Well, where else to start but at the beginning?
I’m new to writing, new to blogging and this is my first ever website!
I’m hoping to cover numerous subjects over the coming weeks, months and years, and not least of those will be writing.
I’m a newly published author, and hope to be able to provide advice to those new authors following the same path. I’m no expert, but from reading other people’s blogs, articles and simply going through the process, I’m finding my feet. And hopefully, so too will you. It’s a tough, intimidating world, that of writing. Agents have their own do’s and don’ts, how to approach them, how not to. When to approach them, when not to. And mainly, that will result in a no. And that’s if you get a response. And its very difficult to get a publishing deal without an agent these days too.
But then there are sites like Smashwords and Amazon’s KDP and Create Space, which allow you to self publish. Self publishing allows you to get your book out there, even if it is only for friends and family to purchase and read. But once you’ve published, that’s really only the beginning. Actually getting your book out there for the masses to read, is very very difficult indeed. You have to think laterally, consider every way that might help you to sell just a few more books. Give your book away if you can, it doesn’t matter if you don’t make a million, believe it or not, the thing that really matters in the end is that people read and like your work.
That wasn’t how I felt to start with, but its definitely how I feel now. Actually having people read and respond to your work is like a drug, and the physical writing of the book is a similar addiction. Taking the ideas from your head and getting them onto the page is such an enjoyable process, to me anyway. But if you’re just starting out, then it can feel a little daunting. I had my idea for The End around fifteen years ago. I knew where I wanted to go with it, but decided I needed another story to get me there. Then I struck on the idea of using the Mayan Calendar predictions as a way get to my main story line. Its the curse (or maybe blessing) for the writer. That thought of “Here’s one way of looking at it, but what if…” its the thing that drives you on and gives you an angle on a story.
At the very start, I sat down with my laptop and thought ‘Right, here we go!’ I started writing, and it was slow. But then I felt it really kick in, I felt things start to flow. It felt like my fingers were a blur on the keyboard. I sat back, blew out a breath and thought ‘I must have written pages there.’ I’d written around 300 words and about half a page. That was a sickener. I really didn’t think it was going to work for me. So for the next month, i pottered about doing bits here and there. And after that month, I had written somewhere around 20 pages. You might think that’s okay, but it wasn’t happening quickly enough for me. So, I sat down and set myself a target. I used a spreadsheet, and set our individual days for the next 5 months or so. And decided I would try to write 1000 words a day for that 5 months. I know that sounds like a lot (or to some, very little), but I figured I could do it.
And I did, and finished my first draft when I wanted to. The sense of achievement was amazing. I’d written my first book, I’d written a novel. But the work had only just begun. Don’t get me wrong, it really is an amazing achievement finishing a novel, many try, but few succeed. But it really is only the beginning. For me, the beginning of The End! I knew I had to do a re-write, but didn’t have the heart. So I started writing another novel, this one a YA book. After a couple of months, I went back to The End and re-read it with pen in hand. It’s very hard to do, I won’t lie, but it needs to be done. But another important decision I made, was to find an editor. I did so, and it was a good decision for me personally.
She allowed me to step back and look at it objectively. She also taught my invaluable lessons in writing, that I had no idea about. Concepts that I had not encountered. She also liked the story, which is always good to hear. If you’d like Irene’s contact details, email me at dave@lazeyink and i will oblige. Believe me, having your work edited sets it apart from many pieces of work that are being self published.
I will continue with my next post, in the next week or so. In the meantime, good luck, and feel free to email me.