Coupon for Free Book

I am offering a free copy of my short story, Wilhelmina, for one month, on the one year anniversary of its publication. Check out Wilhelmina

Share the coupon, JS22Z, with friends. It expires on March 27, 2020. While you are there you may want to check out my other selections. I love to hear from my readers. Especially let me know if you would like to see more of my short stories.

My Happy Place as a Writer

...ok, I didn't buy it.

For a long time I searched for my Happy Place as a writer and I didn’t find it. The reason I couldn’t find it was because I needed to create it. I needed to understand what this place is made up of. Most of all, I needed to identify the core of my motivation.

Writing can be a lonely, thankless venture. For about five years I have been in the process of establishing myself as a writer and I admit I am still far from where I plan to be. But I am exactly where I want to be right now because this is the place from which I move forward.

Right now I have a great deal of experience, raw material, writing resources, ideas, and visions of possibilities for the future. With each day that passes I accumulate more writing aids and grist for the mill. This is a good place to be. 

Five years ago I quit my job and began to work diligently on my writing. At that time I gained a lot of momentum as a writer. However, a year later I went back to work at two consecutive jobs. All the while I kept having a gnawing feeling that I was to focus on my writing. Finally I submitted my resignation. (I don’t recommend quitting your job unless you are convinced in your heart that this is what you are to do.)

The past two years have been riddled with doubt and confusion as I vacillated back and forth between staying at home on a reduced income and going back to work again. After repeated rejections from agents and editors I contemplated giving up fiction writing altogether. I over-analyzed and second-guessed myself after numerous blog posts with virtually no reader response.

I admit I have yet to regain the momentum I had during the first year before I went back to work. However, the time in between has not been wasted and I have gained many valuable insights.

Little has changed around me, but something has changed inside me. I have embraced the messiness and the beauty of where I am today. I have accepted what I have, and even what I don’t have.

I made two decisions which are moving me forward.

One, I am motivated by love. I write because I love people. I want to inspire, encourage and entertain people.

Two, I want to write.

I can write anywhere and on any subject. I may write comments on social media, or messages and emails to friends, or notes on birthday cards, or I may write in my journal. The success of my writing does not need to be measured in terms of financial profit. I write because I love people and because I love to write.

I am truly grateful for each writing resource I have studied, each note I have taken, each creative line I have written. I am grateful for all that has brought me to this place where I am today and all that will influence my tomorrows to come.

If there is one thing the past months and years have taught me it is this: Writing is a struggle and it will always be a struggle. That is why it is so critical to know why I am writing and who I am writing for.

My future success may not come in the form of a published book. In fact my future may look much like my past. I’m OK with that. I now see intrinsic value in what I am doing from day to day. I am in my Happy Place.

 

Don’t give away all of your marbles

© Krisjacobs | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Krisjacobs | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

If you have been on my site recently you will have noticed that I removed a post I wrote this week. It was a post about a specific resource offered for half price for a limited time. In the post I questioned the wisdom of spending large amounts of money on writing resources.

Although I removed the post because I did not want to adversely affect someone’s business, I still think it is important for writers to realize that our vulnerability can put us at risk.

Take vanity publishing for example. Some publishing companies will ask for as much as $5,000 from an author in exchange for a publishing contract. The author never sees a dime for all their hard work.

Unless you are paying for a limited number of copies outright, remember, the publisher pays you, not the other way around.

An author I know, who has published over thirty fiction books, tells me that $2,500 is typical of what she gets as an advance. She’ll probably get $5,000 total for a book. It’s not a lot of money, but at least it was paid to her, not the other way around.

At a writer’s conference I attended, a speaker in one of the small groups offered attendees a weekend of one-on-one mentoring in her home, along with a month of follow-up that included a couple of hours of coaching twice a week, for the total price of $3,000. Think of it, even if you came out with a book on the market, most of your income would already be eaten up.

There are people out there who prey on the vulnerability of new writers.

As my Christmas gift to my readers I am making my recently published short story entitled 101 Marbles available for free until December 24. Enter this coupon code QU66L to get your free copy on Smashwords.

OCW Conference

I promised to report on my experience at the OCW Conference. Initially the goal was to find an editor who would want my novel. As the date approached I saw that I would not complete editing my novel in time.

I did a lot of the hard work, as I had intended. But something was missing. At the conference I found out what it was.

I did not show my novel to anyone nor did I pitch it. But I consulted with my coach and a mentor. What I learned was very helpful.

I learned, first of all, that I am writing “women’s fiction,” not a “romance,” as I had thought. In women’s fiction it is the story and issues of the heroine that drive the book, not the romance.

For me coming to this understanding was huge. It meant I now understood why I could not accept some of the recommendations of my critique partner. It is alright for me to do the things I want to do, and feel I need to do.

I also dug deeper, with the help of my coach, and refined the underlying message of my book. I now have greater clarity about how to proceed with my writing.

Several people encouraged me to stay with my novel. One author remembered my characters from the time I shared my story with her last year and she is particularly waiting for me to finish the book.

At the conference I found something I needed and for which I did not even know I was looking. Now I can’t wait to see what my book will look like by the time the next OCW Conference rolls around.