One of the things I learned at the greatest events this year—the Writer’s Digest Conference—was to immerse myself more in the community. You. The readers. The writers. This is not something I’m good at, as I like to sit down, write a tad, close up shop and join Batman on the couch to end the day in someone else’s creativity. The Big Bang is always a favorite of mine. I’ve recently started watching Kevin from Work and—if I’m to be honest—binge watching The Walking Dead to get ready for tomorrows premier of Fear the Walking Dead.
*giggles in excitement*
Anyway, out of all the amazing things I took away from the conference, the biggest was to join the community more. To be more of a… presence online. Like, you know, posting more than once a month. And actually communicating with other writers, which I thought I was doing, but apparently I’m not. SO I’m trying to get out of this introverted cage I’ve lived in and actually –gasp!—talk to other people. I’m glad to say I’ve done my first beta-read. Yup. That’s right. Only one. I’ve been writing all this time and have only recently completed a first full-length beta read by a very talented writer who in my opinion, is ready for bookshelves. For all you non-writers, beta-reading is exactly what it sounds like—a sort of test or ‘pre-read’ for books so readers can identify plot holes, weak character development, anything that might need a fix before the book goes out to a wider audience. Have I had my books beta-read this whole time? Of course not. That would require me to do things in the logical, correct format and that never seems to be my strong suit. (Breaking a window to get into the house before using a neighbor’s phone? You get the point.)
But I’m trying. Making the effort. Really jumping outside this circle of safety that has kept me secure, but bored these last 29 years. I’ve also asked people to beta-read my work—double gasp. Because, then people would, like, actually read it and stuff. But I’m doing it! Drink in hand, by God I’m doing it! So hurray for little achievements and big achievements and achievements of all sizes and colors and shapes and smells and all that good stuff.
Lastly—and I think this is the most exciting part—I’m excited about the whole writing thing in general and where I’ve decided to take it. Which is everywhere. For those of you who know about the three books in my planned five-book series, Arizal Wars, (and have possibly read them) you’ll notice the hiatus I’ve taken as I said I’d have the fourth one out this year. It may still happen… may not. All depends if the money fairy makes a visit. And that bitch has been on a long holiday. But (and please be advised, I am still working on it) I’m also experimenting a little more. Trying my hand at horror and YA and paranormal and pretty much everything I can think of. Even fanfic. And believe me, no one thought this was more out of the realm of possibility than I did. Because, why write scenes from other people’s stories when you can write your own? But it’s apparently a big thing now and since I’m in the mindset of ‘and why shouldn’t I?’ I’m giving it a go. It’s Peter Pan fanfic and I’m putting it on wattpad like my other stuff. If it gets no bites, so be it. I think this is more for me than for you, but if you like it and want to read it, go for it. I won’t stop you 🙂
So, with all that said in this long-ass blog, any writers out there looking for beta swaps, I’m all in. For the rest of you, happy Saturday, enjoy today and I love you. Not in a ‘remember that time we were so wasted—thanks for holding my hair,’ kind of way. But in a person to person way. I love you. Believe in yourself. Love yourself. And the rest will follow.
***P.S. I’m going to start reviewing books. There are just *so* many good (and bad) ones out there and I can’t help but think I’m not doing my part in singing their praises. You want a great book to read and that author deserves recognition. It’s a win-win.