Not Your Typical Case of Writer’s Block

Photo Credit: Create Meme

I wrote a post last week about writer’s block, so before you go thinking that I’m just reposting the same thing, I’m not. This is quite a bit different.

So now you’re probably wondering what the title of this post means exactly. Well, it means what it says. Most writers embarking on a great writing journey will almost certainly hit a wall in which their creative juices just don’t seem to be flowing at all. I know I’ve experienced this a number of times in the last year that I’ve written seriously. But this that I’m facing now, no, this is different.

The first draft manuscript of my second book has not been touched in weeks. I don’t have an exact date but I know it’s been much too long. The thing is, is that I think about the stupid thing every single day. I think about sitting down at my computer and writing a few thousand words and raising my middle finger to the screen and proclaiming, “YOU CAN’T STOP ME!” I think of what happened in the last chapter I actually wrote. I think of what might happen in the chapters to come. But there’s nothing there. Nothing. It’s as though I’m driving in an unknown land and somehow managed to drive myself straight into a dead end with no idea how I got there. Any person who says writing is easy should be shot, but writing should never be THIS hard.

Not that people should care about my writing, but no one I know does. I have like two people who regularly ask about how book two is coming along. My family doesn’t ask. My so-called friends don’t ask. No one asks. Which means I’m only accountable to myself. That may not be enough this time around.

You know what I need? A punch in the face. Or someone to yell at me that this is what I’ve wanted to do for so long. Or maybe just someone to sit down and talk to me about my story. Maybe another person will see something I don’t.

I’m opening Word as I type this. I refuse to let my story push me around. I’m taking it back. Right now.

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Picking Your Reading Device

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I’m sure that most of you have already read my post from last month titled Print vs. E-book: Which side are you on? I say this because this is the most popular post of mine in terms of views, Likes, and comments. But if you haven’t read it, then please do. I made it clear in that post that I still prefer to read printed books over e-books. I’m also a realist. I realize that a growing number of people prefer to read on one of the many devices available today.

How do you decide which device to read on?

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I personally own a Kindle, no not the new Paperwhite that everyone seems to be raving about, it’s one of the first models. I still like it just fine. My Kindle was given to me as a gift so I didn’t have to compare any reading devices before making my choice. If I had I probably wouldn’t have picked any device at all because I like printed books so much more, but for the sake of this post let’s say that I had to choose one. I’ve played around with the Barnes and Noble Nook plenty of times in their stores. I’ve played with Kobo devices. Everyone has used an iPad. We read on our smartphones everyday, why not read a book on there too? Then there’s the trusty ol’ computer. The reading experience definitely varies from one device to another, but the experience is mostly a good one on each device.

So I ask you, how do you decide which device is best for reading?

200 WordPress Followers!

Seriously guys, y’all are making me blush over here. I wrote back on February 20th that I’d finally reached my first 100 followers and now I’ve reached 200 already! It took months upon months of posting erratically to reach the first 100 and now it looks like I’ve found the perfect schedule to reach a greater audience than ever before. February was my best month ever in terms of page views and March is already about to surpass that number either today or tomorrow! What are you guys doing reading the stuff I write on here? Don’t you have anything better to dedicate your time to? Don’t answer that.

Thanks for reading my posts. Makes me feel like I know a little about what I’m writing. A little. Okay, I won’t post every hundred from now on, maybe I will again at 500? So go ahead and follow to get me headed in the right direction!

Y’all are the best.

PS: The ABNA announced the names of those who reached the second round today, I didn’t. BUT since the first round only judges the pitch, which is basically the length of an Amazon description, I can say that my pitch wasn’t good enough but maybe my book was? I don’t know. Let me be nice to myself.

The Stigma of Self Publishing

Photo Credit: Indies Unlimited

Are you a self published author? Or maybe an aspiring writer considering self publishing once you polish that manuscript of yours? There are a few things that you should know before taking the step to self publish your book.

Lesser

This is probably the most difficult assumption about self publishing to overcome. No matter if the person you’re talking to says it or not, a great number of people still believe that self published authors write worse than traditionally published authors. To the unknowing person, this is inherent in self publishing. You’ll likely then receive countless questions about the editing and cover art and physical makeup of the book that traditionally published authors will not. Have you ever been to a book signing or event for a popular author and had someone ask about the editing of the book? I haven’t and I’ve been to several.

The look

You’re probably wondering what the heck ‘the look’ is. It’s simple. It’s the look you get upon first revealing to someone that you’re self published. It essentially tells me the thoughts of the other person. It says, “Oh. So then you’re not good enough to go the regular route.” By no means are people trying to discourage or put you down, ‘the look’ is almost involuntary. I know plenty of great people who displayed it when I first told them that my book was self published. When you start telling someone about your newly released book, what it is the first question they ask? Who published it? I’ve probably been asked that question more than any other. It’s even asked by non-readers.

Selling

This isn’t necessarily a part of the stigma associated with self publishing, but it’s still worth mentioning. When you self publish, assuming that you didn’t make your own imprint doing so, it is quite difficult to find sales channels. If you use CreateSpace or Kindle Direct Publishing then your book becomes one of millions available from Amazon. Which is great, but let me repeat that it becomes one of millions of books available from the online giant. Just being on Amazon is not enough. But also Barnes and Noble will not carry the book in its stores if the book is self published. Their shelves are reserved for the major publishing companies that have done business with the company for decades.

Readers

There are plenty of readers out there who don’t care whether a book is self published or not because it’s all about the quality to them. BUT, there are plenty of readers out there who will never ever ever ever ever purchase a self published book. This kind of goes with my first point about people believing that self published authors’ writing is lesser than that of traditionally published authors. This means that your free book on Amazon may be overlooked by a hardcore reader simply because it’s free. This means that your $0.99 book will be overlooked just the same. The point is that it may be difficult to find readers for your book, no matter how well written it is.

Don’t let these discourage you! If self publishing feels like a good fit for you, then I say go for it.

Amazon’s List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read: 29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

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Another week, another book read from the Amazon list. When I first set out to read the books on the list I figured that I’d read one every five or six books I read overall…WRONG. I’ve found myself browsing through the list trying to decide on which book I want to read next. I have no scientific way of picking books, I really just go with whatever catches my eye. The first two were fairly easy beginner choices, though.

The Sorcerer’s Stone

The book begins with an introduction to Harry Potter. We learn about his ill-fated family. We learn about his horrible Muggle family. We get a small taste into how rough he’s had it since the murder of his parents. Then we’re introduced to all kinds of magical characters. The Weasleys. The Malfoys. Hagrid. Dumbledore. Snape. Quirrel. Hermione Granger. There are too many to name. Then we’re taken on a journey with Harry, Hermione, and Ron through their first year at Hogwarts. There are tears, triumphs, trolls, dark magic, and…Voldemort! He’s back, after all. The gang of three is ultimately up against the Dark Lord himself, though they don’t even realize it until it’s nearly too late.

My Thoughts

This was a splendid read. I found several things that were either changed in the movie or left out completely. This being my first JK Rowling novel, I quickly learned that she has a great gift for children’s fiction. I found the reading to be more than accessible for a grade school student and still rather intriguing. I haven’t read a book with chapter titles in years, and I loved that the chapters have titles in this book. I liked being able to expect when Hermione needed Ron and Harry’s help with the troll. I liked knowing when Harry would be making his first trip to Diagon Alley. I liked knowing when Harry would play his first quidditch match. The chapter titles told me a little about what to expect in the coming pages, and for a young reader who may not read leisurely very much, I think that can make reading more enjoyable.

I also loved Hermione more than I did in the movies and hated Draco more than I did in the movies. Just happened.

This book is currently ranked #21 on my list of best books.

The next book from the list that I’ll be reading is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

You’re Currently Reading Something…Tell me About it!

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I read so many blog posts about what other bloggers are currently reading, but now I want to know what YOU are reading. My reader. It can be absolutely anything as long as it’s what you read before bed each night. Even if this is your first time reading one of my posts, I’d still like to hear about that book that you can’t seem to put down at the moment. Or if you’ve read twenty of my posts. And don’t be shy. I want more than just the book’s title, tell me your thoughts or give me a brief synopsis. Who knows, you may tell me about something that I would have never otherwise come across on my own. So get to commenting!

I’ll go first. I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and will have a post with my thoughts about it tomorrow since it is on Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. My next book will be A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, which is also on the Amazon list. There, now you know what I’m currently reading, it’s your turn!

Why do You Write?

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There are so many reasons a person can decide to start writing. Do you do it because your favorite author happens to be one of the few who makes millions from their writing? Have you known since you were young that you wanted to be a writer and now you’re pursuing your dream? Did one of your college professors pull you aside and tell you that you had a real future in writing? Did you read a bad book and decide that you could do better? Or maybe you don’t see yourself as a writer at all and are simply trying something new, because how hard could it be, right? I’d say that any reason one can come up with to start writing is valid, even those oblivious individuals who think it’s so easy that anyone can do it. These are the people who make it about two paragraphs in and stop and declare, “Writing is easy, I just haven’t got the time right now.”

My response to this question is fairly simple. I write because it’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing for quite some time now. I believe I’m able to write fairly well. And I have many stories I wish to share with my readers. That’s really about it.

So I ask you, why do you write?