Repeat After Me: I Got This

Well, I did it.

I finished the first draft of my third book. It took me a month. Mind you, I’ve been unemployed for nearly two weeks of it, but it’s done. It needs, like, *ridiculous* amounts of revisions but I know what’s going to happen now, which is better than only having the snippets of scenes in my head before. There’s an actual story line with conflicts and events and there’s an ending, guys. I have A LAST BOOK ENDING. It’s not very good, but it’s there. Ready to be tweaked and worked on all that stuff.

So… what to do now? This is the part that sucks—the in between part. The part where I have nothing specific to work on because the next sentence, scene and chapter has already been written. I don’t know if any other writers out there have this WTF do I do now? moment but it’s here for me and it sucks.

I’m still not sure when I’m going to release this first book, Better Than This. I’m thinking maybe… mid-May? June? I still need to have it professionally edited, along with getting a cover completed and some sort of advertisement/marketing plan needs to be in place.  THINGS. There are so many things needing to be done and that next step is all blurry and weird and not specific.

Anyone heard of Patreon? It’s this cool (kind of old) idea where people will become a patron of your work either on a monthly or creation basis. It’s a tiered structure where someone can pay a certain amount ($1/$5/$10/whatever) to support your work in exchange for different things like early access to new content, deleted or behind the scenes and such. It’s kind of an awesome idea. I keep peeking at it and wondering if/when/how I should join and what I would do. I also keep wondering how to work this angle while also marketing BTT in time for this questionable release. Again, THINGS. SO MANY THINGS.

Authors (and really anyone who has an opinion/suggestion) what is my next step here? Am I jumping off in the marketing quicksand or do I have to get the book edited first? And what about the cover? And what about blog tours and hard copies? And what about—

NOPE. Not going crazy like usual. I got this. I have to keep telling myself I got this or I won’t have this. I’ll have a headache and a drinking problem and neither of those are sexy. To me. (But, you know, to each their own.) I’m also job-hunting, so throw that on the pile along with whoever grabbed a hold of my email address and started applying for credit cards under my name. And the car is in the shop. And the IRS sent me a letter. SO MANY THINGS.

But it’s cool 😊 Life’s good. Just have to repeat my mantra:

I got this.

I got this.

I MOTHERFUCKING GOT THIS BITCH.

😉

P.S. This week’s theme is “Last Line” for Friday’s #Fridaykiss. I have no idea what I’ll be posting but I’ll figure it out. Know why? See above.

So, What Did We Learn Today?

Something occurred to me recently—yesterday?—or maybe it’s been the culmination of several deep thoughts over the years that were distracted by chocolate or coffee or maybe just life in general. The thing that occurred to me is that NO ONE ELSE IS GOING TO DO THIS FOR ME.

There. I said it. Or yelled it. But at myself. Definitely not at you. (Most definitely NOT at you x 1000)

NO ONE ELSE IS GOING TO DO THIS FOR ME.

Ah, feels even better saying/yelling for the second time.

It should be obvious. It’s *super* obvious but I kind of figured just writing would be enough and that my part—the main part—only needed to remain there. The writing-of-books-part. I figured I’d write them, throw them into cyberspace and wait for the fangirling (or fanboying—I don’t judge) to commence, which would inevitably be followed by a major publishing contract with a big fat check. Easy-peasy, right? Except—oh yeah—that hasn’t happened. Because that’s not how things work. Because you can’t do only some of the work (drats!) and I’ve been doing… eh… maybe a third? (Mind you I did work fulltime and I have Appa, who is *basically* my child). But I don’t advertise my words at all. I literally write them, feel good about them and then chuck them so hard into cyberspace I hope I forget about the next part:

Marketing.

I hate talking myself up. I hate compliments because, like, what do you say to them? You have a nice a hat? I don’t know. Getting other people excited about something I’m doing or have done or made or wrote seems like I’m bragging and I *hate* people who brag. It’s like yeah, we get it, you’re kind of good at something, but so is everyone. That’s why I shy away from promotion. I don’t want the spotlight. I don’t want to be passed the mic. I will hot-potato that shit so quick, someone’s going to get a spud in their eye.

But I can’t keep doing that.

Past all the doubt and weird attention disorders, I am really proud of what I did. What I wrote. What I keep on writing and if I want it to be something in this field, no one else is going to believe it until I do. They’re not going to get interested unless I’m telling them why. I get it now. I probably should’ve gotten it a while ago but we all learn at different rates (shut up).

Moral of the story?

It sucks to wake up and realize you’re the only one who can change things.

…But it’s kind of liberating too.

A New Year, IWSG…And Some Sort of Plan

Today was spent doing two things I love: being in pajamas and watching Parks & Rec. I did start off by writing, but I’m going through the second draft of my second book *really* quickly and it’s making me nervous, so I figured I’d stray away from the computer and watch early Chris Pratt and laugh at (one of my heroes) Amy Poehler. Not a bad way to start 2018.

Of course, one of our water pumps broke during the night and Batman was super not happy having to go out in sludgy, wet (feels like) below frozen temperature to do something with the pipes. I really have no idea. My chores include laundry and keeping the house up to a clean-enough level for livability. But apparently, we can’t do anything that involves major washing and a freeze is supposed to come through on Thursday so that put everything in a really positive mood for the new year. Hence Parks & Rec.

But I did carve out two hours to sit and work on 1.) this amazing blog post and 2) more of BTN. I’d like to say I took the whole day off from writing, but those days are few and far between and I always end up feeling kind of bad about myself when I do, except when I absolutely can’t write, like when I’m at Disney or on an awesome vacation. Today, unfortunately, is not one of those days, so let’s get to that question for IWSG:

What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

A plan would be nice, wouldn’t it? I’ve been kind of doing my own thing, which is a nice way of saying I don’t know what I’m doing. At all. The only part that I’m comfortable with is the actual writing part – and that sometimes is too much too. Forget marketing. Forget putting together any sort of plan or schedule to get things done in the smartest way possible. My current strategy is: write something awesome and when I think it can’t get any more awesome, make it available to others. Super cutting-edge—I know—but it’s all I’ve got.

So. 2018…this needs to be the year of change. The year I maybe do a little more to get my work out there. At the New Year’s Eve party last night, fabulous Shelby again raved about my books and told me I don’t give myself enough credit. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I’ve been doing no marketing because I don’t think my books are good enough, so I subconsciously don’t want people to read them. I don’t know. It’s just a guess. But if I’m going to be in this business (and I really want to) I need to treat it like a business. I need to be doing more. I need a plan.

And it’s coming together nicely 🙂

What about you? Do you have a plan? Do you think your writing is good enough to be marketed?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

IWSG – Insecurity Overload

Happy first Wednesday (of March), a very special time in the life of any writer, especially one riddled with insecurities. The first Wednesday of every month marks the Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG), a blog hop designed to share our doubts and fears,  to encourage and inspire, and of course, to remember that none of us are alone in this.  And we couldn’t do it without our fearless leader, Captain Alex Cavanaugh!  Feel like taking a load off from that insecurity-ridden burden? Click here to find somebody to lean on.

Gah, do I have a lot of insecurities this month. They kind of piled up on me and so I wasn’t really sure which one to talk about. Like how I still think I write like that eleven-year-old girl with a pencil and lined paper. Or how I think everyone secretly knows my books suck but don’t want to tell me because I’m a high-risk bridge-jumper (not really, but you get the point). Or how I’m tackling the marketing aspect ALL WRONG and only making a (bigger) idiot of myself.

Yes.

Yes to all of these.

My fourth book is currently out to my editor. I’m really proud of what I wrote, but I hate the fact that she’s reading it. I hate the fact that other people will be reading it when I publish in June. It’s because of my inner demon—that confidence-crushing dick that lives inside us all—continually whispering in my ear how I’m wasting everyone’s time with my nonsense.

You’re not very good.

They feel sorry for you.

No one’s buying your books which means you suck. Stop now. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Like I said—a confidence-crushing dick.

These thoughts are fleeting and I know every writer has some form of this dialogue at some point. I’ve read enough blogs and articles to know this is all part of the process, which does make me feel better. Like I’ve earned my stripes as a writer. And normally, I bat down the bitter-ass voice with my whole “fine, I wasn’t sure I was going to share this with anyone anyway” argument. Except I’ve committed now. A fan (yes! I have one of those!) reached out to ask when I was putting out the fourth book and without even thinking I said “June.” That was a week before last month’s post, hence the blog tour question.

So now I’m committed. Now I know (at least) someone will be reading all the flashbacks and fight scenes and sex scenes that I WROTE. And yeah, that kind of terrifies the shit out of me. But I’m charging forward. I’ve decided I want it more than I fear it. And I (think) I’ve decided to use these next three months as an additional marketing tool—March, April and May dedicated to the first, second and third books, respectively. What can you expect? Character info, different POV excerpts and other fun behind-the-scenes things. I don’t know. I was supposed to have it all planned out but was busy spot-checking the MS before sending it the ol’ editor.

So yeah, lots of insecurities. But some good things, too. I’m all sorts of crazy right now. What about you? Do you ever think these things? Feel these things?

Here’s To A Better October!

After my last post for IWSG, I felt rejuvenated and inspired and ready to tackle all the writing woes destined to come my way.

And then September happened.

Nothing writing-specific, but a lot of crap went down. September was tough. And apparently, it was tough for a lot of people. And I’m not sure why. I’m not sure why last month was so crazy or why it tested me (and a lot of people), but I think that’s what it was. A test. Something put in life to make us stronger. That’s what struggles are, right? Strength endorsers?

I’m still working on the first draft of my fourth book (almost finished!) but thanks to one of my writing mentors, Joleene Naylor, I’m working on the next part—the scary part—advertising. So I’ve been researching competitions, studying marketing strategies and oh yeah, writing, because an addict can’t give up her fix. For anyone who’s interested, I’ll be posting short stories under “Goodies” for competitions I’m entering. I’m not sure if this is what I need to be doing, but I figure it can’t hurt.

What about you guys? Are you still in the writing stage? Or have you moved onto the next part—the one that completely baffles (and somewhat terrifies) me.

If you’re a writer, be sure to check out Insecure Writers Support Group, or IWSG here. It’s exactly what it says—a support group for writers. I’ve only been a member for a few months but I really find it beneficial and inspirational and I look forward to the first of every month. A big thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for creating such an amazing resource.

Here’s to a better October!