out to be for the better.

Those of you who are going through the same thing out there, don't panic. Although it's a painful time in your writing, it can end up being the most enlightening time. You and I will get through it and your readers will appreciate it in the long run.

I want to share a few thoughts and hopefully they will help both you and I get past the issues brought up inside us as story-tellers.

1. You are your worst critic: I'm sure you've heard that before and at times believe it, but something inside you tells you your just a horrible writer - not true. Whatever it is you like to write about it's from the heart. The dedication, love and time you've put into your book should tell you you are a writer. Those who just write a rough-draft and simply publish it without a care in the world are the ones who shouldn't be writing. In other words, if you didn't care then you shouldn't pursue life as a writer. 

Sure there will be work to better your craft, that's a given, but that doesn't mean you suck and your writing does too. It only means there's always a learning curve and you should listen to those you feel are great creative writers and their suggestions. I'm sure you've had a favorite author and have noticed with each book published their writing gets better. Well, it will be the same with you, so don't be so hard on yourself. Nobody's perfect.

2. You can't please them all: After publishing Fable I was so excited to see all the 4 and 5 star reviews I received on Amazon and Goodreads. It pumped up my pride and gratitude that the book was doing so well. Then I saw, for the first time, a 3 star, and then the dreaded 2 star. I was devastated. I really had to fight a battle within myself after that. What made it worse is the person who left me the 2 star didn't say why. My mind went into overdrive trying to figure out what went wrong.

But then I realized my story won't be for everyone. And you know what, that's okay. It can be very humbling and not to mention, scary, but I learned I can't please every reader out there. Not all will get my style of writing. Most YA or NA books move much faster and are much more violent than mine. For me, the mystery of Stevie discovering everything made the story - and obviously it did for a lot of readers too.

3. Writers face a lot of pressure in today's market: There are probably 5 million writers out there with published books - lots of competition. It can make you want to roll up into a ball and hide somewhere far, far away, and yet, we keep on writing. The key is getting yourself known and getting to know your readers. 

I've tried several different approaches with marketing, some of which have worked, and some I've decided to forgo. First, I tried giveaway's. No one seemed to sign up, even when it was a free Kindle Fire. But a few did and I managed to build a few more fans. From now on I know it doesn't really work. There has been some other things I tried - some expensive - but the only thing I've found that really works is interaction with your readers. I still have my blog, and have been on here for 4 years. True, my following is small, but it is a great way for me to write out my feelings and discover new skills. 

Whatever works for you is where you need to put forth your energy. The one other thing I feel has helped are sites like bittenbybooks who help to get your name and book out there. I believe those really are worth the time and money. Another good way is to be a guest on a popular author's blog, hopefully within your genre.

So whatever it is that keeps you pounding your head against the desk, remember becoming a known author takes time - even with traditional publishing. Becoming a discovered author is about the same as becoming a famous actor. Most have put in 20 years before they became famous. 

So just keep pluggin along and don't let the naysayers get under your skin - even if that naysayer is you. You work hard to mold your story into a published work and there will be plenty who will read it and enjoy it!

Until next week, have a wonderful weekend! If you get a moment please leave me a comment. I love to hear from you.

Love, Lisa

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