Posts Tagged ‘writing’

hurts
I don’t often reveal much of my personal life. Please don’t be offended by this, I was raised to believe that showing any of your vulnerable underbelly was a weakness should be avoided at all costs. My family taught me that I had nothing of value to say and that none of my emotions were valid.
Perhaps this is why I ensconced myself in books. In their worlds I got to see what it was to have a parent who asked a child about their day or hugged them, something that I didn’t get at home. Fiction was a safe place where anything could happen because it was pure fantasy.
As embarrassing as this is to admit, it’s only really been in the last few years that I’ve realised some people out there do reveal themselves to others. Sadly, I have been conditioned for three decades and so my learned behaviours are fully engrained; opening myself to anyone in person won’t be happening any time soon.
Please don’t feel sorry for me, or laugh, at how pathetic my upbringing was. My father left when I was a child and I lived in a cold environment with my mother where feelings, or discussions of them, were bothersome. You do what needs to be done and that’s it. You get up in the morning, go to work, eat and sleep – that’s about it. There is nothing more to life. At least that’s what I spent my childhood believing.
All of my pitiful ramblings above are the prelude to how I feel this evening, which is why I am chattering. Sometimes I do feel alone. Being estranged from my parents was nothing in my youth when I had a million friends (rather superficial acquaintances) and a frantic social life. But I don’t have that mask disguising the truth anymore.
As luck would have it – or not – when I did find a man to settle down with it turned out that man was an abusive alcoholic who thought only of himself and not of me or our child. Eventually I freed myself from him and now I have a lot to be proud of in my life. My son is smart and beautiful and keeps me going every day. I built a business that I run from home so that I can be there for my son when I need to be and never miss a school show – even if it means working until the early hours when he is asleep.
Writing has been in my life since I was a child, as I said before it offered me an escape and let me explore the emotions I felt but was not allowed to express. But it was my grandmother’s death that prompted me to publish. The woman was a tower of strength, the most incredible person that I have ever known, and one who would give her last to those in need. I’ll admit that she was from a different generation and wasn’t exactly the tactile, warm and fuzzy type, but she cared for my sister and me in a way that no one else ever did and she never made us feel like a burden.
Through the years I have loved and lost in relationships of the romantic and platonic variety. I’ve stood up in courts to defend what is right, even when it broke my heart. What family I did have left I lost when I defended my niece and nephew against the only sister I have, in order to prevent them being subjected to her abuse.
I’ve proved to myself that I have integrity and I have proved that I can, and will, work hard and do what it takes to care for the children whom I love so much. I imagine sometimes that my grandmother watches over them, as she watched over us, and that I have to do for her what she no longer can, because she is not on this earth with us anymore.
But it’s hard, oh god, it’s hard. Tonight I’m feeling blue, as you may have guessed. Having struggled all of my life with depression and anxiety issues I recognise that this will pass, sometimes life slaps you down just to remind you of the strength it takes to stand back up.
Why do I bother? No one in my real life knows that I publish. I was taught to never expose my emotions or inner thoughts, and there isn’t a place more personal or revealing than the words I put onto paper. No one would understand. If they read and saw just what went on within me I’d never be able to look them in the eye again. I’d be embarrassed and ashamed, not because of the explicit content of my novels, but because then they would know that I feel.
But when no one in your real life knows that you publish and you have no one to share your frustrations and triumphs with online either the whole experience becomes so isolating. There’s no one there to say, “Wow, look what you did…” Only writers know how many hours (see months and years) it takes to hone your craft enough to publish. Only writers know how invested we become in our characters and their worlds, and how much of yourself you pour into them.
Spending all of that time writing is one thing. But to publish is a whole other ballgame. You have to learn how to make covers, write your own blurbs, and fill out acknowledgements. Believe it or not, those are the fun parts. Learning the ins and outs of formatting was fun (not) and each platform has its own rules, so getting the hang of KDP means nothing when you head over to Smashwords.
KDP, there’s a laugh. You think you know what that’s about? No one does. And they keep moving the goal posts. Should you give Amazon exclusivity and enter KDP Select? What the hell is KDP Select? Right, ok, so I can’t publish elsewhere and they let me choose promotions from either free days or Kindle Countdown Deals… wait, what? What the hell is Kindle Countdown and do I want it? Ok, pick your dates and how many increments, and fill out all the—pop-up box, “Your book must have been…” and there’s a list, the same price for thirty days, and then you can’t change the price for two weeks after it’s done and… forget it, let’s go with the free days.
I could write a novel on my experience of self-publishing alone. I can’t even count the number of hours I’ve spent reading blogs and Googling terms I’ve never heard of before in my life.
Learning how to publish is a steep curve, but the promotion racket is worse! Then you have to build a website, make teasers and banners, and adverts. You have to run all your own social media, even when you know no one, and have no clue what you’re doing. You sign up for everything that’s going, and never use half of it again, but you sign up anyway.
After all those hours writing the book, formatting and publishing the book, then promoting (making a nuisance of yourself everywhere) the book – all the while wearing your cheery, plastic smile – you look up and realise… it all means absolutely nothing and has gotten you nowhere.
The truth is, the world is too big. It doesn’t matter if you write the best novel in the universe, if you can’t get it out there then no one will ever see it. For the girl who was taught that every time she opened her mouth and uttered a word she was an irritation, it’s very difficult. I am proud that I’ve worked hard and learned so much. I am a grown woman. So why do I still feel that I should apologise for existing?
“This too in time shall pass…”
“Ours is not to wonder why…”
The clichés mount up until you find yourself sitting in the dark at four in the morning wondering why on earth you bother. No one can take writing away from me, but why do I work so hard to do the best I can? I can’t answer that.
I’m a strong person, but I’m not a social person, I’m an observer. I was sent here to watch the world, not to participate in it. I love to watch and to wonder. The trouble is, I’ve spent so many years learning to be invisible that now I’m in a situation where I want to be seen, I don’t have the first clue how to do it.
Anyway, sorry for taking up your time. I’m sure that most won’t get this far in my blether and I’m sure that I’ll be embarrassed tomorrow for writing this. But getting it out there, freeing these words, somehow makes me feel less alone. So thank you, it might be feeble and pathetic, but gratitude is all that I have left.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

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OTHER

If we think back over our romantic history we can all identify moments of madness. Whether it was that crazy moment of intimacy in a not so discreet place, or those phone calls we made night after night that caused such severe sleep deprivation they almost cost us our careers.
Then there is the insanity when we lose love. We believe that our lives will never be the same again and that we shall suffer for the rest of eternity without our love at our side. But we get over it, because we always do.
My title today isn’t actually in reference to romance. I’ve been reflecting on my writing career and considering the lengths I’ve gone to, and the sacrifices I’ve made, all in the name of fiction.
I wouldn’t trade any of it. Indeed writing has been a lifelong companion and will always be my greatest love. Without it, I suffer. My craft can cost me sleep and sustinance. It costs me time and has taken me through many trials. But I carry on.
It’s like an addiction. A sweet high that can lift me to the heavens and then drop me to rock bottom. I sail through in times of passion and toil in times of task. But I carry on.
In years gone by, I’ve walked miles in all weather just for the promise of an internet connection to bring me to my words. I’ve gone without power because the words would not release me.
The more I think about it, the more I realise just how enslaved I am. I am the submissive partner. I wait in hope of the calling, the inspiration that will allow me to embrace my love, to envelope myself in the warmth of companionship offered by my allusive and mysterious mate.
I am at the beck and call of the words that lie in wait for me. I am only what those words want me to be, a conduit between them and the corporeal. I give them form and poetry, weaving the story demanding to be told. I am used by my lover for the gratifcation of completion.
My love promises no reward except the knowledge of productivity, but there is no guarantee of satisfaction on either side. My passion is absolute but my companion is fickle, often reaching out only to pull back and dash all hopes of achievement. But, still, I carry on.
I cannot give it up. I will remain compliant. Until it is time to act again I shall dream of my love, of the words and the stories that consume me. I will do anything for my love because my love is who I am. I write because to not would be to forsake my greatest confidante. Writing is my obsession, and I will be obedient to its will. I carry on because these are the things we do for love.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

putting-puzzle-pieces-together

So it turns out that there’s an issue for indies that few people talk about. Here it is: there’s a difference between folks buying your book and actually reading it.
Obviously the fact that people buy your novel is a great compliment and that’s not something to be sniffed at. But we all have such busy lives and such long TBR lists that it’s impossible to imagine ever reaching the end of them, which means there’s a possibility that those readers will never read your book!
I too have a TBR list that makes my eyes water. When I look through my TBR list I get excited by all of the tales there ready, just waiting to be absorbed into my being. I know that I’ll love some of them and loathe others. I know some will inspire me in my own writing and others will inspire me on how not to write. But it’s thrilling to know that all of those stories and characters are there for me, waiting until I am ready… well the paperbacks anyway. I suppose Amazon can do what it likes with the Kindle reads :p
But how to choose, how to choose… deciding on what to read comes down to a number of factors for me. Though I’ve learned my factors often aren’t the same as others. I choose to read books that are unrelated (entirely) to anything I might be working on with my own writing at that moment. Sometimes that means a different genre or time period, other times it’s just a different location or setup. The worst thing about the TBR decision is the amount of time it takes to pick something to read. Think of all the words we could be experiencing in those minutes it takes us to make a decision.
Often when I’m trawling my TBR list I’ll go back to product pages to re-read descriptions or reviews, which can then lead me to other work by that author (or other authors) and often I’ll find myself increasing the length of my TBR list! Ahh!
I don’t take part in reading challenges because I face so many time challenges with my writing that I wouldn’t want to embroil myself in more. But I do admire those that do. It must be electrifying to have that goal and to be working towards completing a reading mission.
But, back to the original point… Indies spend an awful lot of time and energy writing books, we know this. They spend an awful lot of time and energy promoting books, we know this, too. But it turns out that there’s another hurdle we are completely powerless to overcome.
So how do we put the pieces together? How do we connect the reader to the novel? The answer is, we don’t. There’s such a thing as free will and we all have to accept that there comes a point where fate decides. You can’t force someone to do something which they do not want to do. You can try to make your work as interesting and enticing as you can and then after that, the Gods decide… or rather the reader does – haven’t I previously mentioned that you’re all-powerful? :p
A writer can do only one thing. Keep writing. Your book may languish for years in the e-reader of a potential five star reviewer, but there’s no way to know who that is. Push someone too hard and you’re more likely to find yourself at the one star end. Yes, it’s frustrating, and yes, it’s disheartening to know that your work is lying there unabsorbed. But when there are so many writing and publishing factors that you can influence this is not one to get stuck on.
Still, I make an appeal to all readers. Set a number, three or four, maybe ten or twelve, but pick a number of books to read on your TBR and vow to read that many at the start of each month before you buy any new books. Just think, your next favourite novel could have been on that TBR list all along waiting for you, it’s time to venture forth and discover it!

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

under-pressure

So for those of you who don’t know the sequel to Explicit Instruction is called Explicit Detail and it’s out in a few weeks. It’s release date is October 10th – four weeks tomorrow!
I loved writing Rushe and Flick in Explicit Instruction and I was overwhelmed by how well they were received. Readers really enjoyed their adventure together and the heat between them certainly raised some eyebrows. Going into Explicit Detail I was full of gusto, brimming with ideas, and desperate to get on with their next adventure.
The process of writing is arduous but it is fun, you have to enjoy it, you have to love it, or you’d never get to “The End”. But I got there with Explicit Detail and after rounds and rounds and rounds of edits, there it was, ready for pre-order. Exciting, right? Yes! Absolutely! There it is, it’s ready for the readers who enjoyed Rushe and Flick the first time around and for those who can discover them for the very first time.
You might ask that that why with all this positivity I labeled the blog “Sequel insanity”, so let me tell you why. I’ve written sequels for my novels before but never with the intention of them being published and enjoyed by the public, so this is a first for me. As release day creeps nearer and nearer, I am increasingly aware of reader expectation.
When publishing a new book, a standalone, there is always a level of apprehension about how it will be received by readers. But Explicit Detail is different. Readers have already had a positive experience with Rushe and Flick, they enjoyed Explicit Instruction, now they want more.
Writers will (or should) always strive to create the best product that they can to induce the most satisfying reader experience, it’s our job. Explicit Instruction was enjoyable to a great number of people, what if Explicit Detail doesn’t match that experience?
Explicit Detail sees our couple on a new adventure, quite unlike the first. There is still danger and plenty of dirty talk, but our couple are together now, giving the dynamic between them a slightly different feel – it’s important to allow them to progress as individuals and together.
Not knowing what readers expect yet trying to fulfill those expectations is tough. For the most part we write blind, crafting the best possible story that we can in the best possible way. You can ask all the questions that you want, and do all the research that you want, but at the end of the day the story must be woven by the writer. We have to engage with the readers. Rushe and Flick managed it the first time around, but can they do it again?

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

ANZEMC_HandshakeElectric_1

What’s the most important part of any fiction novel? The genre? Location? Style? Maybe the premise? Not in my opinion. In my opinion, the most important part of every fiction novel is: the characters.
If we care about the characters, if we connect with them, then the other aspects merely compliment and enhance these people who we are on a journey with.
From an authors point of view, we have to be willing to spend an awful lot of time with these people, months, sometimes years, getting to know them. While we work with them, they are our best friends, our lovers, and our allies. They are our colleagues and they are our family. They are us and we are them.
So, let’s start with nothing. Try to recall how you feel before you open a book, when you’ve maybe read the blurb but really don’t know anything about who is in the book or what they’re going to go through, when you’re completely clueless. Then think about your last book hangover, when you really didn’t want to close the book because then you knew it was going to be over. When you didn’t want to put it down. When you cared so much about these characters that you couldn’t get them out of your head for days and lay awake at night thinking about them. Quite a transition, isn’t it?
We rarely fixate on the location or even the specific storyline of a book for too long. The characters are what linger with us. As humans, the psychic connection is crucial. In real life, there’s not always a physical reason for you to care for someone, but we still do care about them.
Developing this kind of connection between reader and character is very important in ensuring the most satisfying reading experience.
So, how do we create a character? For the most part physical attributes aren’t really very important, they are window dressing. Sometimes a vision of a character will be what first appears, but the look of a character isn’t what makes them complete. We don’t connect because we know someone is six foot tall and has blue eyes.
To write a character that readers can connect with you have to understand the essence of them. You have to be able to live in their head and understand their motivations, their actions, and their mannerisms etc. Why do they use certain words? What are their habits and ambitions? It’s not enough to keep a bio, to have a list of facts about upbringing and environment. We can’t simply list their CV, likes and dislikes, and think that a collection of facts will bring about a relationship between reader and character.
All of us are flawed and so characters have to be flawed too. They are not perfect. They are not (depending on the genre) omnipotent and can’t necessarily read the mind of a person who may be hurting, or be able to see danger coming from around the corner. Characters have to be thrown off-guard and out of their comfort zone, when we as readers understand that they are mentally or emotionally struggling but they battle on then we start to root for them.
But it starts with a link. The writer has to be linked to the character, we have to be able to live in their head and have them inhabit ours. Imagining how they would react in even the most mundane of circumstances helps with that, talking to them, writing scenes that will never make the book, all of these things help to develop a trust and understanding between character and reader, because it’s only when the author cares about the character that the reader will too.
This goes for the villains too. Care doesn’t have to be tender. You have to understand the motivations, and the history, of your antagonist as well as you do for the protagonist, it gives the relationship between those characters balance.
The writer, and the reader, should always remember that these characters are only given life when they are experienced and remembered. They can only feel if you feel. You are their heartbeat and their soul inhabits yours. Take a piece of your favourite characters with you wherever they go – they’ll appreciate the adventure.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

questions-and-answers

 

So we had some questions put forth and it is my pleasure to be able to answer them. I’m always happy for anyone to get in touch with any queries that they have for me and if there are more after this then I am certainly willing to write another blog based on them. I can probably get hold of Rushe and Flick too if you have any questions for them 😉
But lets get cracking on today’s selection.

Question One
Who do you create first, the hero or heroine?

It largely depends on where inspiration comes from. Some novels begin with a character and others with scenarios. I don’t think it would be much of a surprise to learn that in the case of Explicit Instruction Rushe came to me first. The novel itself is actually about him, despite being from Flick’s point of view. Such a strong man with such clear characteristics was vivid from the outset. Everything else came from him, he dominates the piece.
But in other novels the heroine may come first, or even a secondary character. There have even been times when the couple came to me at the same time!


Question Two
Is it hard to come up with ideas/characteristics for non-typical romance Heroes (ie Rushe, Sloane)?

I have to be honest and say that non-typical heroes are actually my favourite kind. I don’t think it’s difficult to come up with the ideas for them and their traits but it can be more difficult to sell them to the reader. A lot of readers enjoy non-typical heroes, but there is still an expectation of how a hero should act towards his heroine. It’s extremely important for me that the respect remains intact between our couple, and as the writer it’s my job to ensure that the message of the relationship isn’t lost. Hence why consent is such an important factor for Rushe. Making that feature in his personality so prominent to the reader allowed me, the author, to communicate the maintained respect, despite the intense situation.

Question Three
Are any of your characters based on real people, or do they all come straight from your imagination?

Ah, I’ll have to be careful with this one! Yes, I have written characters based on real people.
Some of my characters share the odd trait here and there with people I know in real life, however the majority of my characters do come entirely from my imagination.
But, for those of you who have read The XY Factor you may remember Nick and Bella? They have their own novel, which is based before Sloan and Darcy’s. Their journey to happiness was bumpy too but an awful lot of fun. In their story there are two characters based on people in my life… I wonder if they’d recognise themselves…

I hope these answers have enlightened some of you. Please contact me with anymore questions you have, or head on over to Facebook and ask them there. Remember, if you don’t ask, you may never know!

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

Awriterfunny1

It has been said that writers must have the tendency to doubt and the capacity to believe in equal measure. Perhaps that is why I find myself dwelling on this peculiar, I mean particular, issue.
I’ve been writing for years, right? Along the way I’ve learned a few dos and don’ts. I have masses of information about my writing process and style, I have great tips about editing too. But, tonight, I’m not here to brag. Actually, it’s the opposite.
I dwell on this issue when it comes about. When I see others asking for writing advice, or even discussing their own processes, I shy away. I would love to be able to share my journey as though I am some kind of authority on the issue. Problem is, I am not really an authority. To give advice we must first surely believe that what we are saying will help in some way. How am I to know if that is the case when I give out advice? I’d love to be able to talk about things that I’ve been through because I know what an uphill battle things can be at times. I know what it’s like to dream big and I know what it’s like to crash.
Maybe it’s a confidence issue, in fact it has to be a confidence issue, because I just don’t believe that what I have to say is helpful enough to pass on. I’m not a writing teacher. I only have my experience in this arena. Yes, that experience is vast, but we all work in different ways, don’t we?
It’s difficult because there are times I believe I have something to offer but then I will withdraw because I worry others will think less of me, maybe they’ll think I’m trying to brag or act like an authority when I have no right to.
Writers should seek solace in each other and they should be able to lean on each other. But our “success”, if we dub it that, is so subjective. Some of the biggest names in fiction have the loudest critics. Even those on hefty-advance contracts still have negative reviewers. But they’re obviously doing something right.
So when I think about this, and about how valuable what I have to say would be, I always come back to the same, single question – when has a writer “made it”?
I believe a writer is a writer whether they’ve sold a million books, or written their biography on the back of a napkin. If you can sit down, write with love in your heart, and get to the end of a project (whatever it is) then you’re a writer. So by that definition, yes, I am a writer. But until a writer has “made it” surely their advice is as useful as the guy’s who wrote his shopping list on his iPhone last week. Ok, that’s harsh, let me explain myself.
Most writers will have come across this when they tell people what they do (whether professionally or for fun), people want to share their story, or their ideas anyway. So you have to sit there while your Great-Aunt Whoever’s, next door neighbour’s, gardener’s uncle tells you about how they sat down to write their book. Chances are they never finished it, chances are this was thirty years ago, whatever, people have advice to give even without authority.
I can tell you how to write a book. I could write a book on how to write a book. But that would be one book I’d never let anyone read. I want to be helpful, I want to be a part of the writing community and offer words of support and guidance. Trouble is, what gives me the right? I’m no better than the gardener’s uncle, am I? Or if I am why is that? What gives us the right?
This is useless meandering again, I suppose, because there is no quantifiable answer. If one book is sold, is that enough? How about ten? Or a hundred? Why not make it a thousand?
If I’m asked a direct question I’ll always answer it. Otherwise I lean toward, your guess is as good as mine…

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

617-coming_soon1

So the next Explicit novel, have you heard? Yes, there’s a sequel.
At this stage in the process the story is there. The novel has a beginning, it has a middle, and it has an end… which I always find helps :p
The trouble comes now… writing is a solitary pursuit. Publishing is not.
I read and I edit, but I find myself wondering things: Is the novel too long? Is there too much musing? Is there enough sex? Should the character say this or that? Specifically, there are two things that I am having trouble deciding and this is where the solitary frustration comes in.
Rushe and Flick’s relationship was largely well-received, as much to my surprise as anyone’s, but the sequel… oh I wish I could tell you!
The pressure is greater and the stakes are higher. Writing for myself was easy, I could write whatever I wanted and if I decided that I didn’t like it I could change it to suit myself.
But I’m not just writing for me anymore. Publishing has opened up an audience for my characters and it’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s impossible to please everyone. I get so many opinions and so many of them conflict that when I come to make decisions I pause, I hesitate, and suddenly I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.
It’s tough, that’s all I’m saying. There is literally no one else on the face of the planet that knows the story of the next Explicit novel. As exciting as it is to write there’s immense pressure. I’m great at keeping secrets but this one wants to get out. I want to know if what I am doing is right, but how can I know that?
I never realised it was like this. I love my characters and my writing but I’m scared that when I bare my soul it won’t be enough!
I have to be more like Rushe. He has to be in me somewhere. I can imagine aloof, but I fail to achieve it.
The fear, the uncertainty, at least it shows I care. I want you to enjoy my characters. I don’t want to let them down. You are my audience and I stand here, alone and naked, on this is the stage, how do I build a bridge between us?
But through all of this I’ve learned two important things: A) it doesn’t get any easier, and B) the love for it doesn’t go away.
When all else fails I keep writing because funnily enough, it’s the only thing in the world that makes any sense to me.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

realwriter

 

It’s crap. It’s all a big steaming pile of garbage.
Yes, I’m going slightly mad.
I couldn’t sleep last night. I tossed and I turned picking it all apart and trying to put it together again. The trouble is that when you start to force it the whole thing becomes contrived and it ends up being a big steaming pile of garbage.
I’m a fraud. I’m a phony. I don’t know what I’m doing and any minute now you’re all going to realise that fact and start mocking me for creating nothing but a big steaming pile of garbage, ahh!
What I’m experiencing goes by the name of, “a crisis of confidence”. The writing process is a rollercoaster as displayed by my mood this week. Less than forty-eight hours ago I was so excited about my WIP that I was positively giddy. I couldn’t wait to get it out. I couldn’t wait for you all to read it. I was totally psyched. Switch to last night, it’s crap, it’s awful, I’ve messed this up royally!
We don’t hear as much about this blight writers have surrounding their work as we do other things. Writers talk about the process, we talk about the stories, and the characters, we talk about publishing and about reviews, we even talk about the dreaded “block”. I don’t know if it’s just me but the crisis of confidence thing hits me more often than anything else.
Give me three pieces of information, any information, about anything, and I’ll write you a story. I can do it, easy peasy, trust me I’ve done it before. But will that story be any good… hmm.
I can write. I sit down at my computer and type, but does that mean there’s blood and passion flowing through it…? Hmm.
This is the curse of the sequel if ever I saw it. However, knowing that intellectually doesn’t help at all. “Sit down, shut up, and write. This is the same story you were thrilled to have created two days ago.” But that doesn’t matter because I made a mistake when I got myself excited about it. I judged the book on it’s own merits – d’oh!
The book is fine (I’m not going to fancy it up with lyrical prose here) there is nothing wrong with it. But, it’s a sequel.
It’s not going to be judged on its own merits because people want more of the first, they want the same wow, the same surprise, the same tension and energy. So I match it to the first novel and come to one irrefutable truth – it’s one big steaming pile of garbage.
The trouble is of course that I’m the only person who has read it, obviously, it’s not polished yet. It’s not out yet so there is time to fix what I don’t like, but that doesn’t help me now. I’m nauseous, the skin on my face tingles, the urge to scream out vibrates in my throat and I want to punch something, hard. I want the kind of instant destruction that makes us feel better for half a second until we realise we’ve hurt ourselves, broken something, and so now have another two problems to deal with.
In short, I want to be Rushe. I want to have seen this coming. I want to have been ten steps ahead. When things don’t go my way and I’m frustrated I want to see myself have an impact on something, even if it’s just physical. Ahh!
Again, I scream, not aloud, I scream inside. I scream in my head. I scream in my heart. My arms feel heavy and my sinuses swell. I can do this, I know I can, I know it. But if that was truly the case then why is it a steaming pile of garbage. If I can do it then, why did I create this mess?
I could go on all day and I babble here because there’s nowhere else to do it. These words should be written into the novel, I should be busting my ass there but I’m not. I’m here, because I hate it. I’m rubbish. It’s just one big steaming pile of garbage.

Scarlett

 

sylvia-plath-writing-quote

 

On a completely unrelated issue I have to make a declaration first: I love my iPhone, I hate my charger. Last week on the night before I left to go away my phone charger fried, which wouldn’t have been a problem if it hadn’t had the new lightning connection. Needless to say after a lot of messing around I am now able to charge again. But I had no idea the problem with these chargers! Check it out, seriously, my brother said he knew all about it after my charger connection melted, thanks for the heads up! Grr! Anyway, this is my PSA to those who might have the charger and not know about the issue – buy a replacement now!
I have so much to say that I don’t know where to begin. I started writing fiction when I was around nine years old. It’s always been a part of my life. I wrote children’s books when I was a child, went through a phase of fan fiction in my teenage years (yes, it did exist back then, we were the pioneers), then I went on to romance. I use “romance” as a general term because I’ve written in a lot of sub-genres.
Here’s the thing… I didn’t think I was special. I’ve written for the better part of twenty years because I loved it, because I was driven to do it, because there was nothing in this world I loved doing more. I worked long and I worked hard. I learned about the craft, studied others, did the courses, because I loved it.
I thought I understood my writing practice. I thought I knew exactly how I felt about writing. I was wrong. Not so long ago I was completely ignorant to the world of self-publishing. I mean I knew it existed, of course, and knew the salient details. But there is no amount of information gathering that can prepare you versus the actual experience of doing.
It’s like writing. Folks in my life knew I wrote fiction. I’ve never lied about it. Never been ashamed of it. Though showing my work to people was another story altogether. When new people learned – usually after months of knowing me and always through other people – that I was a writer, the questions poured out. I can tell you I was awkward about it, and I was, but I loved talking about writing. Invariably, through the years, people have brought me, showed me, explained to me, how they started to write a book after talking to me. Some got a few sentences in, some got through a few pages. But the question was always the same: how do you write a full-length novel? How do you get tens of thousands of words out onto paper and have them make sense?
Now for the reveal, I have no idea. I don’t know how to educate people on getting those words out. It’s hard work, at least that’s what people tell me, but I’ve been writing and writing and writing since I was a kid. I’ve had trouble with plot, characters, research, all the different elements, sure. But I’ve never struggled to sit at the computer (or with my notebook) and write. I just sit down and it’s there. I get tired. I get frustrated. But I never resent it. I’m never bored. I never want to give up. Those are the qualities a writer needs. It has to be a passion. You have to love it. If you don’t then you can’t force it. If it’s a chore then you’ll only aggravate yourself.

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I started this post to talk about self-publishing and my recent journey and once again I got off topic. Most of my posts end up being about writing rather than what they were supposed to be about! I’ll maybe pop back later and write what I meant to write. :p
If anyone has any questions get in touch. I have to talk about excerpts and cover design and I have updates on my website to do! Lots going on! But I welcome it. I’ve never worked harder in my life, but I’ve also never been happier.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx