Monday, July 15, 2013

On Procrastination

I really thought I would finish my novel June 26.  Then I thought it would be done by the 30th.  Then I really hoped it would be done by last Saturday, before I left for my mission trip.  And it wasn't.
Part of that was that I didn't feel like writing.  Part of that was because reading and playing games and cooking seemed more fun.  But a much bigger part was because I didn't want to finish my book.

Don't get me wrong here.  I really wanted to write the words "The End."  I wanted to shove the novel in some corner of my hard drive and never think about it again.  I wanted to start edits and work on the critique I've been putting off.

But here's the thing.  I think this might be the best book I've ever written.  I really like the characters and I think this is the strongest character arc I've ever written.  And I'm scared.  I'm scared that this isn't the sort of success I can repeat.  What if I never write a character that's in character as much as these characters?  What if I can't even make it through another novel?  What if three novels are all I can crank out?

All of this fear paralyzed me.  For eight days, I couldn't write more then 900 words.  Because each word was a step closer to finishing the novel.  And that would mean I was done.  So it wasn't the work I was procrastinating on, per se.  I was writing words; adding scenes; and injuring characters.  It was the end of the novel I was putting off.

So after saying all that, guess what?  On Saturday, I finished my novel.  It's done.  Complete at 46,660 words.  And I'm still scared.  I'm scared to go back and read it.  It might not be as good as I currently think it is.  I'm scared to start the next problem because what if it stinks?

But I guess I won't ever know either way.  Unless I keep on trying.

What about you? Have you ever put off the end of the novel you're writing or reading because you just don't want it to be over?  Why didn't you want it to end?

Have a great week!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Shameless Filler

I interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for two brief announcements.

One)  This is not a real blog post, even though I've been so good about posting every Monday for the last few weeks.  I'm sorry.  I cannot post because I didn't write a post ahead of time due to Fourth of July, and family time, and Despicable Me 2.  And Saturday the 6th through Thursday the 11th I'm on a mission trip with my wonderful youth group.  Wish me luck.

Two)  I still have not finished 'Novel Number 3' due to the reason mentioned above and also procrastination (which will be the subject of my next post.)  Until then, see you guys!  Hope you had a great 4th of July.  Now go have a great week!  I'll also leave you with a meme I happen to find funny.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Thoughts on Self- Publishing, A Metaphor (or Possibly a Simile)

I don't go around proclaiming to the world that I want to be a published author.  But sometimes my family does.  Or sometimes someone sees the non-fiction book on writing I have with me.  And then I get bombarded with questions.

For the most part, I really don't mind these questions.  "What's you story about?"  "How long is it?"  "How long did you spend working on it?"  "Is it done?" ect.

I don't even mind the, "Are you published, yet?" and "Do you want to get published?" and "Have you submitted it for publication yet?"  These questions can bug me a little bit sometimes.  Maybe I'm not ready to be published.  Maybe right now, I'm really focusing on building my voice or finding my niche.  Maybe I still don't feel like my novel is a good as it could be.  For me, personally, all of these things are true right now.

But what I really don't care for are the people who automatically think they know what's best for my writing career.  These are the people who say, "You know, I have a friend who self-published!  I can let you talk to them!" (nevermind that their friend published adult romance or non-fiction and I'm trying to publish YA high fantasy) and "Did you know you make up to 70% for every self-published book you sell?  I've heard you get $1 or less per copy if you go with a real publisher."  and "With e-books these days, you wouldn't even need to publish in paperback.  You could do it all electronically these days."  (even though, once again, your target audience of 12-16 year old don't have nearly the e-reader access their parents do.)

I'm flattered that without reading any of my work, you think it's ready for publication.  I'm also a little flattered that you think I have the abilities, start-up capitol, and initiative to get my book out there.

But now I have a few thoughts for you.
How much research and thought have you put into the publishing world?
Were your friends who self published looking to build a career off of their writing?  Or did they just want to make their autobiography available to friends and family?

Because honestly, you telling me what to do with my novel is kind of like me telling you what to do with your masters in Computer Science.  Yes, you could move to California and start your own business as an entrepreneur.  But wouldn't it at least make sense to apply to Google, Apple, Microsoft, and IBM first?  You could wait. See what kind of offers you get.  Then make an informed decision.

And if I told you, without looking at your resume or any of your work first, that I knew what was best for you, if I told you how entrepreneurs take a larger cut of their profits then they would if they worked for a corporation, and if I volunteered to hook you up with my friend who would talk to you about his experience with his own start-up copy company, wouldn't you be just a little bit offended?

And I find it goes the same way with publishing.  Yes, entrepreneurship might be the perfect fit for you!  But you might need the experience and structure of a corporation.  You might not be ready to strike out on your own just yet.

To everyone with an aspiring author or two in their lives,
They've likely looked in to publishing far more then you have.  They know the statistics, they know how unlikely it is that their book will be accepted by a publishing agent or house.  They have likely already made their informed decision.  If you respect that decision, the hopeful author will respect you all the more.  Better yet, if you support that decision, you might be the only reason that author doesn't quit after their 5th, 15th, or 500th rejection.

A Girl Who's Done Her Research

Please don't hear me bashing self-publishing!  I respect the people who do it.  I know a lot of people who have, including Stephanie Morrill, Caitlin Hensley, and Gabriella Reed.  I think it's great that these people have the courage to put themselves out there without the support of a publishing house.

I'm just saying the self publishing isn't for everyone.  Maybe it's because I'm young.  Maybe it's because the odds are against me, but I dare to dream anyway, but I am told to self publish a lot.  And it really bugs me.

What about you?  How do you feel about self-publishing?  Are you told what to do with your career often?
Have a great week!