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Monday, July 2, 2012

Writing is a Many Splendored Thing

First off let me apologize for paraphrasing the Title of the 1955 American drama romantic film that starred William Holden and Jennifer Jones, “A love is a many splendored thing.”
But as Writing is a many splendored thing and is completely different for everybody who does it I felt this was an appropriate title for today’s post.
I read an inspiring post on Linked-In today about a newly published author who finally has managed to get his book published after eleven years.  I found it incredibly inspiring that somebody could work on getting their book published for eleven straight years.  There are all kinds of words to describe that kind determination.  I can’t honestly say I would ever be published if it wasn’t for self-publishing.  I remember back two years ago when I was just starting out and I remember all the questions I had.
Would I enjoy writing books?
Would I be any good at it?
Will anybody be interested in reading what I want to write?
What’s the best way to go about getting published?
I researched too much about authors and too many of them said if you want to get rich this is not the way to do it.  Making money with my writing was never one of my primary goals or reasons for writing.  Now that I have answered many of these questions for myself and know the answers that I am comfortable with, I will write even if I never sell a single book.  I do want to sell books so maybe someday I can stay at home in my own house and write for a living.  That may happen when I naturally retire while living on a pension, success comes in many forms.  I know I will reach my goal in time the only real question is how close to my current life style will I be able to keep in doing so.
I don’t know that I could have persevered for eleven years without getting some of my questions answered beforehand.  Thankfully with self-publishing I was able to get my work out into the world rather quickly with no cost to myself other than my own time.  I did take the foresight to make sure my books were edited before sending them out into the world.  Granted the editing was free and as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.  I realized and am still learning my lesson as I have been working this last week making corrections to my second novel, “No Rules Of Engagement.”  Hopefully a third times a charm in regards to editing.
As those who follow my posts know English is not my forte, so I will only be as good in that department as my editor makes me look.  I Love my new editor as she isn’t an author, no competition in that regard, but she knows a good story when she reads one and is brutally honest which is the way a great editor should be.  Those of you looking for an Editor try
As the title of the post states there are many aspects to writing, enough that too many books have already been written and you could spend your life reading about how to write.  After years of reading all those books you may still not have the knack!  I believe in learning as you go.  Like swimming, and riding a bike, just jump right in and give it hell.  You will sink or swim or crash and scrape yourself up or glide away riding a bike.  Either way you will learn very quickly if you like it, if you enjoy it and most importantly if you are any good at it.
If you’re not good any good at – take heart writing can be learned.  Being a good writer can be learned also.  I have noticed that not everybody who reads also writes books, but all readers can tell a good story from a bad story.  Sometimes it isn’t the story at all, but more of how it is told.  We learn by reading great books as this should stimulate the growth of information, your imagination, and how to tell a tale in the proper manner.  All great authors are all awesome readers that I am convinced of.
I have heard a lot of people complaining about how so many people are throwing their hats into the ring with self-publishing and muddy up the waters with crap books, un-edited or poorly written work, blah, blah, blah.  CRAP!  Not everybody who is publishing will still be doing so in five years, it’s really hard work, you have to love it to be a writer.  I am convinced those who love writing bleed ink when they cut themselves.  Yes there is some work that needs help and a lot of new budding authors.  Those who learn, keep at it, hone their skills will someday be writers.  Who are we to rain on their parade, stomp on their dreams?  Somewhere in this muddy mess are some true diamonds in the rough that will be house hold names in ten years.
I was inspired by the guys post and eleven years of determination.  If you’re a budding author, aspiring writer, writing your first book, I implore you to finish it and self-publish it.  Don’t get mired down in the debates, the query letters, and the quick sand of traditional publishing, suffering and punishing yourself for eleven years or more.
If the day comes I want to be traditionally published I will come to a publisher as an established author, with a following of loyal readers who like my writing and stories.  Done deal on my terms!  I am happy where I am at now!  I am shooting for the 1 million words published mark, finding my style, polishing my skills, learning the tricks of the trade, and listening to readers.
I published two books in 2011 and am on track to publish the sequels to both books this year.  Next year another book in one of the series and something new.  I have never and will never write a query letter, grovel to an agent, or treat a publisher like they are a God.  Those days are done and dying more every day.
The Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day is coming up, so everybody be careful out there because it is just that much harder to type missing fingers.


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