That title is a bit misleading. Every writer is a struggling writer. If you’re not struggling then you’re not writing!
Below are a series of tips in no particular order. Some may not apply to you at all, but some might. They’ve helped me!
- Write a little every day (even a hundred words is a hundred words in the right direction!)
- Never force the words (If the words aren’t coming perhaps you should do some…)
- Research, research, research (We all have google – it’s easy)
- Set BIG goals (This year I want my novel written!)
- Set little goals (This week I want 2000 words written)
- Don’t be scared to delete (Just because we’re sitting on our asses doesn’t mean our writing should be bloated)
- Try writing short stories (I put this off for too long!)
- Read your genre(s) (Duh)
- Learn from what you read (Others make mistakes so you don’t have to)
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes (Fear stops people from achieving their dreams)
- Treat writing like a job (You HAVE to read up on dragon lore before the end of the week or your boss will be on your ass [you’re the boss])
- Enjoy your job! (Oh boy, dragon lore!)
- You don’t have to pick a side when it comes to self publishing and traditional publishing (You can do both – just not with the same manuscript)
- Be brave (Don’t be ashamed of what you’re writing! Embrace it!)
- Write from the heart, edit from the brain (Some things need passion, other things need logic)
- Don’t overuse words (Yet again I used yet one too many time… yetyetyet)
- The ‘Find’ tool in word is your friend
- The ‘Replace’ tool can easily become your enemy
- Be Patient (Good things take time. Take a deep breath.)
- Don’t be bitter (Don’t hate others for their success)
- Give a story time to breath (Put it aside for a month, reread it)
- Every correction you make is a lesson (Learn that lesson!)
- Back-up everything you write (email, hardrives etc)
I often see fellow writers on twitter post about not being able to write, and I’m guilty of the same posts.
This got me to thinking – how hard do you all find it? I always feel like I don’t have enough time, like whatever I do there’s always more to write. I tend to have a few projects going on at once and chip away at them. Nearly every free moment is spent working on them – research, planning, editing etc.
There’s so much more I know I could be doing, but there’s only so many hours in the day. Like many writers I dream of a day my writing will support me financially. Would I be more productive with every day spent writing? Or would all that free time be detrimental?
Perhaps I’ll look back at this period of working two jobs and writing and think ‘Damn I was motivated,’ or alternatively: ‘How did I ever manage to get any of it done?’
I think I DO find writing easy, because I enjoy it. I love editing paragraphs down, making them slicker, I revel in finding my own mistakes and restructuring scenes so that they flow better. I love starting a new short story, I love deleting pages of unnecessary text.
I just wish I had more time!
Most of my characters didn’t DO romance. Which is weird because I’m all about love. Between partners, family members friends. Love is very important to me. Yet in writing I struggle with it. I realized a few days ago why I avoided it – I was afraid of it! Or rather, I was afraid of doing it wrong.
After spit-balling some ideas around with a friend I decided to take the plunge with writing romance. Hold up, Seb, you just said you struggle with it – why dive into romance? Well, random voice inside my head – when you struggle with things it usually means you’re having to learn something NEW. Learning is cool.
Learning IS cool, right?
Here’s the beautiful bit, though: by pushing myself into one project outside my comfort zone I’ve been able to re-evaluate character relationships in another, far more developed story. I’ve been able to let my guard down and really get into the nitty gritty details of their imperfect, unlucky, but ultimately beautiful love.
I’m not sure if there’s a moral here.
That’ll do for now. Anyway, I’m really happy that I have this whole new window open to me. I’m not afraid of it any more. THAT’S IT!
Don’t fear the unknown, embrace it.
Death Echo: Vol 1 is out there and accruing some lovely reviews. But as ever with creative exploits one must drive forwards and not dawdle.
Death Echo: Vol 2 is most definitely underway and if things go well it might even come out before this year is done (no promises!). I have a huge amount of ideas as to where to take the series and the feedback has been massively helpful.
But enough about that! For the time being it’s back to novels for me! I’d like to introduce my next big project:
A Kingdom Obscurer Novel
I wrote Proper Magic last year and it came to around 65,000 words. By the end of it I was happy with the characters, the world, and most of the events, but I found the story itself lacking. I felt like I hadn’t done them justice. An important part of writing is knowing when to delete and rewrite your work. This was one of those occasions.
So I set myself a task – now knowing the characters and the world I had to do it all over again, but with better pacing, action, development and world building. I just reached 15,000 words and it feels amazing. I feel like this could be the one, not to jinx it or anything…
Proper Magic is a sword and sorcery/heroic fantasy with a comical, quite often subversive edge. So expect related blog post to be coming from me about the process. I’ll be going into more depth about the characters as things develop with this second run.
That’s all from me for now. Oh, and Happy Easter for Sunday!
It has been a week since Death Echo: Vol. 1 launched. As many of you know this was my first real launch of a title. It has done really well, with over 100 downloads/paperback sales in the first four days! Considering I don’t have much reach this really surprised me, especially the paperbacks!
I’ve not really checked back after that, because I don’t want it to turn into a numbers game (that way madness lies!).
All in all it’s been a really good first experience, and the few bad things I heard about Amazon KDP and the new physical print option have been thoroughly dispelled – it all ran smoothly. Formatting was a bit of a struggle but I think that was mainly down to my own mistakes (Thanks to Nicole and Bryony for helping me to fix it!).
So where next? Well, I have a novel to keep working on, and then there’s Death Echo: Vol. 2 ;D
Plenty to be getting on with!
I’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to all the people who downloaded and bought the book.
Seriously, your support means everything to me! The reviews have started filtering back on Amazon and Goodreads and they’ve all been very complimentary.
I’d also like to say a massive thank you to my illustrator, Jade. Her work really brought the whole project together and the cover alone has had so many compliments! I look forward to working with her again in the rest of the Death Echo saga!
TD:LR – The launch was a success, I’m hugely motivated to keep going and to improve my writing. You’re all amazing!
The countdown is over! Death Echo: Vol. 1 is now available!
The Goodreads page for Death Echo is below:
The eBook is free till Thursday 30th of March. If you buy the paperback you can get the eBook for free forever, even after the first 5 days.
It’s been a super hectic week for me with a lot of people pitching in to help (I’m not all that technically minded and some of the Amazon upload guides fried my brain!).
If you manage to pick up the book then a review would be greatly appreciated on Amazon and Goodreads.
Even a moderate review can help a book get noticed!
If you know anyone who might like the book please tell them about it 🙂
Stories for Death Echo: Vol.2 are already being written, so watch this space!
This is the countdown for the release of Death Echo: Vol 1. If you’d like to know more why not add yourself to the Facebook event page by following this link:
If you’ve missed the other reasons check out my full blog.
Reason Number Six: It’s Free!
Yup, you heard me. I’ve been blown away by how much support everyone has given me with this project that I want it to reach as many people as possible. This means making it free. There are two ways to get it free.
The eBook will be free for the first five days. That means everyone will be able to download a copy for free – illustrations n’all! On the other hand, if you’d prefer a hard-copy then there will have to be a payment – £3.99, but if you buy the hard-copy you should then be able to download the eBook for free (even after the first five days).
Now, I’ve been wrestling with the systems in Amazon for a few days now and I think everything is headed in the right direction. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!