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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New and Different Paths

In 2010 I made the decision to challenge myself and try to start and finish writing a novel.  I primarily did it just to see if I could do it, and the book “Whisper” is the result of my efforts which I published in January 2011.

Prior to writing a novel I had spent the last seventeen on the same path, with the same job, with the same company.  I have heard about prisoners developing a fear of being able to exist outside the walls of their prison because they had gotten so comfortable with what they know.  I have felt pangs of that fear recently as my life has taken what I would call drastic changes.

On Google Plus, Jillian Michaels, posted a picture that said "Every Accomplishment starts with the Decision to TRY."  I saw it tonight as I applied for a possible new position with a company that will take my life in a completely new direction.  A new path, a new direction, new challenges, and a chance to grow, stretch myself, and expand my horizons to new vistas.

I have skills and talents, a plethora of them, that I have honed over the last 46 years through many challenging things I have tackled in my life.  To make such a change in my life, to not play it safe, but put myself out there fully into unknown realms is a little daunting to say the least.  I realized something today while going through this process of meeting with a company representative, and then formally applying for the position, and that it is something I want to do!  I feel excited and energized more than I am afraid of the unknown quantities involved with it.

One of the pins I have on Pinterest under the board entitled Quotes is the following.
“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”  Bill Cosby.

So now I begin the formal process of trying to get a chance at this new job, this new challenge, this new direction.  Wish me luck!

I am still working with my editor to edit and prepare the sequels to both my books.  As soon as they become available I will be doing some promotions, and a lot of that shameless self promotion that us authors have to do from time to time to get the word out about our new releases.  If we don’t, nobody else will.  We have to get you, our followers to read our books so you can do the real magic which is telling the rest of the world about this great book you read.  So stay tuned.

FYI – I am almost finished with book five, a start to a new series.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Write Down Your Ideas

Before I started writing full time I read everything I could about writing, especially the stuff that was written by my favorite authors.

I remember reading that Piers Anthony wrote that he lost more story ideas than he ever wrote because he didn't write them down at the time he had them.

I can’t count the number of wonderful ideas I have had in the morning taking a shower and how they vanished like the fog on the mirror by the time I was dressed and had reached work.

I have had numerous discussions with individuals about the need for a way to take notes while taking a shower.  One of the last people I had that discussion sent me a picture and link to get a water proof computer.

I have lost several ideas over the last three years because I didn't write them down when they were tearing across my brain as my muse whispered to me.  I like to write down the good and bad ideas, because later on you never know what not so great idea might meld or congeal with several other ideas into something phenomenal.

I have taken to traveling with a pen and small notebook everywhere so when I see, hear, or experience something that sparks an ideas for a character, a scene, or a completely new novel, I can write it down immediately.  I still am losing ideas in the shower because I can’t afford the water proof computer and with two small boys in the house my wife will never let us put a computer in the shower.
Have a Great Day and Keep Writing.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Writer Versus Singer

90 Seconds versus the first Chapter!
As I was watching the television show ‘The Voice’ it reminded me of hearing Johnny Cash recall how during an audition where the music producer told him to sing something, anything, in 90 seconds to convince him that he had what it took to be signed by him.
On the show, ‘The Voice,’ the contestants have 90 seconds to sing in order to get one of the four judges to turn their chair around.  How many times throughout music history has an artists career been decided in 90 seconds or less?
As a reader for years before I became a writer, I know that avid readers are a bit more tolerant and patient than 90 seconds before deciding to not read something new.  Trust me, the pressure is just as great to capture and hold the readers attention, as ever before in history.  There is so much to read, that a reader couldn't possibly read everything thing they want to in a single life time.  Recently, with the advent of self publishing, there is a exponential increase in the amount of written material to be read that hasn't been seen since the invention of the printing press.

Writers have to compete with music, video games, texting, social networking of many various forms which all compete daily for peoples attention, time and money.  Thankfully there is also a rise in the amount of stuff being read and bought by readers.  With all the things competing against books and the tremendous influx of free and cheap books that are available on line and even traditionally published books at the book stores, it is amazing that the market is growing!  I had to stand in line at the book store the other day for quite some time just to purchase a book.
Many readers are getting more particular about what they do spend their money on and more importantly what they spend their time to read!  I don’t believe any of them are so strict or harsh that they decide on a book in the first 90 seconds.

When people are looking for a new read, surfing the web, browsing book shelves they may pass by many possible selections in less than 90 seconds.  In this case you have literally 4 to 6 seconds on-line to grab a readers attention, to get them to pause enough to see what the book may be about, but that’s a topic for another entirely different blog post.

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