Writing Just “For Us”

Have you ever had the issue of writing no longer being something you enjoy? Whenever you sit down at your computer to type something, it’s not really about being “fun” anymore. Every letter you type, you’re thinking about your fans or judgement from publishers.

Will people like this? What if they don’t? What if I’m wasting my time? 

These questions echo over and over again in your head. Finally, you just step away from the computer because it all seems just too difficult. Writing means edits and judgement and hours upon hours of work. You never write anymore, and when you do, it doesn’t feel like it used too. You’re writing and worrying about the opinions of everyone else, instead of just having fun and doing what you used to.

I’m writing this because I’ve found myself feeling this way since last year when I started a new book. Maybe it’s just because as a writing major, writing literally “is” work that is always judged by someone else, whether it be the professor or my fellow classmates.

Every time I try to write something new, I don’t even feel like I’m enjoying myself. I’m sure that a lot of other writers feel this way too. In high school, I used to write nearly a chapter a day in my novels. I’d write so much that I’d given myself carpal tunnel and developed a cyst in my left hand that I later had surgically removed.

I think the point of this post is that we need to just remember all the things we loved about writing and somehow get back there if we ever feel off track. Everything we write isn’t going to be a masterpiece. Everything we write doesn’t have to come out perfect. Just sit down and type that story or blog post or whatever it is that you want to write. You didn’t become a writer because everyone else wanted you to, but because you loved what you were doing.

So the next time you want to write, just do it and leave the thoughts of everyone else behind. Write because it’s who YOU are.

What Every Writer Wants in the New Year

Authors always set goals for themselves. But with the New Year fast aproaching, everyone is thinking of those nasty little resolutions that we never follow through on. Or maybe we don’t have any yet. Whether you can relate or just don’t have anything planned, these 5 resolutions will resignate with any writer. 

1. To Finish The Unfinished  

Maybe you never wrote the ending to your novel or decided to take an extended break in the middle. Maybe you gave up due to numerous plot holes. We all have that unfinished thing in the back of our minds, yearning to one day be complete. 

2. Fame and Fortune

Maybe this will be the year when that publishing deal finally goes through. 

3. To Create Something New

Write down that poem you’ve always thought of! Start that new novel that you’ve been dreaming about! Just do it! 

4. To Feel Connected

Try out that new social media outlet. Join that local writing group or book club, or even start your own! Having other writers like yourself is a great motivator! 

5. Feeling Like You’re Going Somewhere

We all have different dreams and desires. We all want to feel like we’re getting closer to those dreams. So go ahead, take that next step. Write a query letter or put your book on Amazon. 

Finishing Edits…but Are They Really Done? 

Hello all. I’ve Ben away for a while, mainly because of schoolwork and the fact that I wasn’t really doing anything writing related. I had only 15 pages left of edits for my novel Knowing You’re There, and I finally finished that, along with formatting the whole thing and putting it into a Google doc for beta readers, which is a whole different story in itself, because when I told everyone I was starting my publishing journey they were all volunteering, and now everyone is either not interested or too busy. 

Anyway, the focus from the beginning was always the length of my story. I managed to increase the word count from 42K to 46K with a few new scenes. However, that’s still not enough. So I found myself suddenly making an outline of 7 chapters that would definitely not be fluff and would actually further plot and character development for Kurt and Lia, my starring couple. 

Now the big question is: do I go through with it? A large part of me thinks I should. However, I’m a tired and lazy college student. But since a novel is trimmed down anyway I the professional editing process, I’m going to say that it would be a good idea to extend it. Now all I need to do is find some committed beta readers who will work for free…

The Best Mistake I’ve Ever Made

This morning, I sat down at my desk to begin edits on chapter 5 of my novel (not novella any more!) Knowing You’re There to get it ready for publication.  As I read the first few lines, I decided to scroll down to the last page because I forget how many chapters I had. That’s when the biggest revelation in this whole process hit me. In the document, I only had 18 chapters. When I checked on Wattpad, that wasn’t the case.

I had forgotten to save the last NINE CHAPTERS on my flash drive! This was obviously the reason why my story was so incredibly short. So I did what any other thrilled mistaken author would do: I copied and pasted everything into the document on my computer. After feeling hopeless about my 29,000 word story, this event has breathed new life into the process. In total, KYT actually has 43,000 words. Mind. Blown.

So what does this mean for the future?

Well, seeing as how I’m not up to my hopeful goal of 50k (which I’d really like to be 60 or 65k now) there is still a lot of work to do. Thankfully, I only have to extend the story by 10k or 12k instead of 20.

Since it is much longer, this means that it will take me loner to edit. But there’s no rush. I wanted to have the book sent out to publishers in May when I graduate.

So if anyone needs me, I’ll be running around campus celebrating and doing happy dances in my room. I couldn’t be more thrilled about what happened today.

My Publishing Journey: Day 1 (Realization, Editing Chapter 1)

After much deliberation, last night I made the decision to put my current book, Saving Flight 926 on hold after seeing how much work it needed.  Today I began the very first steps in my publishing process for my story Knowing You’re There.

Since I haven’t touched the story in over a year, I moved it from my flash drive to my computer, opened it up, and there it was: my beautiful romance story.  And then I looked at the word count of 28,000 words.  That was all.  And I feel stupid, because I could swear that the word count was at least in the 30s, but that doesn’t matter now.

So for a few hours I felt like I was in limbo.  Do I forget the whole thing?  How on earth am I going to add 30,000 words to this story?  I made a forum on Wattpad, where industry professionals told me to just write a new story instead.

For some reason, I’m not going to listen.  A friend in my tech writing class told me earlier, “If you’re f-ing passionate about it, then go for it.”  And I hate to be that naive person whose story has no potential and thinks they can get published anyway, but for some reason I’m going to keep going for it, and keep editing.  The worst that could happen is that I get a better detailed, longer, and cleaner version of my most popular book.

So, I went over chapter 1 today.  Just a few minor things to tweak.  I’m probably going to go back and add some details to extend it a bit more. Today I added almost 100 words.  It’s a small improvement that hopefully won’t more towards the dreaded “fluff” that will have to be removed later anyway.  More updates to come tomorrow!

Torn Between Two Paths

With the start of school, sorority recruitment, and all that senior jazz, I’m happy to say that I’ll be trying to post more often.  So, here’s the topic for today: what do you do when it comes to new books and old books that differ in potential and popularity?  What if you’re in my situation: currently writing a book that isn’t going anywhere, but want to being the publishing process of another, more popular book?

Ask yourself these 5 questions:

1. How much is left? 

This one is quite simple.  How much is left of the book you’re currently working on?  Is it just a few chapters?  Are you at the climax?  Or are you only a few chapters away from the end, but have writers block like I do?

2. Can you focus while having an unfinished book? 

I’m a stickler when it comes to finishing books.  I still lie awake at night thinking about finishing my novel “Runaways” that I started when I was 13. I know that I won’t be able to focus on Knowing You’re There with SF926 not being done.  I’ll keep going back to it.

3. Do I have the time? 

I’ve never been through the traditional publishing route.  Only self publishing, which as many of you know, was probably my biggest disaster ever.  Traditional publishing takes up a lot of time that working on a rough draft for fun doesn’t.

4. What will the benefits of finishing be? 

For me, finishing the horrible first draft of SF926 will mean just that to me: the piece of mind.  Knowing that I finished it, whether I go back to it and try to do anything with it at all.  If you don’t see any reason to finish that first draft right now, then don’t bother.

5. Am I really ready to start this process? 

I’ve been wanting to be traditionally published since I was 13, and even more so when I finished my first book at 16.  Self publishing was hard.  I didn’t have the support of family or friends, I didn’t know a lot about grammar or how to edit.  Now I have a sorority full of willing beta readers and feel like I can catch any grammar mistake.

Do you have support from people around you?  Are you willing to have your story ripped apart by critiques?  Are you willing to stay up late into the night rewriting and editing?  If so, then you’re most likely ready to publish.

Side note:

By reading the above, yes, this is my announcement that I will soon be beginning the process to traditionally publish my YA romance novel Knowing You’re There.  I have no idea what I’m doing and will be posting updates along the way.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.